Interview with Maissa Abou Adal Ghanem and Nour Abou Adal, HOLDAL Abou Adal Group, Lebanon

The Abou Adal family stands apart from their competition due to their ability of doing things differently, a notion, which has held true throughout the family business’ history. In 1947 Georges Abou Adal established Georges Abou Adal & Cie., a company dedicated to importing and distributing watches and pharmaceuticals in Syria and Lebanon. His family business has expanded over the decades to include collaborations with notable names such as Lacoste, Patek Philippe, L’Oréal and Colgate-Palmolive, among others. In 1992 the Abou Adal family created its holding structure HOLDAL in a bid to offer a cohesive approach to its many deliverables.

In 2010 the Abou Adal’s honoured their tradition of embracing change by embarking on a 10-year transformation process entitled “Make it Happen Holdal 2020”. With the growth plan now almost halfway complete, Tharawat magazine sat down with Maissa Abou Adal Ghanem and Nour Abou Adal. The third generation family business members spoke about their plan, its implementation and the family ethos behind it all.

When did you join your family business? Why exactly?

Maissa: I always wanted to dive right into the business world so I went to work right after completing my BComm in Montreal. I started with Sears’ Management Trainee program where I probably went through every single job you could have in and around a department store. I then worked for international brands like L’Oréal and LVMH but I always knew I would end up in the family business. I eventually joined in 2009. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into [laughs]. Initially I was in charge of PR and setting up the internal communication function, which taught me so much about business and led me to the role I play today as Corporate Projects Manager.