Greek entrepreneur of Syrian origin, Joseph Samaan, knew that re-establishing his business in another country offered a paradox of seemingly insurmountable challenges and unmissable opportunities. After building Tanweer, a publishing company in Kuwait with diversified interests in entrepreneurial guidebooks, design magazines and television, the onset of the Gulf War in 1990 left the Samaans with no choice but to leave.
Taking that opportunity and rising to meet multiple challenges is a testament to their adaptability, discipline and work ethic – qualities that, as Joseph Samaan points out, are also the defining characteristics of immigrant entrepreneurs.
Despite not being able to speak a word of Greek when he arrived, Samaan was undeterred in his drive to continue the family’s success. Now, Tanweer is an international media house that operates across 37 countries and specialises in film and television distribution, dubbing and subtitling services, cinema multiplexes and feature film production.
Tanweer’s internationalised strategy reflects its extranational roots. Headquartered in Athens, Greece, the company reaches India and the SAARC territories, Turkey, MENA and elsewhere in Asia.