|Interview of A. Farah, Deputy General of Projects Devpt sal
|This week, interview of Antoine Farah, Deputy General of Projects Development (KS) sal a company operating in the business development sector with a specific vision for the future..
First Lebanon : Mister Farah could you tell us what is the core of your business ?
Antoine Farah : Basically we are in the Real estate development business however we strongly believe in diversification therefore starting from real estate, we are enlarging our range of activities.
We are expanding to other business fields such as industry, tourism, retail and all other businesses where we identify opportunities, develop business ideas and implement it into projects.
FL : When did you start your business ?
AF : We started two years ago with a project in Broummana, Imperium Residence, a residential and very prestigious building. High luxury, 500 mÂ² apartments with very high standards of finishing quality.
FL : What kind of businesses did you develop till now ?
AF : Real estate till now. However we are studying various projects in different fields, some of them are in the final stages of study or feasibility studies. And eventually in the near future we'll start implementing these new projects.
FL : How do you select the projects ?
AF : As far as Real Estate we are following the market and we are creating a certain standard in our constructions which is sometimes not well applied in Lebanon. A standard of professionalism that reflects our identity, we're working on international standards.
We believe that even average standards has to maintain a certain level of quality. I think that the market will start to differentiate products based on the quality and service.
As for other fields of business, we count on the idea and concept, the need and of course on the financial aspect.
FL : How do you identify a promising project ?
AF : We start to investigate from the info we have. We make sure the info is reliable. The selection of people we're in business with is very important. Then we analyse and study either in house and or with our consultants to prepare a feasibility study.
Once the project is stated as feasible we go to the execution phase, in the field of real estate we go to the construction phase.
What happens now is that people are coming to us in order to develop their projects. There are brilliant ideas, we are open to discuss either to go into partnership with them, into joint venture or to develop it ourselves. We can also provide the financial support.
FL : Are you planning to go international ?
AF : Not at this stage, Lebanon comes first, it is the place where we want to create strong partnerships and relations in business development.
FL: What are your current projects ?
AF : We have different projects in hand at a final feasibility study level.
We are now ready on internal level of the company's infrastructure to expand in regards.
FL : What are the perspectives for Lebanon in your opinion ?
AF: Some fields will be very successful, technology, tourism for example. On a larger scale every business field that requires a human factor which is Lebanon's main asset. And the added value is the human factor. We are here to promote all the good ideas that are presented to us, and there are so many !!
FL : Do you think the economic environment is appropriate for investors in Lebanon ?
AF : Yes, it is the right place to invest. However some issues has to be solved: juridical, legal aspects, part of the infrastructure.
In brief, the more we release the economy, the more flexible it is, the better it goes. In this framework we shouldn't fear competition, we have the skills to succeed and no restrain at all would be the perfect environment.
But we have to reach this objective step by step, following a plan that everybody has to be aware of. With the vision of where you want to go, what you want to achieve, it is easier to act for a common goal.
FL : Do you consider other aspects than the financial one before you decide to invest in a project ?
AF : Definitely yes. As I mentioned before we apply international standards to what we implement, in this regard, the social, environmental aspects of a projects are taken in consideration during the feasibility study and of course the athecal aspect too. In the end this is what will make the difference between a good or a bad project : it's impact on all the aspects of its environment.
FL : If you were a tree, which one would you be ?
AF : Olive tree !! Because it is polyvalent, it's nice, sacred, fruitful, and... I love olive oil !!