Many family owned companies recruit graduates from the Suliman
S. Olayan School of Business (OSB) to help their organization grow and thrive.
Others rely on relatives to fill positions. One company was able to have the
best of both those worlds by hiring an OSB student who was already part of
Sabine Daher, OSB Class of 2019, is studying for her MBA to
augment her engineering background. She decided to stay at the American
University of Beirut to gain critical business skills that would both complement
her technical capabilities and help her family’s business, Difco Group.
years old, she is often younger than her colleagues are and having an MBA helps
her take charge in many aspects of the company. The skills and self-confidence
she gained in the business program have allowed Daher to add value to both her
personal and professional life.
Difco Group operates various industries including food,
agriculture, real estate, and investments. It is most widely known for their food
manufacturing division through the Poppins and Snips brands as well as their breakfast
cereals and snacks. The company employs approximately 550 employees in three manufacturing
facilities and 11 branches across the MENA region.
Daher currently serves as the deputy general manager with a
focus on human resources, particularly in recruitment. “We are trying to find
the right people with the right skills to fit the right positions,” she stated.
“We believe having the right skills can make or break a business. It's all about
the culture and the right team members to make an organization thrive.”
As she explained, educated and experienced Lebanese
people tend to travel to work in the GCC, Europe or elsewhere. It is hard to
find team members with the right qualifications and skills who live in Lebanon
or would consider coming back to the country because of the political and
economic situation. "Another challenge is the lack of competitors in the
manufacturing industry. It is easier for us to recruit fresh graduates and train
them internally for a few years than to recruit ones already experienced in the
field. At Difco Group, we rely on hiring young people who want to stick with the
company for the long-term. After all, a business can only grow if has an
enthusiastic and self-motivated team," she noted.
Daher’s eventual goal is to turn the family business, currently
a regional company, into a multinational corporation. As she concluded, “this
will take time and effort, but I am confident we can get there one day.”