One of the most successful family businesses in Jordan, MS Pharma has come a long way from its genesis in Palestine as a small pharmacy. Today, MS Pharma has corporatized and expanded across MENA, with no brakes in ambition. Ghiath Sukhtian, chairman of MS Pharma, reveals where the company is opening next.
How did MS Pharma become a regional company?
Following the ‘67 War, we were forced to begin manufacturing because Israeli forces didn’t allow the import of medicines. We opened our first plant in Palestine, followed by one in Jordan. Another plant was built in Saudi Arabia, which is now owned by Tabuk Pharmaceuticals, a company that we jointly built a factory with in Algeria, as well.
What makes MS Pharma a truly pan-Arab company?
Frankly speaking, wherever we are, we are pharmaceutical leaders. Today, we stand ahead of the curve in Algeria and Saudi Arabia, and we are expanding elsewhere in MENA, as well as Turkey, where we recently opened a plant. In Abu Dhabi, we have signed an agreement with a local player to produce 50 of our products in their facilities for the UAE market, where we will be extensively promoting our image this year.
What does the $50 million in equity you received from the European Bank for Reconstruction Development (EBRD) signify?
This is a great stamp of approval. MS Pharma is the only company in MENA the EBRD has selected as a partner. While the EBRD owns only a small percentage of our company, it adds to our wish to evolve into more than a family company and to establish a corporatized international structure that would prepare us to become a player on a global scale.
What are your expectations for this year’s WEF in Jordan?
The most important relationships today between modern states are through commerce and commercial interests. Improvement of pan-Arab relationships is a blessing for every exporter like us; MS Pharma makes 70 percent of its sales abroad. The attitude of our government should be radically weighed in this regard to help industries to collaborate internationally. We hope to see greater promotion of agreements with other Arab nations in order to build Jordanian industry.