For over 95 years now, Demco Group’s reputation has been evolving through its combined focus on customer satisfaction, supplier relations, integrity, and social responsibility. Demco has developed a thorough understanding of its customers’ wide-ranging needs and has remained dedicated to servicing their individual requirements efficiently and effectively in order to build and enhance solid, long-term partnerships.
Demco Steel is located in the heart of Beirut, less than 2km from the Port of Beirut, and possesses a working area spread over a total area of 100,000 sqm.
To shed additional light on Demco’s activities and values, ifpinfo conducted the following interview with Demco Steel Industries executive manager Samer Chehab.
Q. When was your company established?
A. Demco Group was founded as a family business in Lebanon by Mr. Sarkis Demirdjian Sr. in 1922.
Q. What are the development stages that your company went through?
A. After four generations of hard work and building a respectable reputation, the Demco Group has grown from a local steel stockholder to a globally-geared source for steel-related services. Demco has also evolved from a family-owned business into a corporate entity. With the third and fourth generation of devoted business leaders represented by the brothers Sarkis Jr. and Avedis Demirdjian and their sons, including current CEO Alex Demirdjian, Demco’s business has grown from a small shop into a company that currently encompasses a 100,000 sqm premise with 60,000 sqm of built up area, serving thousands of customers in Lebanon, the Levant, the wider Middle East, and Africa, in addition to Asia and Europe.
In our current location, Demco provides a wide variety of services to our customers, including cut-to-length lines for steel sheet and coils, straightening lines and drawing lines for wire rods in coils, operational line of cut and bending for reinforcing steel bars, and the provision of extended services to contractors in Lebanon. Demco has evolved from being the sole manufacturer of welded wire mesh in Lebanon to fully covering the demand of the Lebanese market and exporting tens of thousands of tons to Middle Eastern countries.
We at Demco have the biggest steel stock in the Middle East by an inventory of almost 200,000 tons over our nearest competitor.
Q. A success story was written since the inception of your company, what was your vision that led to achievements and success?
A. Throughout the years, Demco has acquired a distinguished reputation and earned the trust of its customers; our clients have deposits of $ million worth of advanced payments to secure their orders. No delivery or payment default has occurred in the history of the company.
Guided by the vision of its founders, Demco Steel strives to be the best in its field. We continue to improve through a combined focus on customer satisfaction, supplier relations, integrity, and social responsibility.
We have developed a thorough understanding of our customers’ wide range of needs. We remain dedicated to servicing their individual requirements and expectations efficiently and effectively in order to build and enhance solid, long-term partnerships.
On the internal side, Demco has focused on recruiting employees that not only have the required set of skills, but also the right attitude. By emphasizing this human factor, Demco has been constantly stocked with exceptional talents who are key contributors to the success of the company.
Q. What are the main products/services you are recognized for? What makes you so good at what you do?
A. We stock a wide range of steel products including reinforcing steel bars, coils, sheets, and plates, i.e. hot-rolled, cold-rolled and galvanized products. Demco’s inventory list also includes merchant and industrial product such as flat and square bars, channels, beams, pipes, tubes, and other specialty items. Our comprehensive array of products includes over 5,000 items of different types, dimensions, qualities, and sources.
We continue to diversify our lines of productions and services. Our subsidiaries now include a pipe-manufacturing plant, straightening and cutting lines as well as a welded wire mesh factory. We also branched out into more specific offering such as bar bending for reinforcing bars.
Demco Steel has a dynamic, dedicated and performance-driven workforce. We currently employ more than 150 employees, some with over 30 years of experience in our enterprise.
Demco’s steady growth is emblematic of our evolution from a traditional steel trading company to a supplier of steel-related services including manufacturing, marketing, and financial, logistical, and after sale services.
Q. What can you say about your customer base? Can you also name some major projects you have catered for?
A. Throughout the years, Demco Steel has established a strong partnership with the most prominent contractors and developers in the country and beyond. Our distinguished customers are the most reputable contractors and traders in the business.
Demco has supplied steel to most of the largest projects in Lebanon, including: ABC Ashrafieh ,ABC Dbayeh, ABC Verdun , Sky gate , Beirut City Center, BHV Jnah, Le Mall Dbayeh, Biel, Cité Sportive: Kamil Chamoun Stadium, Forum de Beyrouth, the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University (Jbeil), the Lebanese University, Hotel Dieu de France, the Grand Hyatt, Movenpick, Phoenicia Hotel, Royal Hotel, Summer Land Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel, Achrafieh 4748, Beit Misk, Beirut Terraces, Marina Tower, Platinum Tower, Sama Beirut and many more.
Q. What can we expect from the company in the near future?
A. The diversification process that has started under our current CEO Alex Demirdjian will continue in the short- and long-term. Along with the steel business, the diversification process includes, among others, overseas trading and real estate developments. Our offshore shipping company trades up to 150,000 metric tons of steel each year to the Levant, the Gulf, North Africa, and Europe.
Meanwhile, Demco Group has partnered or is the sole owner of some of the most influential real estate projects in Lebanon, namely in Antelias, Faqra, Dekwaneh, and Solidere.
Like the founders of this company who believed in this country, the new management shares the same ideals and thus investing in Lebanon is a major objective for the company.
People will soon hear about new real estate projects stamped and signed with Demco’s trademark creativity and enhanced by Alex Demirdjian’s innovative touch.
While we will continue focusing on maintaining our bottom line and the mutually beneficial relationships we have developed with customers, Demco also strives to be more conscious of and contribute positively to the social fabric of our operating environment.
A case in point was the “Lebanon is Calling” advertisement that was aired during the US presidential elections on CNN. This ad served a dual purpose as a public awareness campaign of sorts that encouraged the Lebanese diaspora to return and bet on the future success of their homeland. This ad reflected our company’s vision: Believing and investing in this country and calling on everyone to join this effort, especially after the Lebanese presidential elections when the hope of a better future has pushed the economy forward and created an optimistic ground for investment.
Efforts are also underway to expand our corporate social responsibility initiatives, which have been ongoing for several years, with more targeted campaigns that aim to address specific issues in conjunction with the Lebanese populace.
Q. Have you ever participated in an exhibition or any event organized by IFP Group?
A. We have been participating in Project Lebanon for many years in a row now. We participate in this show in order to meet and interact with the people that we love. We hold our customers in very high esteem and want this relationship to sustain and flourish. We consider Project Lebanon a good medium for that. Yet, the show also creates opportunities for meeting new contractors, graduate engineers, and architects. Therefore, we are also able to expand our family of customers through Project Lebanon and we appreciate that.
Q. If yes, what have you displayed?
A. We usually display our products in such a creative way that visitors are amazed. We seek to make visitors wonder: Is this a stand showing steel products or an art show piece? So, we will not disclose the details of our stand in the upcoming Project Lebanon show next May. It will be a surprise….
Q. What was your feedback of the previous events?
A. Always positive.