Five minute interview: Bashar Selo, president, Sedar

Bashar Selo, president, Sedar
By Staff writer
Sun 17 Dec 2017 04:17 PM

First of all, please give us a brief history of Sedar...
Sedar started off as a hardware store in 1892. It was run by our grandfather in Damascus, Syria. Slowly it was handed over to my father and my uncle. With the expansion of the hardware store, they began establishing a paint factory, one of the first in Syria and the region. In the 1970s, Sedar became primarily focused on window treatments. This is when we moved to the UAE and established the first Sedar branch as we know it today, with a focus on window fashion, soft furnishings and wallpaper designs.

What’s unique about Sedar?
Sedar prides itself on what we like to call the ‘Golden Service’. We have the fastest turnaround of delivery since we manufacture everything in our factories. We ensure we deliver top-of-the-line designs and innovations in window couture.

What’s your role, and how did you become involved?
I am the president of Sedar, managing and directing day-to-day decisions involving the simplest tasks, up to the most important. I would accompany my father to work at a very young age, immersing myself in his vision and work ethics. I continued to do so until he trusted my brothers and I to take his legacy to the UAE.

why have you stayed with the company so long?
Sedar has a history of 125 years. My grandfather and father worked tirelessly day and night to ensure that Sedar would be where it is today. It is our responsibility to carry on and guarantee that their vision is carried out to its full potential.

How has Sedar kept going in the face of new competitors entering the market?
We have always stayed on top of the latest innovations and trends in our sector by attending worldwide exhibitions, constantly studying the market and staying up to date with the latest trends and fashions in the industry. It is no secret that we have worked long and extended hours to reach where we are today.

What’s great about your industry sector and what’s challenging about it?
What’s great about it is that it is part of the fashion sector, which makes it ever changing. New fabrics and trends are released every season, so it is our job to ensure that these changes are kept up with and conveyed in an attractive manner to our customers. This, in turn, also makes it a challenge.

How have you responded to the rise of e-commerce?
In our line of business, e-commerce isn’t something we can easily tap into because all our products are bespoke and are never ready-made for cash and carry. We compare it to getting a dress or suit tailor-made, and then adding on the accessories to give it that final touch. So an experience in our showrooms is far more rewarding than buying our products online.

Any management rules or a philosophy that you live by?
We apply the open door policy and this means that our doors are always open to all levels of employees. I personally hire every employee and this allows me to get to know each and every one of them on a personal level. This creates a better sense of belonging and loyalty, since our employees are our key tool for success.

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