Palestinian-born billionaire Samih Darwazah has charted a path from war refugee to corporate success.
The founder of Hikma Pharmaceuticals, the Middle East’s leading drug maker, the former pharmacist has been called Jordan’s most successful entrepreneur — a claim endorsed by Ernst & Young who named him ‘Entrepreneur of the Year, Middle East’ in 2007.
Hikma was founded in Jordan in 1977, and has since built an booming business in the Middle East, North Africa, the US and Europe. It became the first Arab company to export into the US in 1996 and listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2005.
The company currently sells 176 pharmaceutical products in 40 different countries through three different business segments.
The largest one, its branded business, manufactures and sells branded generic pharmaceuticals, predominantly in the MENA region.
Hikma’s generic business sells unbranded generic pharmaceuticals in America, while its newest segment manufactures injectable pharmaceuticals across the US, MENA and European markets.
Before establishing Hikma, Darwazah worked for Eli Lilly from 1964 to 1976. He also served as Jordan’s minister of energy and mineral resources between 1995 and 1996.
Darwazah is the founder of the Jordan Trade Association and has been a member of the Advisory Economic Council to his Majesty the King of Jordan.
Darwazah holds a master’s degree from the St Louis College of Pharmacy in Missouri, USA.For all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.