Abdallah Sallam is a prominent member of the Sallam Family’s third generation. He is a determined entrepreneur who has founded, co-founded, and managed many companies such as Jebal Media, Urban Station Egypt, and Minlo Industries. eniGma’s conducted a one-on-one interview with Sallam, to find out his invaluable insights regarding the Real Estate market, and how he plans to innovate his way up to the top.
The Sallam family has been a prominent Egyptian business family in manufacturing, retail, and real estate for nearly a century, and specifically since 1939. The family’s impact on the Egyptian economy has been immense, as they have introduced many influential brands and enterprises along the years. The list of their remarkable brands encompasses; appliances and electronics retailer BTECH, IDEAL, Olympic Electric, the renowned KidZania, and the Canadian Universities in Egypt.
Regardless of these solid achievements accomplished by the family, the legacy did not stop there. The family has been exerting palpable endeavors in the NGO scene in Egypt. They founded “The Egyptian Group of Charity Banks” namely; the Egyptian Food Bank, the Egyptian Cure Bank, and the Egyptian Clothing Bank.
To start with, choosing to major in mechanical engineering as an undergraduate at university, the young and promising businessman has always wanted to do his own thing after graduation. In other words, he was aspiring to have a private business of his own that falls under the umbrella of his inveterate family. The legacy of the family made him determined to build and add to it.
It is very obvious how proud and grateful Abdallah is to be a member of the Sallam family, as he added, “I am who I am today due to my upbringing, as I owe my success to my dear family. I mean, all my acquired values, business ethics, and vision are the outcome of what I learned from my parents, uncles and my beloved grandfather, the late Abdallah Sallam whom I was named after.” He also stated, “I’m blessed to have such a supportive family. They believed in me and entrusted me with full company responsibilities at a young age. This trust was both a heavy responsibility on my shoulders as well as catalyst for hard work and determination to preserve what the family’s elders have created throughout the years.
Fast forward to 2016, and specifically when Sallam decided to venture into the Real Estate sector by founding Minka Development, to add a new angle to his family’s achievements. By the emergence of Minka, he had a vision of uplifting this industry, and creating living spaces and residential units that are unique and unprecedented. Sallam started narrating his own success story by stating, “When we started, the market already had professional developers with many great projects and loyal clients. However, we wanted to implement new innovative concepts, and introduce integrated new models to the Egyptian market, as we strive to make Egyptians happier and Egypt a better place, which is the core of our company’s mission.
Then, he started recounting the praiseworthy portfolio of Minka in detail. He said that the company has unique projects with exceptional and distinguished features, besides, as they are all designed meticulously. It is worth mentioning that, one of Minka’s most recent projects is “The HOFT”. Indeed, it is by far their most successful to date, and it is a hybrid property. This project delivers a unique amalgamation of a retail arcade, co-working space, modular offices, and serviced suites all in one very meaningfully and exquisitely designed building. Regarding this matter, Abdallah commented, “The HOFT was only an idea a year ago; nonetheless, we succeeded to sell approximately 80% of the serviced suites.”
Minka has other spanning projects such as; Kensington the very exclusive and inimitable project that was inspired by English architecture. It is a complex of stacked townhouses that combine privacy, luxury in the design, and exclusivity altogether. Last but not least, Minka successfully conceived an interesting project, which is “CAIROOM”. This project is a unique hospitality management concept that furnishes, brands, services, and manages apartments all over Egypt on behalf of their owners. It also aims at managing a total of 1000 units within the next 5 years.
“Generally speaking, we are trying to be different, as we do not opt for going with the flow, nor follow in the footsteps of others. We believe that when clients decide to invest in Real Estate, they usually look for properties that will last forever. It is not like buying a mobile or a car that they would change frequently.” Sallam elaborated.
What about Minka’s quality? “Honestly, we set our priorities straight. Our number one priority is quality. I always put myself in the client’s shoes and ask myself; what do I need and expect?” Sallam declared. Indeed, Minka Development has come a long way in the past four years, but Sallam‘s passion and drive for innovation is bound to take the company to even newer heights. “As theoretical and idealistic as it may sound, but we deliver the best quality, because we innovate with the customer in mind. We never thought this is where Minka would be two years ago, and we believe that the sky is the limit for our future plans? We’re certainly here to build a legacy until the next generation takes over!” Sallam exclaimed.
When it comes to profit and revenue, which are undoubtedly important, Sallam stressed on the fact that quality ensures profit, and engenders a lucrative outcome as a result. That is to say, Minka has excelled at investing more than EGP 250 Million in the Real Estate sector since its inception in 2016. Additionally, they are planning to invest almost EGP 6 Billion in their new developments in the coming 5 years.
Sallam has concluded his words by providing some advice for the upcoming generations, who might want to take him as a role model, by saying “Everyone has to set a purpose for themselves in life. One should always have something to look forward to. This is my number one advice, which I genuinely live by. You do not have to carry out each and every advice you receive, but you should always listen. I mean, people give advice based on their own experience, but at the end of the day, you have to do what is best for you and what suits you. And well that’s very subjective, so follow to your passion and listen to yourself more often.”