Mohamed Said Guedi: Unprecedented Growth and Self-Reliance

Photo: Independent Tobacco FZE
Mohamed Said Guedi, a Somaliland-Djibouti dual national, is the founder and Chairman of MSG Trading ETS, which has been in the export and import business in the Horn of Africa since 1981. From this trading company, he established and became the chairman of Independent Tobacco FZE, Dubai, since 2004, and chairman of Somcable LTD, Somaliland, since 2009, among other companies, which have grown today to form the MSG Group of Companies.
11 January 2020
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AllAfrica InfoWire (Washington, DC)

The MSG Group is the result of constant change, hard work, and resilience

This report originally appeared in Khaleej Times

The MSG Group of companies was not always the formidable giant it is today, and in fact comes from humble, small-town beginnings. The idea first grew out of trade, and was born from trading second-hand clothing and food items back in 1977.   Mohammad Said Guedi , now the Chairman of the MSG Group , talks about his quiet beginnings that led him to being in charge of a dominating group. Despite having a pastoral background in animal and livestock care, Guedi was able to turn his luck around and become an entrepreneur by starting small. With his continued success, he was able to set up, his first office under " MSG Trading " an FMCG which included its own transportation company amidst the 1980's located in the Horn of Africa. During the 1990's the company later exclusively partnered with Rothmans of pall mall internatonal.

"There were challenges especially considering the normal business lifecycle of growth, maturity, decline and depression," he said, when asked about how he managed to stay afloat during the early years.

A glowing entrepreneur, he has managed to expand several businesses from the start-up stage, all the way through to earning millions in annual sales, thanks to effective business planning, quality products, and unique sales techniques. His experience has garnered a glowing reputation among friends and colleagues, and is recognised in various fields as a man with a talent for resourceful business solutions.

He soon expanded his portfolio to include a wider range of companies, and the group's portfolio includes projects that have affected many sectors in the region. In telecommunications, for example, the group established a terrestrial fibre optic cable that connects Somaliland, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia under Somcable Ltd . In real estate, the group owns a number of residential and commercial properties across Somaliland, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Dubai, further stimulating the economies of these regions. The group is a composite organisation, with subsidiaries that cover most relevant sectors, making them indispensable to any modern society.

Apart from constant growth, Guedi also makes sure the group remains socially responsible and ethical, with a highlight on giving back to the community. "We have been involved in several community projects that are aimed at improving the social welfare of the people," he added. The focus is on charitable donations, irrigation projects, natural disaster response projects, and education within the community to increase awareness. Guedi continues to give back to society by providing funds to rebuild in case of emergencies and natural disasters; ensuring that the community is able to bounce back without too much permanent damage being caused.

Mohamed Said Guedi 's passion within CSR is education, and social welfare is on the top of the MSG Groups' agenda, particularly through education. With the help of the MSG Group , he has set up an education fund within the MSG Foundation for less fortunate students in Somaliland and Djibouti. "The MSG education fund helps at least 20 students every year in graduating from the local and international universities there," he adds, highlighting both the importance of education and the willingness of MSG to step in and lend a helping hand wherever possible.

Within the larger community, the group is also focused on constructing two mosques in Djibouti and Hargeisa, and Guedi helps provide financial support to mosques across the region.

When asked about the Expo 2020, Guedi was excited about the awareness created by the expo, and looks forward to the MSG Group further supplying the increasing demand in their products. Apart from this, innovative solutions have also been pouring in, with heightened interest thanks to the Expo. "As our group of companies operates in the international market sphere, this will help us in making progress on issues of international importance such as global economy, sustainable development and improved quality of life for the world's population. We expect to see more impact as we move closer to the Expo. We are optimistic for a great positive impact at the end of the expo," Guedi pointed out the positive benefits the Expo would bring.

The future of MSG looks bright, and the next step is to shift towards clean energy over the coming years, starting with the Horn of Africa. The other goal is to continue innovating the telecommunication sector to keep up with changing trends and newer technologies.

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