Starting his business from a single store in Kuwait, Turkish entrepreneur now sells his products on 5 continents
Honey sold by a Turkish businessman is flying off store shelves across five continents, and it counts top government officials in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia among its customers.
Muhammed Kasim Mucedidi’s success story began when he inherited the beekeeping and honey trade from his parents and earned a scholarship from a university in Kuwait.
During his studies, Mucedidi decided to start investing in honey and opened a small store.
His business gradually turned into a prominent company in the country, and years later he became one of the pioneers of the honey industry in Kuwait and the Gulf region.
He opened a laboratory for authenticating and examining honey equipped with the latest technology and expert teams.
This approach earned him the trust of customers and markets in the honey trade, and he expanded his business to supply select varieties of honey through his company’s worldwide network of suppliers.
His company, founded back in 1994, now has 30 shops in Kuwait and a total of 50 shops in Gulf countries, while its products are being sold in more than 20 countries around the world.
Secret of his success
Back in the 1990s, coming from a family with a good background in the extraction and production of honey, Mucedidi and his younger brother Abdullah then students in Kuwait gave bottles of honey as presents to their friends and teachers at their university.
With people being happy with the taste and natural specifications of the honey, and following a friend’s advice on selling honey samples to potential customers, Mucedidi decided to import a number of well-known types of honey to the Gulf region and the Arabian Peninsula.
Sensing a demand for honey, he decided to go into the honey business with “modest capital and limited resources.”
The entrepreneur said the secret of his success lay in “taking the initiative.”
At first Mucedidi faced many difficulties trying to market the product, and as they were losing money, his brother decided to pull the plug.
But not losing hope, he said he “decided to turn the disappointment over the project’s termination into motivation to move forward.”
Later, Mucedidi decided to advertise free samples of his honey, with customers only paying if they came to believe in its benefits. The strategy paid off, he said.
Recalling the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in 1996, Mucedidi said people began “swarming” his small shop, with most becoming paying customers after they saw the honey’s health benefits.
“That was the beginning of a new phase in the life of this company,” he said, adding that it became very successful with the addition of new partners and financiers working as a single team.
Al Lugain honey
Mucedidi told Anadolu Agency that among his company’s main innovations is Al Lugain honey, which is “dedicated to the Kuwaiti National Assembly.”
Touting the honey, he said it includes Sidr honey from flowers of the Sidr Lote tree from Yemen’s Hadhramaut and Dawan valleys, with precise specifications for the ratio of enzymes, organic components, and pollen.
It is mixed with Brazilian green propolis and royal jelly, which he said “supports health and strengthens the body’s immune system” to help ward off infections.
He said he started getting requests from banks and financial and media institutions wanting to give the bottled honey to special clients as well as from royal palaces, embassies, and high government officials.
Government officials in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait buy the honey to give high-level delegations and guests as gifts, he said.
Saying that Al Lugain has become one of the most expensive honey products in the world, Mucedidi added that it has reached the U.S., Canada, Australia, and over 20 other countries worldwide.
With annual exports of 10,000 bottles, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., Canada, Iraq and Oman are among the top countries purchasing the honey, he said.
Employing more than 200 people, the company has three regional offices located in Kuwait, Dubai, and Saudi Arabia.
The company also launched a branch in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to cover the Southeast Asian market and inaugurated a sales agency in South Africa, Mucedidi said, along with a branch in the U.S. state of Virginia (near Washington, D.C.) for “relevant market coverage and supply.”
With annual turnover of around $10 million, Mucedidi also exports honey from the forests of Turkey’s western province of Mugla to Kuwait.
He said the company plans to establish a factory in Turkey’s Istanbul Free Trade Zone, adding that currently the main factory is located in Kuwait.
Besides 30 different kinds of honey and bee products, the company’s product range expanded over time to include olive oil, herbal and green tea, spices, seeds, and nuts as well as apple vinegar and body care products.
“Our product variety grew in just a few years to reach 200 different kinds that encompass a comprehensive range of herbs, nuts, grains, canned foods, and frozen foods,” he added.