Maythem Saad: Exhibiting The Luxury Iraqi Products To The World Over

Maythem Saad: Exhibiting The Luxury Iraqi Products To The World Over

Maythem Saad , Co-Founder & Owner

Maythem Saad

Co-Founder & Owner

Every successful entrepreneur always begins an endeavor with a vision. The entrepreneurial vision is not about creating new products or services; it is all about creating a better way of doing something that enriches people's lives. CEO Insights’ exclusive team engages in a conversation with one such visionary entrepreneur who has been leading Iraq’s date manufacturing industry with his constant desire to change things for the better and look for opportunities for big improvements. Maythem Saad, Co-Founder & Owner of Berhyah is an accomplished business leader with a demonstrated history of working in the oil & energy industry.

Throughout his professional career, he has been holding various senior leadership positions at e-tech Systems, and Microsoft in different international markets which included Libya, Jordon, and Basra.Prior to establishing Berhyah, Maythem has also been the Founder of Datum-system Information Technology which was an initiative to provide technical IT support, network infrastructure, and hardware solutions to small & medium businesses in Jordan. He has also been the Founding Partner of Iraq Crescent Telecommunications offering IT solutions to international oil and gas companies in Basra. He then started Safwat Al A'amal, a company which was representing Xerox, Dell, Lenovo, Cisco for more than 8 years up to today which is offering IT and printing solutions to Oil & Gas in Basra. Each of his entrepreneurial ideas has been an effort to elevate the economic future of these regions. Currently, leveraging his strong business strategy and leadership skills, Maythem is spreading love & peace around the world by making high-quality and creatively designed Iraqi date products to reach the global markets. Let’s hear it from him.

What is the story behind the establishment of Berhyah? Tell us about its unique propositions.

Basra, the second largest city in Iraq, was once widely known for the quality of its dates and the density of its date palms, and many of the city’s residents were dependent on the date industry for their livelihoods. Unfortunately, war, environmental causes, and human behavior have made Basra’s agricultural lands less hospitable for date palms. In order to bring back the cultivation of the prized fruit in areas where it once thrived, we decided to establish Berhyah. Berhyah is an initiative to fill the gap in the manufacturing of dates in Iraq while fostering the tradition of taking dates as souvenirs by people visiting Iraq for their family & friends in foreign countries. Berhyah Cafe in Erbil is a sub-brand of our main brand offering exotic date products like date cakes and date cookies with luxury packaging and exclusive drinks. We have established our franchise with three branches in Baghdad, Basra (which is the main city of our factory), North of Iraq, and Erbil. Over the years, we have gathered immense international appreciation for our products and have also been certified by Iraqi embassies in foreign countries like Rome, Washington, and Berlin.

What are the different challenges you had to go through to make Berhyah a success? How did you overcome them?

During this journey of establishing a successful business, we faced several difficulties; some because of Iraq’s political situation, some caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and some because of economic circumstances that this country passed through the last years. When we started the business, the logistic and infrastructure was not ready to support small & medium-sized businesses. This made delivering our products outside Iraq very challenging. Moreover,international customers had a hard time trusting Iraqi products. But our product standards and quality helped us to build strong relations with the international market and gain back the trust of customers all over the world. Today, we are certified by US Aid, IOM, and UNDP which have taken initiatives to support our brand in terms of investment and raising the capital of the business.

We Have Always Kept Local People On Board As Our Focus Is To Support And Help The Iraqi Community And Provide Them With A Better Livelihood

Another major obstacle that we have been facing is the manpower availability in Iraq which has been affected by its complicated circumstances during the war. The new generation of manpower is not skilled enough and does not have enough international experience. It has not been easy to hire manpower; however, we have always kept local people on board as our focus is to support and help the Iraqi community and provide them with a better livelihood.

What is the future roadmap you have envisioned for the company?

In the coming years, we have big plans to spread our business across the Middle East, South Africa, and Asia.We are addressing an enormous opportunity for our Iraqi brand to successfully reach international markets; for this, we are taking the help of international experts to go outside Iraq and expand our operation in other regions. Going forward, we also have big aspirations to bring a lot more variety to our products and make them a reputed global brand.

What is your advice to entrepreneurs striving to set benchmarks in this domain?

I believe, to build a business, a leader must first build his/her people and then those people will build the business. The focus must be on the development of the team. The success of the team will reciprocate to be the success of the business. Also, the key is to find the purpose behind the business, and train & prepare the team in a way that they can walk together toward a common vision.

Maythem Saad, Co-Founder & Owner, Berhyah

Having a Master's degree focused in Master of Marketing from Sanford university and almost two decades of experience as a strong sales professional & business leader, Maythem is showcasing luxury Iraqi products to the world and making a benchmark in the global market.


• Awards & Recognition: Certificate of the Best Businessman from Basra Chamber of Commerce

Current Issue