A conventional business book stuffed with remarkable detail.
At age 48, Darwazah founded Hikma, a global pharmaceutical firm headquartered in Jordan that expanded from $150,000 in sales in 1978 to $150 million in 2003, often by unorthodox means (life at Johnson & Johnson was never this interesting). When Syria encountered an economic crisis in the mid-’80s and was unable to pay invoices in hard currency, Darwazah suggested a barter system. For payment, the Syrians proposed mineral water, peanuts, Syrian marble and an ingredient in concrete called â€œclinker.” Shrewdly, the author became a peanut and marble broker, earning secondary profits on the distribution of these commodities in Jordan. He then explores the disastrous trend in the late ’60s, when Iranian pharmaceutical companies, eager to enter the contraceptive pill market, failed to realize that female hormones could be absorbed through the skin. The result? All their male factory workers grew breasts. Darwazah goes on to note that markets for advanced health care products in the Middle East only develop with government investment in health insurance and social security programs. He also delves into the ongoing political dilemma between Palestine and Israel, proposing a solution of his own.
A quirky account of international business masquerading as a generic management tome.