Thursday, September 27, 2012

Seament Holding: How it All Came to Be

Even though it has been a major player in the cement industry for decades, Seament Holding started small, just like any other business. It's interesting to think about how one set of hands could start something that would go on to be so gargantuan, but that is precisely what happened when Alex Bouri conceptualized Seament. Let's examine how far this fifty-plus year-old company got to where it is today.

It was in 1961 that Seament transactions began; in their first years, they claimed the title of the first cement company to do bulk shipments. The immense success made it plausible them to acquire their first vessel just seven years later, which would allow them to broaden their clientele to many other countries around the world. By 1973 the company shipped out over 2 million tons of cement yearly on average.

At some point, business growth and heightened demand called for bigger ships. Thus, Seabulk Shipping was born, a company that could ship mass quantities of building materials. It started as just a small business ran out of Greece, but grew exponentially. Before they knew it, the top cement companies worldwide began employing these services, as it was extremely useful for gaining customers – Seabulk could ship to nearly any port. When the size of their shipments became too large for the receiving ports to handle, the floating terminal was born.

Since the dawn of the floating terminal, Seament is now a company that is recognized worldwide. Its revolutionary concept has allowed several countries to emerge from their cement crises and begin industrializing once more. As of a decade ago, Seament Holding now both manufactures and ships cement and continues to provide solutions for lesser-privileged countries.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Charity King Celebrates Birthday with Generous Donation

Businesses and charities strive to earn money for different reasons, but that doesn't mean that the two institutions can't get along.  In fact many entrepreneurs have excellent relationships with charities because of their mutual dedication to certain causes.  Oprah Winfrey is famous for her generosity, the businesswoman and media personality has donated $41 million to different charities.  Alexander Bouri is the founder Seament, one of the world's leading cement trading companies, and he also spends a considerable amount of time and money supporting educational charities in the Middle East and in Africa.  Bill Gates has used the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in order to focus on the couple's many charitable causes. 

Warren Buffett is one of the richest people on the planet and is one of the world's most influential people.  Buffett is currently the chairman, CEO, and primary shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway (in 2000 it was ranked as the 8th largest public company in the world), and is widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century.  Despite his near legendary success in the fields of business and finance Buffett is more well-known for his charitable contributions.   Buffett has always been a vocal supporter for charities, but his recent message that urges the rich to focus on using their fortune to help others during difficult economic times has really put his remarkable generosity in the media's spotlight.

In 2006 Buffett made the largest charitable donation in history when he announced his plans to donation 83% of his fortune to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, but he still managed to make headlines recently because of another extremely generous donation.  Buffett celebrated his 82nd birthday by donating $600 million in company stock to his three children's various charitable causes.  His older son Howard strives to help farmers in impoverished nations and help end world hunger, his younger son Peter helps charities that focuses on helping women and girls around the world, and his daughter Susie contributes to charities that strengthen childhood education and reduce teen pregnancy.  

Buffett decided to donate the extra funds to his children's charities because he's proud of the work they've done with them.  This won't be the last donation Buffett will make.  Much of his vast fortune is already pledged to aid certain charities, but recently Buffett has been making more decisions regarding the charities that receive funds and how much money each charity will get.   

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Companies for Education

Whether it be to form a better reputation and business-customer relationship or simply out of the kindness of their hearts, many corporate companies will make an effort to make the world a better place. We all saw what happened to Wal-Mart's reputation in the early 2000's when consumers discovered what went on behind closed doors; despite their being worth billions of dollars, they were not the most charitable (or moral) company, and when the truth came out, it took a while to regain the trust of some customers.

Funding for education – paying teachers' salaries, building schools, providing supplies, et cetera – is something that is lacking in the United States, let alone third-world countries. There are far too many children who have the modest dream of merely attending primary school but do not get to realize those desires. Some businesses have become aware of this gaping hole in the worldwide budget, and have chosen to take matters into their own hands. These businesses should be commended.

JC Penney, for example, is dedicating to bettering education on a local scale. They run Pennies from Heaven, a program that encourages customers to round their purchases up to the nearest dollar amount, then adds it onto the millions of dollars the company contributes to local after-school programs each year. In addition, this company contributes funding to many important colleges and universities across the country as well as national organizations for the education of diverse populations and for students in business and marketing. This is one company that has truly focused its attention on moving our country forward.

The owners of Seament, known as Alexander, Maurice, Mark, and Charlie Bouri, set their sights on improving education on the international scale. They have used the success of the company to contribute to the building of primary schools and universities in needier countries such as Nigeria and Lebanon. On top of that, this company has supplied more than 20 scholarships globally for students interested in studying business and accounting.

JP Morgan Chase does their part in educating as well. As part of their philanthropy, they reach out to high-poverty neighborhoods by creating programs that encourage the pursuit of higher education and the manifestation of adult literacy. They invest their money in numerous programs that are dedicated to helping financially challenged families acquire high-quality education for their children to encourage their being fruitful and active contributors to society. To stimulate creative thinking, this company has initiatives that encourage the building of community-based artistic and cultural institutions, the implementation of art programs in schools, and the stimulation of the cultural economy.

Education – whether it be in accounting, art, or anything in between – is necessary for nurturing well-adjusted citizens that are able to contribute to society and allow communities to flourish. Without educational programs, every community would slowly deteriorate. Less fortunate communities are lucky to have companies like these that are willing to contribute, but there can never be enough helping hands.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Nigeria Eyes Floating Cement Terminals To Aid Building Boom

The current state of Nigerian real estate will come as no shock to people who have followed the country's history. The city of Lagos and other parts of the country are experiencing unprecedented population surges due to average family growth wildly outstripping economic expansion. According to the United Nations' population control report, released last year, the surges that pushed our world population to over 7 billion last year were largely concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. Nowhere is this more evident than in Nigeria, where recent estimates show that the population has nearly doubled in the last 15 years.


As a commercial hub with business opportunities and a burgeoning middle class, investors are ready to build to help accommodate this growing population. But without an infrastructure that can support the creation and movement of resources, investment and building have come slowly. Perhaps the most evident is the lack of cement plants producing building product throughout the country. With builders interested in getting started right away, investors refuse to wait for plants to be built. Companies like BUA International have seen a business opportunity here. Chairman and CEO Abdulsamad Rabiu pounced in 2008, bringing Nigeria its first floating cement terminal.


The group, which has investment holdings across Africa and around the world, has not stopped at its amphibious cement efforts. One of the Group’s most recent acquisitions is the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, (CCNN), where it invested $50 million as part of the expansion and upgrade of the company to boost its production output. But it all started with the floating cement terminal, an invention created by Albanian firm Seament Holdings

"Floating cement terminals allow us to break into foreign economies that would like to benefit from having nearby cement resources but don't have the infrastructure to get terminals built in a timely manner," Alexander Bouri, Chairman of Seament Holdings.

As the cement industry in Nigeria continues to thrive, investors will continue to build cement plants on land to aid in the reconstruction and expansion of this bustling commercial hub. But for nations around sub-Saharan Africa, floating cement terminal investment continues in places like Somalia and Tunisia.

EU Financing To Bring Reverse Vending Machines To Egypt

After months and months of protests, Egypt is facing a clean-up effort to fix a wide array of issues. This week alone, news outlets have reported widespread blackouts and the suspension of the Al-Faraeen satellite channel. But when it comes to the city's clean up of bottles, cans and assorted recyclable refuse, Egypt's newest initiatives seem to be moving in the right direction. With funding provided by the European Union, Egypt is installing a number of initiatives to clean up the countryside, including nationwide media campaigns and education programs.

Among the initiatives are a few innovative and outside-the-box ideas. Among them, a new type of recycling program called reverse vending machines hits Egypt. In an effort to reward recycling and clean up the country at the same time, these compactors re-introduce the American program of turning in glass bottles for cash. These machines help Egypt reuse more of its discarded resources and get these materials off the streets.

Only a few companies in the world produce these machines. One such company, Envipco, has drawn interest and investment from leading entrepreneurs around the world. Their lauded board of directors includes such names as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of U.S. company Wise Metals Group, the world's third largest producer of aluminum sheet for beverage and food cans, David D'Addario; and Alexander Bouri, the Greek and Lebanese founder of the world's largest independent cement handling and shipping company, Seament.

Envipco, and companies like them, produce machines and solutions to return these resources to a form that can be easily used by beverage manufacturers. This involves patrons not just in a passive recycling practice but an active cog in a wheel that will ensure that resources go right back to the manufacturer, saving governments around the world year over year in resource expenditures, and incentivizing participation in the process.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Alexander Bouri: Heading Companies to Better the World

As has been mentioned before, Seament is a company that Alexander Bouri founded that packs and ships cement all around the globe via specialized cement vessels. It revolutionized the cement industry, which was on the decline due to a spike in the amount of demand for these materials and an inability to supply them to countries in need. Not only did Bouri find a solution to the more than 60 countries in crises over cement shortages, but the way he the company was environmentally sound and contributed to the downfall of monopolies and, therefore, the price of cement on and off the black market.

Needless to say, founding and fostering Seament is quite a feat in itself, and a revolutionary one at that, for which Alexander Bouri should be commended. However, his love for giving back, as well as for bettering the environment and economy, is exemplified elsewhere, too.

Bouri is on the Board of Directors for Envipco, a company that dedicates itself to encouraging recycling – and, thus, the reduction of pollution and resource depletion – all around the world. Clients of this company set goals to reduce their carbon footprints, and Evipco helps them make it happen. From helping companies in the food industry recycle their beverage bottles and cans to simply educating others, Envipco is devoted to its cause and is constantly researching and creating programs to make the Earth a greener place every day.
On top of all that, this company hires its employees from halfway houses, homeless shelters, and other havens for less-than-fortunate applicants. Hence, employees of Evipco are given a second chance – the opportunity to be self-employed, secure new homes, and simply start with a clean slate.

From his dedication to companies like these, we can see that Alexander Bouri is truly dedicated to making the world a better place. He takes gigantic strides in giving back to the community by playing a significant role in companies like these.