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Aramex Challenges Western Stereotypes of Arabs and Pushes Social Media

by on July 31, 2010

Most Americans and westerners have a specific image of Arabs. For example, westerners think 83% of Arabs do not like anything modern and 93% believe women are not treated equally.

Aramex not only debunks myths about today’s Arab companies, the organization shows that they can beat larger American corporations at their own game.

Aramex, headquartered in Amman, is the largest global freight, logistics and transportation company in the Middle East, and one of the top five players in the world behind international brands such as FedEx and DHL. The company has built a strong reputation for having a customer-focused culture and operations. Aramex is a global, progressive and innovative company—quite the opposite of the stereotypes westerners often label Arabs.

Aramex uses its website, which is full of multimedia materials,  and social media tools such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to build relationships and strengthen their brand with their customers. Leading the charge is their charismatic CEO Fadig Ghandour (@fadig), who has his very own active Twitter page where he openly gives kudos to employees, responds to questions and retweets a customer’s stories, such as the one about how Aramex successfully escorted pet ferrets from Jordan to Australia.  Mr. Ghandour has also been known to act on tweets and personally look into customer’s complaints and their delayed packages.

Mr. Ghandour (Aramex Founder & CEO) replys to a customer's delayed package on Twitter

“The Internet and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow us to communicate with our people and customers at any given time, 24/7,” Hussein Hachem, CEO of Aramex Middle East and Africa  explains. “It’s a seamless relationship that will allow customers to become more integrated with us.”

With the increased popularity of online shopping and bargain hunting, Aramex’s business is growing at 15% despite the continued volatility in the global economy. Compared to FedEx, a company that is 19 times larger, and how they use Facebook, Aramex is much more engaged and approachable.  In fact, Aramex and its CEO was even featured in the book The World Is Flat by Thomas Friedman as an example of a relatively small company that acts big in the new global economy.

Aramex also has a strong Corporate Social Responsibility arm focused on being “green” and extensively uses its social media channels to promote their environmental sustainability message. For example, they regularly post Green Tips on Facebook and tweet about their green efforts. Their employees, who are treated with respect as part of Aramex staff sustainability program, are fully engaged with helping strengthen the company’s commitment to its customers, the environment and maintaining an open, creative and innovative workforce.

Aramex not only walks the walk, they also want other Jordanian and Arab companies to follow their example. The company regularly sponsors technology events such as the Amman Twestival 2009 and their CEO and corporate officials are often seen as keynote speakers at business conference talking up the value of social media.

Pretty cool for a global company—Arab or otherwise.

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From → Jordan

17 Comments
  1. Wow – westerners need to come a long way in their understanding of Arabs! Good for Aramex for being so involved on social media platforms…I love it when CEOs tweet!

  2. Hello Roela,

    Thank you for acknowledging some of our social media and sustainability initiatives. I’d be more than happy to talk you through more of such initiatives and projects; feel free to e-mail me anytime at Lina.Shehahdeh[at]aramex[dot]com.

    Thanks,
    Lina,

    Lina Shehadeh
    Chief Marketing Officer
    Aramex International, Global Support Office
    tel: +962 6 5515111 fax: +962 6 5527461
    http://www.aramex.com

    • Thanks for the note, Lina. I really appreciate it. Aramex is embracing a lot of impressive initiatives. Kudos to you and your team on a great social media campaign!

  3. Great topic choice and post this week. The way you shared the story of how Aramex is using all these social tools to connect with customers and tell their story was an excellent example, but the place where your post really offered a great conclusion was in your research about how the company is hosting events and helping other organizations in the same region to more effectively use these tools. As many of your classmates pointed out, there is active use of these tools through social media from the Queen and political individuals … however this use by a corporation is a great example of the potential for the same tools to be used in the business world. Great post this week. (5)

  4. Sheri D. permalink

    Roela, great post! Aramex is certainly a model for other middle eastern corporations to follow – not only in how to use social media effectively for marketing, but in bridging the gap between east and west.

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