HOLDAL Group’s Roy Diab in the spotlight

HOLDAL Group’s Roy Diab in the spotlight

Drawing upon more than two decades of experience in the FMCG sector, Roy Diab, the business manager of International Brands Incorporated (IBI), has been involved in cultivating leading brands both locally and globally. In this interview, he discusses the expansion of Holdal, particularly within the spirits’ segment.


Holdal specializes in the retail, distribution, manufacturing and supply chain of beauty and grooming, personal and household care, healthcare, wellbeing, lifestyle and luxury products. What are the challenges of heading such a versatile group?
HOLDAL is a versatile group that operates across all the aforementioned industries. The challenges encountered by a group of our nature are akin to those confronted by any comparable business within the country or region. These challenges, predominantly originating externally, encompass factors beyond our immediate influence. Examples of such factors include newly implemented import policies, evolving government regulations and economic downturns. Nevertheless, this situation also confers a competitive advantage, as the diversification of our portfolio empowers us to navigate through various crises with resilience. This reduces our dependence on a few prominent brands, which are inevitably vulnerable to the impacts of any crisis.

Why did the group decide to venture into the spirits market?
In the mid-1980s, HOLDAL possessed a limited spirits portfolio, which was subsequently divested due to global mergers and acquisitions. Examining the current landscape of the Lebanese spirits market, it remains one of the few industries consistently committed to self-renewal, with the goal of captivating its audience. Rooted in Lebanon’s vibrant dynamics and cultural values of conviviality and hospitality, spirits play a pivotal role. Currently, the spirits category is undergoing a resurgence, with figures approaching those of the pre-crisis period. This resurgence undoubtedly presents a compelling opportunity for a group like ours. With our robust human expertise and well-established distribution network, we are strategically positioned to capitalize on this opportunity. As a result, we are expanding our existing portfolio by incorporating wines and spirits, such as Couvent Rouge wines and sparkling, Independence Irish whiskey, Favignana gin, as well as many others.

What sets HOLDAL Group’s spirits apart from its competitors?
For starters, we are moving away from value-driven products, as the competition in this arena is already firmly established. Our pursuit lies in achieving growth through a strategy of premiumization.

How do you envision the overall growth and diversification of the group’s portfolio in the future?
HOLDAL’s objective is not centered on expanding its portfolio merely for the purpose of adding additional brands. We exercise judgment in our selections, focusing on foreseeing emerging opportunities both on a global and local scale. Naturally, the products we choose to represent must align with our group’s mission of “cultivating meaningful experiences and fostering brands and services that contribute positively and sustainably to our community and environment.”



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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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