The Haladjians of Aleppo: Second Generation Continues Family Clothing Business in Yerevan
There’s a store on Yerevan’s Hanrapetutyan Street that stands out with its green entryway.
But it doesn’t sell organic food, as the green color might suggest. Rather, Mosini proudly sells made in Armenia sports clothes.
The business in Yerevan was started by Movses Haladjian and his father, who, established the Mosini clothing plant in Aleppo in the 1980s. Movses says that Aleppo was known for its quality textile production.
The Mosini plant in Aleppo, employing 400 at its peak, exported its product to Lebanon, Iraq and the Gulf States.
The Haladjians moved to Armenia in 2012 due to the outbreak of war in Syria. They could no longer stay in Aleppo.
When I ask Movses if he’d move back if peace returns to Syria, he smiles and says only time will tell. He’s convinced that Syria will see peace once again, it’s just a question of when.
The family started manufacturing clothes in Armenia last year. Today, they have two stores in Yerevan. The second is locates at the intersection of Komitas and Vagharshyan Streets.
Movses says that one of the concerns he had before starting the Yerevan business was the small size of the domestic market in Armenia.
In Syria, the Haladjians purchased everything locally-the raw material (cotton), thread, etc. Now based in Armenia, Mosini must import its raw materials; mostly from China or Syria. It’s an expensive proposition.
One of the advantages of doing business in Armenia, says Movses, is the country’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union. This translates into tax-free trade with Russia. Today, Mosini only exports to Russia. Iran’s import tariffs on clothes are very high. As for exporting to Georgia, Mosini has yet to receive any orders from there.
Movses says manufacturing is on the rise in Armenia, but given the limited market, the increase is slow.
Offering quality at an affordable price is the top priority for Mosini, and word of the business is slowly spreading in Yerevan.
Mosini employs 22, mostly local residents and some Syrian-Armenians, at its production plant.
One peculiarity of the consumer market in Armenia, according to Movses, is the penchant to purchase brand-name rip-offs, or clothes imported from Turkey and China, rather than locally produced items.
Movses believes the day will come when local consumers will take a second look at goods displaying the “Made in Armenia” label.
Offer them a quality product at a reasonable price, and they’ll even buy it, says the young entrepreneur.
Photos: Vahe Sarukhanyan