Tuesday, 20 August

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

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Comments (2)
1. Arka Gatian 20:01 - 26 July, 2017
Very encouraging to hear such success stories. Mosini was able to create 22 jobs & if each job holder's family consist of 4 individuals, this business is having a positive impact on 88 person's lives by lifting their family income. Diaspora Minister should make a video about Movses and other individuals having such success stories and go on a tour in Russian Federation, Europe, Middle East and USA Diasporas and make a presentation about possibilities of doing business in Armenia. This might be a start to counter the negative image of Armenia as having a rampant corrupt system.
2. Hagop00:46 - 27 July, 2017
This is a great to hear, and I wish the family lots of success in the future. I hope such businesses and more importantly, the mindset of these owners becomes an example for others to follow in Armenia, both the locals and diaspora newcomers. One thought about the passage in this article: "the penchant to purchase brand-name rip-offs, or clothes imported from Turkey and China, rather than locally produced items". This is in fact very disappointing, because it shows several issues with consumers in Armenia, and to an extent also the government. First, Armenians need to get educated in this subject, because it seems 'careless ignorance' is widespread. (I understand this is an economic class issue, but regardless). There needs to be a nation-wide movement to bring awareness to Armenians aiding and abetting the genocidal policies of a nation which wants to wipe out Armenia. Turkish products in Armenia is a total shame and disgusting, and firstly the people need to be the ones to reject all such products. Armenians who are buying Turkish products when they have other choices are nothing more than a bunch of bottom-feeding simpletons in my view. This brings us to "what about when there is no choice"? In this case the government comes in, and the diaspora leaders and business people. That is when a plan can be set in motion so that there actually becomes a choice. That is why I also blame the government partly. Regarding Turkish products in Armenia just recently an amateur in the government claimed "this is a choice of the people". What a fool. Are you a "government official" or not? It's good he's out now, but still, this mentality is probably still there.
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