Seyyed Ali Asghar Ghafelehbashi (known as Mr. Seyyedin) started a number of successful import businesses. After acquiring several years of experience, he established Stankoimport of Iran around 50 years ago in 1967. His great entrepreneurial spirit was the result of a 1,000-year-old business tradition running in our family, since the time our ancestors owned caravans trading on the silk road. Our long-standing passion for trade is reflected in our family name, which means the leader of a caravan. One could say business is in our DNA.
Under my father’s leadership, Stankoimport of Iran became the first and largest metalworking showroom in Asia in the 70s and 80s with an inventory of over 850,000 machines across 50 different types. In the course of 20 years of operations, Stankoimport of Iran captured 75% market share by selling high-quality Russian machinery at the lowest price. With more than 20,000 light and heavy industrial machines sold, Stankoimport of Iran became the engine that drove Iran from a mainly agrarian society to an industrial one.
From an early age my father taught me to creatively tackle problems that bring a greater benefit to society than to my bottom line. My father used to say that we should create wealth by thinking big, seeing everyone as part of our team, and paying attention to the slightest detail and consequence of our work. One of the most important principles that was incorporated into the business environment I grew up in, was the philosophy that customers should always come first in the sense that all business decisions should have their best interest at heart.
After learning the tools of our trade from my father, who was my greatest mentor, I travelled to Switzerland and the United States to gain a perspective on international trade as well as to learn about the high standards of doing business abroad. In the course of my education I was taught analytical and forecasting tools to be able to plan and foresee potential challenges up to 10 years ahead of time.
Our past is not just a history, its a legacy. This is why based on my family background and professional experience, I can tell you that Stankoimport, the first location of our cash and carry business, will be handled differently from the other 39 branches of the business because it has been in the family for 50 years.