Issad Rebrab’s photography is one of the most difficult exercises. How do we introduce a man who is no longer presented, without falling into a repetition, in Algeria and beyond, we know only so well?
The country’s most famous industry leader is necessarily the most famous. But the more active the connections of the group founded by him, Cevital, the more reticent the man is about his personality, his private life, his ideas.
Everyone knows Cevital and its president’s successes, products, turnover, heritage, glory hours and hard times. Perhaps very few know the life philosophy of the person behind all this who has just passed the torch.
Issad Rebrab, 78, decided to retire and hand the torch to his son Malik. He revealed some secrets of his atypical journey, from the steep Kabyle tracks, Djurdjura, on which he had to walk barefoot to go to school, to the cosmopolitan ones. Some aspects of his personality also do not leave you indifferent. Finally, the precious keys to its success.
Behind the investor hides in fact a very religious man and a great humanitarian. “All religions tell you: Do good to your neighbor, and never do harm. Those who are blessed by God are those whom He directs to good,” he declares.
Two hours of discussion with Issad Rebrab is a series of sayings and sentences, some of which are his own and some of which are borrowed. Everything is said in philosophy. “No, retirement is not the end. The only real end in this world is death.
“The Magic of Thinking Big”
After half a century of hard work, his withdrawal from the business and management of the group was effective. Recorded on Wednesday, June 22nd. He declares: “I will be available if I am asked for advice, otherwise I will be completely separated from the management of the Cevital group.”
For the first time in half a century, the Cevital group that grew under his wing, which he defended year after year of turmoil, and God knows that there are so many of them, will have to work without him.
The moment is certainly powerful and decisive. But he considered it a move that should happen anyway, without worry. “I’m not worried. I don’t have any concern about the succession. On the contrary, today we have more means for training,” asserts Asad Rebrab.
Cevital will continue to advance, invest, create wealth and export. These are the directions I gave. We have projects just starting, others under construction and others to be launched next year.
For this, he is counting on his son Malik, the new chief, who will be supported by the talents that the group possesses. “All Algerians” would like to define Issad Rebrab.
“Great talents, you have to look for them, but if you look good, you will find them,” he adds.
The most important criterion is integrity. But Issad Rebrab prefers to say it in a typical Algerian form: “The son of a good family is always the son of a good family.”
“Because in reality, he explains, there can only be wealth in a human being. When you have quality people, you can only be successful. This is one of the keys to his success, but it is not the only key.” “The Magic of Thinking Big.” This formula , he repeats it several times in two hours, admitting that it is not for him.
“The enemy is fear and ignorance”
The rise of Issad Rebrab is not a meteorite, as we hear here and there. The man started already “small”, after a difficult childhood in Tagumont Azzouz, near Beni Douala in Tizi Ouzou, under colonialism, who was also in a modest family.
Participation in a small metalworking company, setting up Profilor in the early 1970s, Metal Sider 20 years later, then Cevital and its affiliates from 1998. Throughout this journey that “wasn’t a quiet day along the river”, the “magic of thinking big” always works .
For Issad Rebrab, it’s all about the mind. The first condition for success is to be an optimist.
This is the advice he gives to young people. “You cannot be successful if you do not think you will succeed. The enemy is fear and ignorance,” he says. He has proven that success is possible in Algeria. Can the country succeed “collectively”?
The condition is the same, leave without hesitation. “People need to think positive collectively. Everyone, without exception, can shape their destiny through their mind. Politics has nothing to do. The most important thing is to direct people’s thoughts towards the good. If all Algerians are optimistic, the rest will be easy. In Algeria, opportunities Countless.
One thing leads to another, Asad Rebrab delivers another key to the success of his group: “Always reinvest. Our DNA is a permanent investment. Since 1971, we are achieving results, most of which we pay into the state budget, and the rest is systematically reinvested. We do not distribute up to 1% of our results.”
but that is not all. The private group also began to diversify. In addition to agro-food, its main activity, Cevital has subsidiaries in household appliances, flat glass, logistics and other activities.
For 55 years, Issad Rebrab has worked and invested in building the largest private Algerian group, one of the most important in Africa.
His greatest pride? “It created a lot of jobs. »
Here is his answer to the inevitable question of any new retiree: “I’ve traveled a lot, but now that I’m free, I’ll probably go around the world.” Firmly, “The Magic of Thinking Big” follows Issaad Rebrab even after his retirement.
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