Khartoum: Hussam Mirghani
Between the city of Sinkat in eastern Sudan and Shendi in North Sudan, the businessman Mahmoud Gasm Al- Seed al-Gurashi lived his childhood. His story deserves to become a model for everyone who dreams of wealth and business. He turned from just an ordinary calligrapher who engraved quotations on tombstones in the tombs of Farouk, in the capital Khartoum ,in the sixties of the last century, to one of the most prominent businessmen in Sudan and an international agent for major Japanese companies in the field of modern electric appliances and cars.
Mahmoud Gasm Al-Seed started his life in the city of Sinkat ,in eastern Sudan, where his father worked as a merchant and moved with his family to the city of Shendi in north Sudan early in his life after his father’s death. He studied his early academic stages in Shendi and then moved to Khartoum to work and study in Technological institute with the specialization of calligraphy. During his study years he continued to work as a calligrapher in Farouk’s tombs, writing the dates and names of the deceased in a beautiful calligraphy on the tombstones of the graves. Then he turned to write the newspaper headlines in Khartoum before the computer sets became the main technical player in the field of journalistic designing and calligraphy. Gasm Al- Seed then converted his working abilities to decorate many of the commercial corporations in Khartoum with luminous signs, which was then a manual set- up.
Mahmoud Gasm Al-Seed turned into a wealthy businessman after working with an Italian merchant in the field of shop decorations with electric lights, lines and ads in newspapers. The Italian merchant quitted Sudan due the grip of the May sovereignty led by Jaafar Nimeiri, who came to power via a military coup in the year 1969 and decided nationalization of foreign companies. Among them were the stores of the Italian merchant. The merchant presented his work to the worker with him Mahmoud Gasm al-Seed in the beginning of the seventies and left for him famous commercial shops in central Khartoum . Mahmoud was able to expand in his commercial activities to become later one of the most prominent capital names in Sudan.
Mahmoud Gasm Al-Seed’s star brightened in the era of the eighties, which witnessed his most prominent commercial spread and wealth. He contributed his money in building major national projects, among that supporting the “challenge “ highway that connects Khartoum and the state of the Nile River.
Gasm says that the societal transformation witnessed by Sudan with the introduction of electricity in the seventies made him think about a new commercial field where he used to import TV sets from Japan, revealing that 40% of Sudan TVs that entered Sudan during that period were sold from his stores in central Khartoum, which was known as Al-Adwaa stores, before he liquidated them ten years ago, to devote himself to taking care of his family and grandchildren, and to distribute his shop to his employees, just as the Italian did with him at the beginning of his career.
Remembering the past of his extensive business, Al-Seed adds that in the 1970s, the Koreans participated for the first time in the Khartoum International Fair, and they were displaying Royal Accord vehicles, dumpers, and 10-ton trucks. He contacted them and informed them of his desire to purchase vehicles from there” I had a greater ambition to increase profits and the capital and it was an adventure where no one had ever bought vehicles from South Korea, and I entered them in the Sudanese market in 1977. I visited Korea and purchased 10 Sihan vehicles . That it was the first time this item entered the local market. The price of the vehicle was 2800 dollars so I paid in the deal all the money capital I had owned, but the market here did not accept it and so I presented the cars as gifts to my friends , my family members and acquaintances for free loosing my capital only to start again from nothing.
Gasm Al -Seed turned after losing his capital to Japan. He said, “The Japanese entered the Sudanese market through the Sony dealership and the electronics that I used to trade and I predicted that the Japanese together with the Koreans will have a great future in Sudan as a market for their products and it has happened “
Gasm worked as an agent for Sony and TDK company specialized in producing cassette tapes, KDK fans, Antar air conditioners, Italian water heaters Bern, Italian ceramics, Daihatsu vehicles, Daewoo Sihan Bird vehicles, Italian Murano furniture, Italian kitchens for Laure and others. The History of car trading in Sudan preserves to Mahmoud Gasm Al-Seed as the first who imported (car carriers) for the labor market in the 1970s, from the German Mercedes brand ..
Ten years ago Gasm Al Seed’s felt that he had achieved a large part of his dreams in life and he has to rest, give up his work to his employees and keeping for himself only the good -will of his work. He transferred to others’ ownership about 18 large commercial stores in the Arabian market and Murhij building in the center of Khartoum and switched to real estate and furnished apartment rentals, which is a limited work and he can follow without fatigue or an effort that he spends to care for his large family In Khartoum and the United States of America.