Since our founder Shaikh Ali Salem Ali Bin Afif was a young man in Makkah, he was a hard worker. Things were different in the olden days. He would do menial jobs working in kitchens, serving who came to perform their Omara and Haj.
Serving and learning from his uncles who did service the Hajeej before him.
He had big dreams, so persuade his education at the Kuttab and learned to read and write and memorized Al Quran, as his family included famous scholars in Makkah at the time.
His entrepreneurial spirit was strong, so he went to start his first business. A Currency exchange shop that didn’t last for long, but hey… this is the entrepreneurs life. It can’t possibly workout every time.
After that he started a gourmet shop selling fabrics. This time he did well and achieved a good amount of success. He was approached by an American company specialized in fabrics, based in New York. That was his first time outside of Saudi Arabia. He had so many ideas that he was excited to share but couldn’t.
The language barrier was a big one and he couldn’t achieve his plans for that trip, so he returned to Saudi angrily and decided to travel to United Kingdom for an entire year to perfect his English. And so, he did. He closed the fabric shop and travelled.
In the UK he was amazed by the factories he witnessed there and all the technological advancement the UK exhibited at the time. Was fascinated by the machines, that is way he had to travel to Germany. Visited factories, formed relationships and travelled back to Saudi.
And opened the largest and first German technology based Automatic Landry operation in the western region of Saudi, the laundry business was a huge success that lasted for 15 years.
Another business that captivated in Germany, was the salt industry.
At the time in Saudi, salt in the western region used to come from place called Debsa, it is a place in the south of Saudi where traditional methods were used to extract the Salt from the Red Sea. These traditional methods produced limited amounts of salt maintaining the quality was a challenge not easily solved.
It was a great opportunity. An opportunity that called for anther visit to Germany.
On 1976, The Saudi automatic salt refinery was founded. Fast forward till today, The Saudi automatic salt refinery has been a more than 45 years success story. Producing the purest, best-selling Salt brand in Saudi Arabia. The factory has been expanded three times, right now it is the biggest Salt refinery in the whole of middle east.
Currently, the third generation of the Bin Afif family is managing the Salt refinery. Working hard and preparing for the next generation to take over someday.