Cihan Group: Weaving a Legacy of Innovation across a Multitude of Sectors
Author: Cihan Group
Cihan Group is an industry leader in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that has evolved over the decades from its early beginnings in the textile industry to becoming a multifaceted conglomerate that includes companies in more than ten different sectors. The group's journey reflects a dynamic blend of entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to development.
In 1947, Haj Yahya Bajger laid the foundation for what would become the Cihan Group through his textile business. The group expanded its horizons in 1971, venturing into general trading and wholesale textile operations with neighboring countries and the Far East. Over the years, Cihan Group diversified its portfolio, entering the clothing industry, plastic and paper bags sector, and later expanding into international trade with a focus on importing tea and fast consumer food items in 1994.
By 2004, Cihan Group further broadened its scope by establishing Cihan Motors as its Automotive Division. Subsequently, the creation of the Heavy Machinery division under Cihan Motors solidified its presence as the official dealer for renowned international brands such as Hino, Kawasaki, and Airman. The group's influence extended into education, banking, insurance, and energy sectors, reflecting its commitment to holistic growth.
In 2007, Cihan Group played a pivotal role in the educational landscape of the Kurdistan Region by founding Cihan University. This institution stands as one of the region's first private universities, emphasizing industry-aligned programs and fostering entrepreneurship. The university's initiatives, including internships, industry collaborations, and community engagement, aim to prepare a skilled workforce aligned with the economic needs of the region. This proactive approach ensures that graduates contribute meaningfully to the private sector and entrepreneurship in Kurdistan and Iraq.
Cihan Group has been a key player in the automobile sector since 1997, particularly through Cihan Motors in the Kurdistan Region. Importing Toyota vehicles from Japan marked a significant milestone, with subsequent projects like the Beige Color Toyota Taxi Project and the Farmers Union Project proving successful. As the Hino Authorized Dealer since 2016 and the acquisition of the Hertz franchise in 2017, Cihan Group rises up to the challenge of consistently delivering outstanding service and maintaining quality amid various circumstances.
Cihan Group's ownership of the Hertz franchise for the entirety of Iraq underscores the sustainability of the car rental business in the country. The success of franchising, however, relies heavily on customer awareness and adapting to market needs. Cihan Group has undertaken promotional efforts to educate the market on the benefits of car rental, emphasizing flexibility and resource optimization for businesses.
Beyond its core car rental business, the Hertz franchise in Iraq brings valuable practices into the local market. By investing in vehicle purchases, expanding branches, and generating employment, Hertz has contributed not only to its own growth but also to the broader development of the private sector. Hertz in Iraq operates in Baghdad, Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaymaniyah. Besides this, vehicles with drivers operate in the remotest parts of Iraq under NGOs and oil fields.
Cihan Group's journey from its inception in the textile industry to its current prominence in trading, foodstuff, automotive, car rental, education, banking, insurance, media, construction, and energy reflects a commitment to innovation, community development, and economic growth in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The group's diverse portfolio and strategic initiatives emphasize its role as a key player in shaping the region's future, contributing to workforce development, and driving economic progress.