An industry driven by emotions

He comes from Lebanon, but Poland is currently his home and he has been working as a business developer at MakoLab for almost two years. His wealth of experience, which includes time spent in the automotive sector, makes him a perfect fit for us! But how does he feel amidst our team? Insights talked to him and here’s what he had to say. Meet Martin Kanaan! 

When did you join MakoLab?

In March 2020.

How long have you been involved in business development?

Since 2008. I’m lucky to have worked in three completely different industries, each with its own dynamics and specific challenges. I started my business development career in banking. My job there was to set up and manage the sales and marketing department. Then I moved to the automotive industry, where I was responsible for brand promotion, creating brand awareness and generating sales.

A few years later, I joined MakoLab… and the task was harder than ever, mainly because I didn’t have an IT background. But that just made me more determined and motivated me to challenge myself and figure out the best way to make use of the experience and knowledge I’d gained throughout my career. Actually, I do believe that a broad work experience has its benefits as it gives you a keener eye for business.

You specialise in the automotive industry. What interests you most about that sector?

I’ve always been fascinated by cars, particularly sports cars. After the long, agonising years I spent working in the banking sector, I was teetering on the verge of boredom… and that was when I was offered a job at Maserati. Could I have turned down the opportunity to work in the industry that lies at the heart of my passion? An offer from the brand that was the focus of my childhood dreams? Of course I couldn’t!

The automotive industry is driven by emotions. It has so much to offer and teaches you such a broad set of skills. It’s also satisfying because you find yourself helping people to fulfil their dreams. Most of the brands have a huge heritage that translates into a vast resource of knowledge. And that knowledge is a major part of what makes it ‘the industry of the future’, especially with the use of technology.

What brought you to Poland and how did you end up living here?

Every parent wants a better future for their children. My wife and I have two children and, after the start of the October 2019 revolution in Lebanon, we felt that their chances of a safe and prosperous future were almost non-existent because of the failing economy and lack of security.

Luckily, the fact that my wife and children are Polish citizens made our move to Poland less difficult.

Did you have much trouble finding your feet in a strange country?

Not at all. Adapting to change comes naturally to me, just like a nomad. I believe this is one of the skills imprinted in our Lebanese DNA because our history has been marked by numerous waves of migration. The second thing was the presence of my family. I was still surrounded by their warmth.

And the final important reason that I found it so easy to fit in is the friendliness, openness and generosity of the Polish people. I’ve never felt like a stranger here.

Christmas is coming. You come from a country which is culturally very different from ours and which has very different traditions. Could you tell us something about seasonal celebrations in your family?

I come from Lebanon. It’s a beautiful Mediterranean country and one of the smallest on the globe. Yet culturally, it’s very rich and open. One of our most important values is family… and Christmas is the best occasion to celebrate that. On Christmas Eve, parents get together with their children and grandchildren. Everyone dresses to impress and the evening starts with dinner at home,.. and the food is super delicious! Lebanese cuisine is the best in the world! After that, it’s time to open the presents from under the Christmas tree. Finally, at midnight, the whole family heads to the local church to attend the Christmas Mass, which includes the best of Lebanese Christmas carols.

What do you most enjoy doing in your free time?

I make sure I spend it with my wife and children. Luka’s six and Kimi’s four-and-a-half and they’re both really smart and funny. The time I spend with them always feels like quality time! My wife is my best friend. In the past, we used to hang out at the gym… that’s actually where we met and where I proposed! But these days, we feel rather exhausted and simply don’t have the energy to hit the benches.

It looks as if our traditions really aren’t as far apart as it might seem. On the contrary! Mind you, Martin hadn’t heard about how animals speak with human voices on Christmas Eve…

2nd December 2021
4 min. read

Kamila Braszak

Employer Branding Specialist

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