The Kettaneh story begins in Lebanon in the early 1920′s. With the opening to the West after the end of the Ottoman Empire came modernisation which necessitated a dynamic approach to international trading, construction and engineering. In this period of opportunity and challenge, Kettaneh would soon become a byword for integrity and rigour.
Francis Kettaneh, an engineer, built various roads, bridges and associated works for the emerging post-war transportation network in Lebanon. He also discovered ancient trade routes across the desert from Damascus to Baghdad and Tehran. Using some of the first cars and trucks in the Middle East, he reactivated these routes.
By the end of World War II, Kettaneh was representing a veritable Who′s Who of American industry: General Electric, Chrysler, IBM, Pratt and Whitney, DuPont, U.S. Steel, Burlington Mills, Sterling Drug, and others. With the re-emergence of Europe, the brothers brought about the quick and steady growth of their business, which soon acquired representation of leading European companies such as Atlas Copco, Michelin, Volkswagen and Siemens.
In the second half of the century, despite almost continuous turmoil, new opportunities arose and Kettaneh participated in building the vast new infrastructure of communications, manufacturing and utilities underpinning Middle Eastern development.
Some important projects were undertaken in partnership with well-known international firms. These joint ventures, with their greater resources, contributed to raising the international profile of Kettaneh as well as enhancing its construction and management techniques.