When Alexander Bouri started trading cement in Nigeria, he could have never imagined that he’d end up founding one of the largest cement distributing companies in the world: Seament. Also known as Seament Holding, this company single-handedly revolutionized the cement industry as we know it, combating the cement crisis that took place in several countries around the globe.
Seament was started virtually from the ground up when Alex F. Bouri was a young insurance salesman in Nigeria. When he noticed that the country was having issues industrializing due to the fact that it did not have easy access to building materials, he decided to seize the opportunity. He took a chance, took out a $50,000 loan, and put his salesman skills to the test. It wasn’t long before he was aptly titled the Cement King by the locals.
The business expanded at a rapid pace, and Bouri quickly realized that Nigeria wasn’t the only country in desperate need of bulk building materials. Nigeria and many other countries were, in fact, in a state of crisis in the 1970’s, and thus, the demand for cement was extremely high. It was difficult to address the issue considering these countries didn’t have the necessary ports to be capable of importing bulk materials, but Bouri wasn’t about to give up that easy. He began purchasing specialized cement vessels, and shortly after, he conceptualized a solution to the port problem: floating cement terminals. These terminals didn’t require capable ports in order to ship cement; instead, they floated and acted as their own ports.
Seament was the first company in the industry to use the floating cement terminal, which helped the company’s reputation gain value in the eyes of other cement giants. Before long, those other companies began to ride on the company’s coattails, using the floating terminals to deliver their product around the world as well. This new invention was a huge game-changer in the cement industry. It allowed Seament Holding to produce over 12,000 metric tons a day and ship to countries that had never been able to receive cement before. These countries were now able to industrialize and develop – a feat they had been struggling with in the many years prior. Nine countries were pulled out of their cement crises with the help of Alex Bouri and his invention.
The company is still going strong today, with Bouri’s sons, Charlie Bouri, Mark Bouri, and Maurice Bouri managing it. It continues to be one of the industry’s most highly-respected and competitively positioned businesses.