Wed. May 22nd, 2024

Diplomat Distributors owner and CEO Noam Weiman and Schestowitz owner Yoni Schestowitz – Israel’s major importers

The average Israeli knows nothing about Noam Weiman or Yoni Schestowitz, but these owners and CEOs of two of Israel’s major importers – Diplomat Distributors and Schestowitz, respectively – have a massive impact on Israel’s high cost of living. For nearly 30 years, Weiman has controlled an importing empire that includes Procter & Gamble brands such as Gillette, Head & Shoulders and Oral B. He has annual sales of around 3.5 billion shekels ($1 billion) a year.

The diplomat also distributes Procter & Gamble products in Cyprus, Georgia, South Africa and New Zealand, though most of its sales are in Israel. Weiman controls 40% of his company with his sister, and he has considered taking it public at a valuation of between 1.2 billion and 1.3 billion shekels.
Schestowitz, his company’s lone shareholder, has sales of some 900 million shekels a year, but he probably has higher profitability. Schestowitz imports from companies such as Colgate-Palmolive and Johnson & Johnson.

Diplomat Distributors and Schestowitz took advantage of two major changes that Israeli society underwent in the early ‘90s – an improved quality of life and the launching of a commercial TV station, Channel 2, whose commercials helped the consumption culture penetrate Israel. Population growth also played a role. Still, the main reason for their outsize revenues is that for years Israel’s economy has suffered from concentration and thus a lack of competition, with politicians largely indifferent.

Both Weiman and Schestowitz inherited their companies from their fathers, though Weiman is responsible for building his into an empire. He’s the one who struck the partnership with Procter & Gamble in the early ‘90s, including the exclusivity agreement still in place.

Schestowitz’s father struck his company’s exclusivity deal with Gillette, which is what made that company, and the younger Schestowitz was able to keep his company a power despite the loss of Gillette to Weiman in 2005.

The two businessmen have outsize power over Israel’s retail market. Diplomat controls around 90% of the market for men’s shaving products and 82% of women’s shaving products. It also controls 33% of the shampoo market, including 85% of anti-dandruff shampoo. Via Colgate, Schestowitz controls 53% of the toothpaste market, and it has other strong brands such as Palmolive soap and Speed Stick deodorant. Israel’s cost-of-living protests in 2011 mostly targeted supermarket chain Super-Sol and food maker Tnuva, and overlooked the two importers, in part because the companies jealously guard their privacy.

They may have their status shaken by a reform being pushed by the Health Ministry to lift the bureaucracy on the import of toiletries, which would enable increased competition and lower prices. At the moment, that plan seems far off, particularly given the lack of a stable government. If it happens, these men will be a bit less influential



Bukaelly is an experienced author on various topics with a passion of writing stories of famous personalities, health issues, sports, journalists, news and trending topics. Enjoy reading!!

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