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A family affair: Amen Zoabi and Khalil Hafza

Cousins and Joint Managing Directors of Binah, Amen Zoabi and Khalil Hafza, knew they were destined to achieve something special. They grew up together, and both attended Western Sydney University, where they completed the same civil engineering degree. More importantly, they shared the same vision for building a values-based, family-oriented construction company.

Amen Zoabi and Khalil Hafza, Managing Directors of Binah Group

Founded in 2008, the family’s company, Binah, now employs more than 50 staff and has constructed a wide range of high-profile projects throughout Sydney. “The company’s real growth has happened over the past three years with, on average, almost 100% growth each year,” says Khalil. “Our goal is to continue that success, and achieve about 30% growth over the next three years.”

Binah’s impressive portfolio includes significant residential and commercial projects, including Western Sydney University’s state-of-the-art vertical campus. This project tested the company’s skills by throwing up a major change in scope mid-construction, but Binah rose to the occasion and resolved all those issues to the client’s total satisfaction. It was a proud moment for Amen and Khalil.

“The team did exceptionally well, delivering an amazing amount of extra work, four-and-a-half months ahead of schedule,” Khalil recalls. “Binah provided everything that our client needed to achieve the construction deadline. We like to think we made a molehill out of a mountain, and got the complex job done. Western Sydney University said it was the best experience they’ve ever had with a building company.”

Binah focuses primarily on residential development, but is diversifying into different construction sectors to propel the company to higher growth targets. Commercial and aged care construction projects now feature prominently in Binah’s strategic plan, and Amen and Khalil are excited by this new direction for the company.

“When businesses grow larger than they set out to be, it can often impact their internal culture,” Khalil says. “But we are both very clear that the size of our business won’t influence our client relationships, and it won’t be at the expense of our company culture.”

Binah recently introduced the new role of Client Care Manager to focus specifically on client follow-up and after-service care. “We see our purchasers as lifelong partnerships,” explains Khalil.

Amen Zoabi and Khalil Hafza, Managing Directors of Binah Group

Rather than simply constructing new buildings, both directors envisage the company’s brand as fostering new communities in all their residential projects, providing better lives and new opportunities for the residents.

“The ‘Binah Way’ is about giving 100% and leaving no one behind,” says Amen. “We have a highly collaborative approach to decision-making in the business, which gives the whole team a sense of ownership and empowerment. Every decision made and every step taken by our team represents who we are as a business. We want everyone at Binah to think, ‘I treat it as if it’s my business’, because it is.”

“Every decision our team make and every step they take represents who we are as a business.”

At the completion of each Binah construction, an olive tree is planted to recognise the Managing Directors’ Lebanese heritage and celebrate its safe completion. It’s a special moment for the company as a reflection of what they have achieved and where they’ve come from.

Binah is also a generous supporter of charities such as OzHarvest and R U OK. “Our business is a vehicle to give us an opportunity to help others less fortunate,” says Amen. “We’d like this to be a legacy that represents us long after we’re gone. We see it as an opportunity to do spectacular things.

“The success of our business will be defined by the people leading it and working in it,” he adds. “Our job is to facilitate and create a platform for our staff to grow personally, because when they grow, the business grows with them. Our people really are the backbone of this business. We have a strong culture underpinned by family values. We believe this will contribute to our longevity in an industry that’s not necessarily renowned for this approach. We’re doing things a little differently.”

“The success of our business will be defined by the people leading it and working in it.”

“There’s an in-built loyalty and respect that comes from being family,” Khalil agrees. “This underpins not only our partnership, but also how we interact with our staff, our subcontractors and consultants, our clients and buyers. We have exceptional talent in our staff – the company is going to be in good hands, whichever way the business grows.

“We want them all to feel part of the Binah family.”

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