MOHAMED IFRAH

Morocco 2020 | TRANSPORT | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Mohamed Ifrah, General Director of DHL Express (Maroc), on evolving operations in Morocco, the digital revolution, and human resources requirements.

How have your operations evolved since opening in 1987, and what are DHL's operations in Morocco today like?

We were the first express company to operate in Morocco since 1987. We started as small shop and went on to become one of the top 150 companies in Morocco today. Our staff, assets, clients and volumes have grown substantially during that time. Our main focus is still to be the partner and provider of choice in order to reinforce our position as leader in the market by offering the best service quality to our customers.

What is the strategy behind your facility expansion in Tangier?

Tangier is becoming the fastest-growing area in Morocco. As a logistics company, we have to follow and listen to the voices of both businesses and customers and invest where the need is in order to be very close to our customer and provide the best solutions. Today we are the only express logistics company with a warehouse in Tangier. The warehouse is 1,800sqm, and we have a daily weekday freight aircraft Airbus 300 that lands there in the morning and takes off in the afternoon with a capacity of more than 60 tons per day.

What are the most important sources of revenue for DHL here?

In Morocco B2B is still the dominant contributor to our revenue at more than 80%. Our different offers suite the market needs and our customers' portfolio is rich and variant, wherever we can have additional revenue we will operate and offer our services. We serve the automotive, aeronautic, banking and financial, textile, handy-craft and logistics sectors for example. We are here to answer to market needs whether it is B2B or B2C. We invested in many cities and regions from north to south of the kingdom and we are happy to offe our services at 20 service points and express centers.

Will e-commerce grow further in Morocco?

Yes it will, indeed we noticed during the last couple of years that e-commerce in Morocco is growing in both ways “Import and Export." With regard to import we are as a compliant company working hand-in-hand with local authorities to ease the use of e-commerce shipments to Moroccan customers. On the other hand we offer our expertise, knowledge, and infrastructure to our customers to help them selling their goods to their customers sited abroad. The world today is more oriented to digitalization and e-commerce is seen to be the digital market for the future. With recent upgrade of hard currency allowance from foreign exchange office we can expect that inbound e-commerce shipment will increase further, in parallel the increasing number of new startups is an encouraging sign that e-commerce will also increase in export. We in DHL Express are ready to serve and support this increasing business by giving advice based on our own experience in Morocco and worldwide, by offering the largest coverage of the kingdom in terms of infrastructure and staff, the largest international network covering 220 countries and territories. We also support our customers in terms of IT and selling advice. As a logistics company, we have to listen to the market, and for the time being B2C is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world.

How will the digital revolution change the market in Morocco?

Morocco is affected by digitalization as much as anywhere in the world. Our daily challenge is to make our customers' lives easier by giving them the opportunity to manage and access information immediately, and the digital revolution is offering this and will continue to positively push markets. This will help mainly in terms of time and cost saving and in terms of fluent and fast communication. We have seen the massive use of new technologies like smartphones, and the importance of social media. Another important aspect of digitalization is robotics, and DHL now has three innovation centers globally oriented toward new technologies. The last one opened this year in the US. We provide our customers with the newest technology available.

What are your requirements for your human resources, and what measures did you take to win the best employer award?

Our main question is: what can DHL do to improve your life? Once we make sure we motivate our people, then the workforce will recognize the efforts made by DHL. Since then being best employer and top employer becomes logic retribution and we are proud to be in this position. It is definitely a challenge to be top employer for two years in a row. It is even more difficult to sustain this recognition and improve our employees' life. We are looking for excellence through different programs and will continuously work every year, month, week, and day to make sure today is better than yesterday. Our workforce is our main differentiator, our power to deliver the best quality of service that our customers expect from us.

What have been your efforts regarding sustainability and green practices in the country?

We engage our employees through different initiatives across three programs. One of them is Go Teach, and this year we were happy to go to an area in Labrouj 200km from Casablanca to refurbish a public school there. We went there again with our employees to make sure things have been done and are sustained. We have another program Go Help, which has not less than 20 activities that we do on an annual basis. Last but not least is our program Go Green where we plant trees, contribute to reduce CO2 emission and usage of paper to make sure we are focused on the environment. Go Green, Go Help, and Go Teach are global programs that were launched a few years ago, and we continue to apply and leave them in Morocco.

What is your main goal for the company in 2020?

We are in a good shape so we will not change much of what we have done so far. We will continue to take care of our employees, focus on quality, and listen to our customers and make sure we are their first choice whenever they think about logistics. In Morocco, we will continue to invest in our people and in our infrastructure listening to the voices of employees, voices of customers, and voices of business.