THE RIGHT EXPERTISE

Morocco 2020/21 | INDUSTRY | INTERVIEW

BASF Morocco is active in numerous key segments, including agriculture, water treatment, chemicals, and automotive paints.

Khaldoun Bouacida
BIOGRAPHY

Khaldoun Bouacida has an MS in mechanical engineering from Universitaet Kaiserslautern, Germany, and an MS in industrial engineering from École des Mines, Nancy. He has worked with BASF since 2008 as area sales manager and sales and industry manager based out of Istanbul and head of strategy and market development and head of sales for the UAE platform based out of the UAE. Prior to his time in BASF, he worked in a variety of management, engineering, and consulting positions in Tunisia and France. He is fluent in Arabic, French, English, and German, in addition to basic skills in Turkish, Italian, and Spanish.

What is the main role of BASF in the Moroccan economy?
BASF provides raw materials and solutions for the industrial value chain here, so it truly creates value in Morocco and beyond. We provide the ingredients for local producers in Morocco and create value in terms of products, jobs creation, and innovation. This is the big differentiator in what BASF does in Morocco that others perhaps do not. We are not B2C; we are B2B. We work with most of the big players and medium-sized companies in Morocco. We call the mid-sized local companies our local champions. We also bring in know-how and the right sustainable solutions for growth. BASF's aim is not to sell products, but to sell the right products so that our customers can grow and differentiate themselves from the competition. We seek to give our customers an edge with the most up-to-date materials and solutions. We want to create value in the country. Our KPIs reflect this—we want to sell things that match our customers' needs and add value. We also help producers in Morocco expand their business geographically into places like South Africa and Gabon. We even produce in Morocco and export to sub-Saharan Africa. We also provide our customers with technical training and hold regular symposiums. BASF's agricultural division goes into the field with a caravan and shows farmers new technologies, helps them identify and combat diseases, and teaches them to increase their yields in a smart and responsible way. Our aim is not to flood the market with products, but to help the customer grow in a sustainable way. BASF builds long-term relationships.

Who are BASF's main partners?
They are in many sectors. Our partners are large players and the local champions in the paint sector and in the shampoo and detergent manufacturing segments. We also serve companies using coatings and most of the local Moroccan brands manufacturing shoes and mattresses. We look at what these customers want, and if we do not have a ready-made solution, we customize a solution for them. BASF signed an exclusive agreement with PSA Maroc regarding e-coating and a brandnew production line.

Can you tell us more about this tender?
The strategy is to work hand in hand with our global key accounts, and PSA is a key account for BASF worldwide. Whenever PSA invests in a country, we work to help it because PSA knows our products, so there is no disruption to its production lines. There are companies that want to invest in Morocco because BASF is here, and we can provide them with technical and warehousing services and technical expertise. Companies also feel comfortable when they see other multinationals already established here.

What AI and digital technologies and solutions is BASF using in Morocco?
In Morocco, most of the digital trends we are following are related to agribusiness. We are fairly advanced in screening fields, identifying diseases at an early stage, and using the right solutions at the right time. This includes monitoring diseases and their spread and the application of treatments. This is extremely helpful because agriculture is a major pillar of Morocco's economy. We also have to be careful with the responsible use of any solutions. In terms of digital technology, we also have online platforms where customers can order, pay, and arrange for delivery of products directly with us.

Would you expand on BASF's internal mobility program for its employees?
Our job positions are open to anyone worldwide. If one has the right skills and competencies, they have the opportunity to apply. We have people in Germany, South Africa, France, and the UAE. BASF is a multinational. In our country cluster, we have people from Algeria, Brazil, and China. Our HR structure is mobile and based on skills and competencies. Diversity is a driver; it brings a great deal of new vision and ideas with it.