The Business Year

Mohamed El Baroudi

MOROCCO - Agriculture

Mohamed El Baroudi

Managing Director, SITI Tea

Bio

Mohamed El Baroudi graduated with a major in entrepreneurship from HEC PARIS in France. After a few years of working as a marketing consultant for key Moroccan advertising agencies, he joined SITI, the family business founded by his father in 2005. He held several positions in the company ranging from supply chain management to finance, before becoming Managing Director in 2008.

TBY talks to Mohamed El Baroudi, the Managing Director of SITI Tea.

How has SITI Tea developed since its inception, and what can you tell us about the sector in Morocco over that period?

SITI Tea was started in 1979 and specializes in packaging premium tea for international brands. While we are based in Marrakesh, the majority of our business is operated abroad. We export 99% of our production. We have a long history with a major strategic pivot in 2000. Until then, we had had a single client. We were focused on packing tea for the infusions branch of a French cosmetics brand. We decided in 2000 to part ways to develop our own markets and clients. That was the rebirth of the company so-to-speak. This was also when the well-being market really exploded world-wide. We surfed that wave, managing to find large clients on all five continents. We pack tea for key brands in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Australia, and Southeast Asia. We are supported by the global trend of wellness, well-being and healthy foods. This is our core positioning. We plan to develop our sourcing diversification strategy, which will be a major focus over the coming months. It is now a government priority to develop domestic alternatives to products that were imported until now, which translates into an opportunity for us. We want to increase our involvement with government officials and big players in the sector to accelerate the overall development of the herbal sector in Morocco.

What are your strategies for self-promotion internationally and brand selection?

Our strategy is very specific. We generally have a very targeted one-to-one strategy for each brand. When we identify a partner or client we want to work with, we try to develop a tailored offer adapted to their own strategy. We are really at the meeting point of the agro-industry sector and the luxury sector. We built our reputation in the early 2000s, when we took part in a number of trade shows. We grew by word of mouth from there on, within our very small sector. We enjoy a very well-established reputation in the sector, whereby we do not require an extensive promotion strategy.

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