Morocco: an unexpected opportunity

Wed 20 Jul 2016
Posted by: International Trade News

Ali Cherboub and Andy Jones

Maximising opportunities: left to right Ali Cherboub (distributor for Morocco) with Andy Jones, Head of Export at Cambridge Weight Plan

As an exporter, Cambridge Weight Plan is always looking for the next opportunity to extend its network of distributors around the world. Most new market development is approached methodically and strategically, but opportunities can also come out of the blue.

With a shortlist of key target territories to investigate, Morocco was not currently part of the ‘top five’. Other potential markets had scored more highly on the assessment matrix so, logically, they were of greater immediate interest.

However, organic growth opportunities should never be ignored!

Quite unexpectedly, we received communication from a former employee of our distributor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ali Cherboub, who had returned to his native Morocco due to family obligations. Ali had identified a business opportunity to bring Cambridge Weight Plan to North Africa and wished to discuss his proposal.

With his experience of the Company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Ali was already well informed regarding the policies, values and operational requirements of Cambridge Weight Plan. He also had first-hand knowledge of how a distributorship operates and the flexibility of the business model to adapt to each market.

Cambridge Weight Plan, although a food manufacturer by trade, is focussed upon the quality delivery of one-to-one support for clients wishing to lose weight. The products are only available via the one-to-one support provided by a Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant, whether they are employed by the distributor or working on a self-employed, direct sales basis.

Ali’s previous experience meant that he already understood the ethos of the Company – he already understood the key role the Cambridge Weight Plan Consultant plays in supporting the client – and he had a clear vision of how to bring Cambridge Weight Plan to Morocco.

The primary language of Morocco is Arabic, which could have presented a challenge as it is preferable to be able to enter a market using packaging in the native language. Fortuitously, we had already committed a significant amount of resource into commissioning packaging in the Arabic language to serve our existing markets in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

Ali was able to take copies of the Arabic packaging to the appropriate authorities in Morocco for product registration, helping him to establish his business and launch Cambridge Weight Plan in his native country.

As the newest member of the Cambridge Weight Plan distributor network, Morocco is a very young market, but with big potential for success. At the time of writing, the very first shipment of goods is on its way to Casablanca for Ali to begin his new venture and extend the reach of the Company into North Africa.

Morocco may not have been on our list, but the credentials and knowledge of a former colleague, coupled with having already created packaging in the appropriate language, the territory presented itself as a natural progression for growth.

Being open to potential is just as important as taking the planned approach to business development. Opportunities are everywhere!

For more information on Cambridge Weight Plan visit the website on

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