______Career Path______

Beyond the black and white of resumes and professional summaries lies a world rich with stories, waiting to be told. This page is not just a collection of experiences but a timeline of my professional journey, where each step is a unique chapter of learning and growth. From the dynamic Consumer Electronics and Home Appliances Industry to the bustling retail floors and into the realm of heavy machinery & services, my career has been a vivid mosaic of evolving roles and expanding horizons.

In this narrative, you will discover how my experiences, ranging from an insightful internship at Marjane Holding to spearheading Business Intelligence initiatives at SMT, have shaped my expertise. Each role, meticulously chronicled in this timeline, has been a critical building block in my quest to merge financial acumen with data-driven decision-making. My career journey stands at the exciting intersection of FP&A and Data Analytics and AI, illustrating a relentless pursuit of learning, growth, and excellence.

Join me as I unfold the chapters of my professional story, inviting you to explore the milestones and transformations that have defined my path. This background page is not a resume but a journey through time and milestones.

From Internship to Career Launch

Meknes | March 2010 - August 2010

"The high-transaction retail industry was the perfect launchpad for my Career."

In the final year of my education, a long-term internship was a requisite. I chose Marjane Holding, a leader in developing retail stores, hypermarkets, and big-box outlets, for this pivotal phase. My six-month journey as an Assistant Controller Trainee at their Meknes city location was a transformative experience. I rapidly evolved from applying academic theories to mastering practical aspects of financial control and planning. This included getting to grips with budgeting, forecasting, and leveraging dashboards in the closing process. A key focus was the inventory process in the fresh food section, where I honed my skills in production margin calculation. My contributions to the semi-annual inventory assessments, especially in shrinkage analysis, were notable. Collaboration with diverse store teams was a crucial part of my role, significantly boosting operational efficiency.

Upon completing my internship, Marjane offered me a position as a Section Business Manager. However, an opportunity at Biougnach, a burgeoning enterprise in home appliances distribution, caught my attention. They were seeking a Junior Financial Controller to guide their expansion with technical and financial acumen, particularly in establishing cost accounting and control parameters. This role aligned more closely with my financial background, presenting a more attractive and challenging career path. Thus, I embarked on an exciting journey in controlling and data, marking the beginning of my focused career in this field.

Junior Role, Major Impact

Meknes | September 2010 - May 2014

"My journey in finance began ideally in the family-driven atmosphere of a retail company."

In my tenure as Financial Controller at Biougnach, a renowned player in Morocco’s home appliance sector, I was a key figure in its transformational journey. From humble beginnings in a small apartment, Biougnach expanded into a formidable retail network under my financial stewardship. I played a versatile role, ranging from implementing stringent fraud detection protocols across store locations to launching sophisticated cost accounting systems, and crafting detailed reports and dashboards. This period was not only a testament to my growing expertise in finance and data analysis, but it also unexpectedly propelled me into facilities management, filling a critical gap in the organization.

A standout achievement was the overhaul of our cost accounting processes. I led the integration of an advanced system, optimizing the management of variable expenses. My deep-dive sales analyses, dissecting data by brands, suppliers, categories, and product families, were pivotal in enhancing operational efficiency. I also established standardized data scrutiny templates, ensuring alignment between the general ledger, P&L, and balance sheets, and facilitated direct mappings for P&L elements, boosting data accuracy and operational effectiveness.

Working in tandem with a forward-thinking CEO, we embraced innovation and sustainable growth. My role in strategic business planning and the adoption of Synergie, a cutting-edge financial software from a Moroccan IT startup, was critical. This move was a turning point in our modernization, improving data fidelity and elevating our reporting capabilities.

Beyond this, I managed budget forecasting, created advanced dashboards for variance analysis, and played a significant role in business reporting. My preparation of materials for monthly board meetings enhanced transparency and strategic decision-making. Analyzing store-wise profitability, I enabled the company to optimize network performance and profitability.

This chapter in my career was more than managing finances in a rapidly evolving retail environment; it was a crucible for honing my skills in finance and data analytics, significantly influencing my professional path. When Marjane Holding approached me for a store operational controller position, it was a validation of my expertise. Their rapid expansion required specialists familiar with their operations, and my experience at Biougnach, coupled with my prior internship at Marjane, made me an ideal candidate. This marked a significant milestone in my career, exemplifying my commitment to excellence and innovation in finance and data analytics.

Driving Success Together: The Power of Business Partnering

Taza | June 2014 - October 2016

"My path in business partnering commenced in the vibrant, collaboration-infused environment of Marjane Taza HyperMarket."

In 2014, my career took a significant turn when I joined Marjane, a retail giant in Morocco with a remarkable annual revenue of $1 billion and a profit of $30 million. Recognized as one of the top ten companies in the country, Marjane has been influential in the retail sector for over 20 years and employs over 10,000 associates.

In facing the initial challenge of an uncertain work location with Marjane, I embraced the adventure despite leaving the familiarity of my hometown. The training period at the company’s headquarters was crucial for understanding my responsibilities and grasping their meticulous reporting standards, including report creation and ad-hoc analyses. Subsequently, I joined Marjane’s Tangiers store for three months, under a senior controller’s mentorship, focusing on inventory management, communication through dashboards, and managing the end-of-month process. My training also encompassed learning about the fresh food section’s transformation workshops and gaining insight into product journey, technicalities, and cost implications. This experience was instrumental in enhancing my understanding of Marjane’s complex operations and preparing me for future responsibilities.

In September 2014, I was assigned to the city of Taza, where I took charge of a store comprising 100 dedicated individuals in the northeastern region of the country. My role was akin to being the store’s co-pilot, overseeing all technical aspects of performance. This role required close collaboration with the store manager, a highly competent woman from whom I gleaned invaluable insights. I worked closely with various teams, including business section managers, HR, inventory reception, cash management, and asset security. This phase also marked my initial foray into a managerial role, as I led a team consisting of an accountant, pricing agent, and assistant.

What truly excites me about the role of an operational controller at Marjane is the human aspect it embodies. While often referred to as “soft skills,” I prefer to emphasize their “human skills” nature. My deep engagement with the team daily, especially during the pivotal phase of preparing for the year’s Forecast 2 and budgeting for the following year, underscored the significance of these skills. It was a period marked by the inclusion of newly hired team members, making it a fulfilling experience for me to provide them with training on prediction methodologies. This training encompassed considerations such as market inputs, historical data, seasonal influences on sales, margin analysis, DIO (Days Inventory Outstanding) targets, and more. The emphasis was on effective interactions and empowering them with the knowledge to utilize MS Excel for in-depth analysis and setting up forecasts and budgets. Even my team was involved; for example, I assigned the store’s accountant the crucial role of tracking all operational expenditures and providing essential data to the teams. This role involved equipping him with advanced Excel skills, a task that yielded significant benefits.

One of the achievements I hold in high esteem is our substantial contribution to EBIT improvement. It is worth noting that our store faced the challenge of generating insufficient top-line revenue to cover all expenditures. This prompted a strategic shift in focus, led by both the manager and myself, to enhance the most impactful ratios within the Profit & Loss statement.

For instance, I consistently provided the team with a list of the Top 50 products historically associated with high shrinkage impact. This initiative sought to strike a balance between purchases and sales, ultimately reducing losses. The results were exceptionally gratifying; within just six months of implementation, the shrinkage ratio plummeted from 0.75% to a mere 0.28%, significantly bolstering our P&L. We earned the distinction of being the flagship store for achieving such remarkable results, a testament to the collaborative efforts of the entire team and the effectiveness of the Excel tool I introduced.

Another notable strategic move was our focus on enhancing gross profit, particularly in the fresh food section. We strategically opted for a lower margin percentage to bolster competitiveness and attract a larger customer base. This approach increased revenue, translating into a lower gross margin percentage but a substantially improved gross profit value. This strategic shift bore fruit in 2015 when we achieved an exceptional performance – a remarkable +21% increase in fresh food sales and a noteworthy +10% rise in gross profit. This accomplishment successfully mitigated the marginal drop of -3.5 percentage points in margin.

Furthermore, there are numerous examples I could cite to underscore our accomplishments. However, as a controller, one aspect I deem crucial to highlight is how this experience deepened my understanding of the essence of business partnering. In this role, a significant portion, approximately 80%, revolved around on-site practices with diverse teams representing a multitude of backgrounds, competence levels, and motivation. What truly counted was our collaborative spirit, the mutual respect that prevailed, and our shared commitment to helping each team achieve its goals. This entailed providing various resources, including Excel analysis, proactive initiatives, and a genuine willingness to collectively thrive with a unified focus and common goal. This collaborative approach proved instrumental in our resounding success.

Expanding Horizons: Embracing Greater Challenges in a larger store

Mohammedia | November 2016 - March 2018

"My Mohammedia chapter equipped me to excel as a Senior Controller and share my knowledge as a mentor."

In my new role at Mohammedia’s key store, I faced a challenging but pivotal situation. As a major outlet for the company, boasting over 300 skilled associates and a notable annual turnover of $70 million, the store had significant issues. With no controller for the past six months, it struggled with high inventory levels, increased Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO), and notable depreciation, compounded by a two-year sales downturn due to a disruptive urban road project.

Facing initial resistance, I leveraged my business partnering skills to navigate these challenges. At first, the team perceived my role as that of a ‘cop,’ closely monitoring and scrutinizing their work. However, I quickly shifted this perception by demonstrating that my approach was not about policing, but about collaboration and driving efficiency.

A breakthrough came with my first application of Power Query and Power Pivot, allowing for daily tracking of high Days Inventory Outstanding and depreciating items. This insight led to targeted price promotions and the effective redistribution of high-demand, slow-moving inventory, as well as strategic store transfers.

My approach also streamlined supplier negotiations, reducing Gross Profit losses through direct purchases of fast-moving products, and securing financial support from suppliers. This resulted in a notable reversal of accounting provisions, cutting inventory depreciation by 50% in just eight months. Most significantly, the Power Pivot model was adopted across almost all stores, enabling daily inventory management and contributing to an 18% decrease in total inventory provisions in the latter half of 2017

A key achievement was the benchmarking of product families against other stores, revealing a pricing gap in several items. This discovery led to strategic price adjustments and focused local marketing, capitalizing on the completion of nearby construction to attract former customers. These actions yielded a remarkable 13% increase in sales over the budgeted forecast and a 26% year-over-year growth in the second semester.

In my role, I was tasked with spearheading board meetings at the store level, where I played a pivotal role in shaping strategic decisions, presenting key performance indicators, and facilitating critical discussions on operational improvements. This not only involved in-depth analysis and reporting of store performance but also required effective communication skills to engage various stakeholders and drive consensus on important issues.

Furthermore, as a senior controller, my role extended to managing the Household business unit on a national level. This responsibility entailed providing comprehensive metrics and insights during focused directors’ meetings for this specific unit. I was tasked with presenting a detailed analysis of various key performance indicators (KPIs), including turnover compared to budget and prior year, gross profit, gross margin, inventory levels, shrinkage, and other critical metrics. These presentations were vital in guiding the unit’s strategic direction, identifying areas for improvement, and making informed decisions to enhance overall performance and profitability.

Additionally, I played a pivotal role in the professional development of new hires and internally promoted controllers within the region. My collaboration with the headquarters’ controlling and IT teams was crucial in this aspect, ensuring a seamless integration and upskilling of these team members. This synergy between departments facilitated the sharing of best practices and fostered a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Charting New Heights in 2018 as Group Controller at Corporate HQ

Casablanca | April 2018 - May 2020

"Moving from the store to HQ represented the second major milestone of my professional path."

Transitioning to the Headquarters presented a significant crossroads in my career. Moving from a managerial position at the store, where I led a team, to a role at Headquarters without direct reports was a challenging decision. I was faced with two options: remain at the store as a manager to retain my leadership title, or embrace the opportunity at Headquarters which, though devoid of a team, offered more intriguing duties and broader learning prospects. Opting for the latter, I embraced the challenge to expand my skills and experience.

Joining the FP&A team at Headquarters marked a significant milestone in my career, where I took on the responsibility of supervising a network of 40 stores. This role involved intricate interactions with over 55 controllers across various departments including stores, supply chain, and purchasing. My daily activities extended to collaborating closely with corporate managers in accounting, audit, finance, IT, business intelligence, and facilities management, as well as engaging directly with executive-level leadership.

In this capacity, I played a crucial role in controlling the end-month closing processes across the entire company. A key part of this involved ensuring the reliability of data within IBM Cognos, our chosen consolidation software. This responsibility was pivotal in maintaining the integrity and accuracy of our financial reporting.

Another significant aspect of my role was the production and distribution of the company’s monthly reports. This encompassed a range of critical financial documents, including P&L statements, activity reports, dead stock reports, and OPEX reports, among others. Each report was crafted to provide clear and actionable insights, essential for informed decision-making across the company.

My responsibilities also extended to working with the organization department to streamline and enhance existing processes. This collaborative effort was key in optimizing our operational efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, I played an active role in meetings with external auditors, providing valuable insights and putting financial figures into perspective, ensuring a transparent and accurate representation of our financial status.

Collaboration was a fundamental aspect of my role, especially in my interactions with ten regional controllers. Fortunate to work alongside a highly skilled Head of Controlling and an exceptionally experienced FP&A team, we collectively enhanced various financial templates and canvases. Our collaborative efforts focused on customizing these tools to more effectively address the unique requirements of our diverse operations. This synergy not only improved our financial processes but also enriched my professional expertise through exposure to their vast experience and knowledge.

Supporting store controllers on-site during critical periods, such as inventory processes and budgeting phases, was also a key aspect of my duties. This on-the-ground support not only strengthened our financial accuracy but also fostered a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities within each store, enabling more effective and tailored financial strategies.

This role at the Headquarters was not just a position; it was a platform where I could leverage my skills and experience to contribute significantly to the company’s financial health and strategic direction.

Choosing Growth Over Comfort: My Transformative Journey During Covid-19

Casablanca | June 2020 - Ongoing

"Transitioning from Marjane to SMT was the most challenging and significant decision in my career."

In the early spring of 2020, as the world grappled with the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new chapter in my career unexpectedly unfolded. I was presented with an offer from SMT, a Belgian multinational operating across Europe, Africa, and North America. Renowned for its exclusive dealership of heavy equipment such as loaders, excavators, bulldozers, trucks, buses, generators and engines from prestigious brands like Volvo, Hitachi and Marcopolo, SMT also prides itself on offering premium aftersales services. This opportunity was a testament to the professional reputation I had cultivated; it came as a recommendation from my former manager at Marjane Holding, a highly competent leader under whose guidance I had thrived. She had endorsed my profile to SMT’s HR, recognizing my potential to bring significant value to their relatively young subsidiary, established in late 2016 through the acquisition of Volvo Equipment’s business unit in Morocco.

Initially, the prospect of change during such a tumultuous period was daunting. The world was in the throes of a global pandemic, making any career move inherently risky. Moreover, I was comfortably ensconced in a role where I was witnessing a meteoric rise in revenue due to panic buying, a stark contrast to the challenges SMT was likely facing. The thought of leaving a position where I had a broad and impactful scope for an uncharted territory was, to say the least, intimidating.

However, the allure of stepping into a multinational environment was strong. SMT, a young company experiencing rapid expansion, offered a radically different industry experience and held an impressive reputation across Europe and Africa. What captivated me most was the business intelligence aspect of the role, promising an avenue to develop and implement automated pipelines and dashboards tailored to the subsidiary’s unique needs. Despite reservations from colleagues who viewed my decision as audacious, especially during a time when many companies were struggling to maintain revenue and cash flow, I saw this as a pivotal moment. Accepting the offer from SMT meant stepping out of my comfort zone, breaking free from the familiar bubble, and embarking on a journey that promised growth, challenge, and the thrill of navigating new frontiers in a multinational landscape. In June 2020, with a mix of anticipation and resolve, I made the leap, setting the stage for an exhilarating new phase in my professional odyssey.

In my current role at SMT, I am deeply involved in a dynamic and multifaceted approach to FP&A and controlling, with a significant thrust towards Business Intelligence. A cornerstone of my tenure has been the adaptation and implementation of advanced BI tools, particularly Power BI, to meet the specific needs of our Morocco subsidiary. Initially, the challenge was formidable – transforming the dashboard creation process, which was once mired in lengthy data collection and transformation phases. Embracing Power BI, I navigated its steep learning curve and emerged proficient, capable of producing intricate, automated reports from ground zero.

A major ongoing project is the 2024 CFO Dashboard, aimed at providing top-tier strategic insights for our executive decision-making. This dashboard is a testament to my forward-thinking approach, designed to synthesize complex financial data into actionable intelligence, tailored to the unique business environment and operational nuances of Morocco.

My contributions extend beyond the CFO Dashboard. I have designed and implemented critical performance-monitoring dashboards, pivotal in shaping our strategic decisions. Projects like the After Sales Analytics and Machinery Analytics dashboards have been particularly impactful. The After Sales dashboard, for instance, brings together diverse data streams such as spare parts, contracts, and workshop details into a unified, insightful view, while the Machinery dashboard offers a deep dive into aspects like revenue trends, customer behavior, and cost analysis – all calibrated to the specific dynamics of the Moroccan market.

  1. Spare Part Report: My innovation here has been pivotal. By dissecting turnover in relation to budget forecasts and segmenting it by various categories, I’ve illuminated market trends and regional demands specific to Morocco. This report also delves into gross profit evolution and highlights key product performances, offering strategic insights for market adaptation. A detailed inventory analysis, incorporating FIFO principles and categorizing items by velocity levels, has been crucial in streamlining stock management and making informed inventory decisions.

  2. Workshop Report: This report is a hallmark of innovation, especially given the lack of specialized software. I initiated a standardized operational logging template for workshop operators, integrating this data collection with Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. Leveraging Power BI, I’ve transformed this data into a comprehensive analysis, revealing insights into individual operator performances and overall workshop efficiency – a crucial tool for evaluating workforce effectiveness in our Moroccan operations.

Through these initiatives, I have not only streamlined our data analysis and reporting processes but also provided vital insights driving strategic decisions specific to the Moroccan subsidiary, reinforcing our position in the region

My duties extended to supporting managers with various automated tools, leveraging my expertise in Microsoft Excel’s Power Query, Power Pivot, and VBA. In addition, my role as a member of the HQ Business Intelligence team involved acting as an internal consultant, a role that allowed me to contribute to the improvement of several automated reports.

In terms of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A), joining SMT meant adapting to a different scope compared to my previous role at Marjane. The FP&A tasks at SMT, though more limited in scope, presented a unique opportunity to deepen my dive into a data-oriented career. It was a chance to train intensively on Power Query and Power Pivot, pushing my skills to an advanced level. This part of my journey at SMT has been incredibly fulfilling, marking the start of a significant shift towards a data-focused approach in my career.

Accepting the offer from SMT was more than just a change of workplace; it was a step out of my comfort zone, leading me into an environment ripe with opportunities for growth and the excitement of navigating new frontiers in a multinational setting. It has been a period of substantial learning and professional development, setting the stage for an exhilarating new phase in my career.