Posted: August 12th, 2013
The origin of my family can be traced back to Essaouria, a city found in Southern Morocco. The humble nature of the town can be used to describe the beginnings of what has now become a successful transportation business. The family has been involved in the transport business for a long time. The origins of the business are attributed to my grandfather, Mbarek who started the business in 1982 with only a donkey and a camel to start with. However, the dedication and ambition my grandfather had formed the basis of a successful business that could last for generations to come. The family business currently is run by may father, Mr. Abdallah who works hand in hand with his four siblings.
From the onset, the main concern of my grandfather was to ensure that his family did not lack anything for the time he was the head of the family. This was the driving force that led him to start his own business. To begin, he utilized his donkey and camel to transport water, food and other materials for his family. Most families used these means to transport whatever they needed. However, this transport system was not effective enough. He realized that better transportation techniques had to be employed. It was then that the ambition to start his business grew. Any businessperson has the sense to save enough for a business venture. This required discipline in terms of using money and sacrifice. He saved some money during the time he had been employed. With his retirement pay and the savings from the time he was working, he decided to buy lorry that he used to transport construction material.
The proceeds from this one lorry made it possible for him to buy others since there was a construction boom at the time in the city. Later, the construction went into a slump and Mr. Mbarek decided to venture into transportation of people in Rabat. The main aim of any family business is to keep it within the family (Ward 33). This an aspiration my grandfather had and it is why the business was later handed over to my father. The business is among some of the few that have managed to achieve a move into second-generation family ownership (Ward 31). Mr. Mbarek’s hope was to ensure that the company could withstand the test of time and serve even more generations in the future.
Abdalla Ahmed Mohammed Abdelghani Maria
Three Children (Mbarek’s grandchildren- 3rd generation)
Figure 1 shows the family tree with Mr. Mbarek at the helm. The vision of my grandfather is to ensure that the business will be a family heirloom where each generation will have the chance to reap from its fruits. As a family business grows into generations, there is the chance that family members may start to disengage themselves from the family business opting to pursue other ventures (Ward 104). Regardless of this, it is the desire of Mr.Mbarek and his son after, Mr. Abdalla to maintain the business within the family.
The core values of the company include hard work, loyalty, commitment and quality. This means that the company always looks at acquiring the best talent to ensure that these core values are enhanced. My grandfather believed my father was the best person to run the business. To ensure that the right people run the business, and that the aspirations my grandfather had of making the business a successful family business, grandfather Mbarek ensured that all his children were well educated. This has made certain that the business has little or no chance of failure since it is run by qualified individuals.
My father has ensured that my grandfather’s legacy continues by insisting on employee loyalty and commitment to company through hard work that is assisted by the right credentials for the job. My grandfather’s legacy has been carried onto the next level as my father is grooming his children to take the mantle in the future. The decision to use family members in the business is that the family is likely to understand the business better and they are more likely to exhibit a better sense of loyalty and commitment to the family business. The family business is expected to move to the third generation with Mr. Abdalla’s three children taking the mantle.
Every business has the potential to grow. Most businesses grow as shown in figure 2. The profits curve show the trend profits take as the time passes. Initially, the profits are none existence especially because this is the period when products are being developed. After the product has been introduced, that is when sales pick up and the company starts to realize profits. Currently, the transport business is at maturity. However, there are no signs of the decline. The one time the transport company almost experienced a decline was when the construction boom took a turn for the worst. However, diversification enabled the company to develop new products that enabled the company to stay afloat.
The business is now run by Mr. Abdalla who is the current president and CEO of the company and sits on the board as chair. His siblings Mr. Ahmed, Mr. Mohammed, Mr. Abdelghani and Ms. Maria also sit on the company’s board of directors. Mr. Ahmed is the vice president who also serves as the service quality manager. Ms. Maria is the sales, marketing manger, Mr. Mohammed is the operations manager, and Abdelghani is the finance manager. Other family members assist in the running of the business by conducting media relations, running errands, filing, and store keeping among other office related work. To ensure the continued success of the company, the president ensures that there are frequent family meetings. This is to ensure that the family members are always aware of the company status. This also ensures that the family maintains a level of trust that is the basic ingredient of creating successful family business entities (Ward 45). The CEO has the final say toward all the decisions regarding business operations.
The company offers an array of transport services. The first service offered is in-city lane transport services that targets commuters and other in city travelers. The second is inter-city transportation that targets businesspersons, students, excursionists and tourists. The company also rents vehicles to the army, police force and the government. For example, the company is offers transportation for the King when travels outside Rabat, the capital of Morocco. The revenue from the different businesses has been separated such that the company can tell how each business venture is faring on. The company has locations in major towns and cities especially for the city-to-city traveling. The rental services are offered mostly in tourist towns where vehicles are not easily accessible for tourists, foreign and domestic. The business in this sense has diversified in big way such that it has ensured that they have a formidable presence in the country. It is also necessary to diversify in business so that one has more than one source of revenue.
While the business is inherently a family business, the family members involved in the daily running of the company are qualified. This is to ensure that the company fulfills the expectations of the shareholders by aligning management interests with the shareholder priorities (Ward 93). In this sense, while the family is keen on ensuring that their management interests are not overrun by the shareholder priorities and vice-versa. The importance of having qualified individuals in the family business is to ensure that the decisions made are right for the company and that decisions made are not based on issues such as fear of family conflict, fear of losing business control among other factors.
There are certain challenges that the business face. As characteristic of most family businesses, there are conflicts that arise hindering the decision making process. The business also has informal procedures that may cost the business. This is because the family has restricted opportunities to family members and therefore, lacks the chance to get an outside point of view that may be more objective. The lack of procedural employment process leaves the company susceptible to employing unqualified family members to join the company that may affect the quality of services offered.
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