Episode 13 Transcript

You're listening to the Business in Morocco Podcast the
podcast that discusses all things
business and all things Morocco. My name
is Ryan Maimone, I'm here with my co-host
Ryan Kirk and our goal is to share our
knowledge and experiences you in order
to help you gain wisdom skills and
habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com
alright let's get started with today's episode it's going to be a lovely day
so welcome to episode number 13 of the
Business in Morocco Podcast today
we're going to be talking about should
Moroccans move overseas to study and to
work is that a good idea? - to emigrate
to leave Morocco? but before we get into
our topic for the day
Ryan where in the world are you right
now hey Ryan
yeah we spend about three weeks in the
Washington DC area and now we've flown
out to California to visit some friends
and family and I've also got a couple
business meetings with current clients
and potential clients so as we speak I'm
in the San Francisco Bay Area it's very
nice it's in fact it's a lot like
Morocco's climate, the geography you have
the west coast is all along the ocean
you have inland valleys that are
agricultural you have mountains with ski
resorts and snow you have deserts very
similar in terms of climate and
geography geography to Morocco so it's
somewhat familiar that's good that's
great yeah workwise I just continue to
do my remote work for my Moroccan
clients and and I'm continuing to do
business developments and refining my
product offerings for my digital
products I'm also working out some
client relations there's one client that
I have who is not following the process
I don't know if you've ever heard of the
TV show The Profit with Marcus Lemonis
it's a great show I like it he's
basically a multi-millionaire and he he
goes into struggling small businesses
and he evaluates the three P's: people
process and product and usually if you
can get those three right then you will
have a successful business and most
often he helps the small business owners
with their process and he's always
repeating and emphasizing the same thing
to these small business owners which is
follow the process, he has designed a process and it works
and if you follow it you will be
successful right and this is often the
same conversation I have with my clients
which is you have a good product you
have good people you just need to follow
a process and you will see the the
desired results and unfortunately this
particular client is is not following
the process and is not seeing the
results that they want and getting a
patient so we'll see how that unfolds
but yeah it is an interesting situation
because this is also a client that I was
sort of this is a client that I had
doubts about when I first signed them in
terms of being a good partner in terms
of being a having a good relationship
because one of the worst things you can
do is take on a client that you know
it's not going to work
they pay you, you don't get the results
that they want and then now you have
essentially a bad referral right I think
it's better to to not take on a client
like that than to to not meet their
expectations one of the things that my
dad told me a long time ago right he
said Ryan if you can't do something well
you shouldn't do it at all and if you
can't represent a client well and you
can't do good work for them you should
probably just avoid doing it and focus
on clients where you have a high
expectation of being able to do good
work for them yeah that's very true but
it's it's hard to say no to money
particularly when you're starting out
particularly when you're you're wanting
to to boost your income but in the that
goes back to the episode we did on
long-term thinking where if you do take
on even a paying client but you can't
help them very much that will not serve
your business in the long run yeah I
have a process that I've developed over
the years and it works when it's
implemented correctly
and I did have doubts about whether or
not this client was going to be able to
implement the process and those doubts
have turned out to be true and so
unfortunately even though I did get paid
it has ended up being a waste of time
because I could have been focusing my
efforts on another client that was going
to be a long-term client as opposed to
taking some quick money up front and
then eventually losing the client
because they were unable to follow the
process yeah yeah it's okay
better better sooner than later I can
now focus on other people and other
other efforts yeah that's right what
about you? well this morning I had a
great meeting me and a sales guy from a
company I'm working with we were at a
major company and made it a bit of a
presentation about some training we'd
like to do and it went very well it's
looking positive so hopefully that leads
to a contract it's right in that this
difficult window actually where it's
Ramadan right now so people aren't
looking to do any training right now and
then there's just a real short window in
the month of June kind of between the
aid and when everybody goes on vacation
and that doesn't seem like it's gonna be
long enough so really we're working on
signing something for the fall but I got
to tell you something the most exciting
part of the morning was the drive to the
meeting and the reason is because the
new bridge is open in front of the
techno park great that's awesome yeah so
when you're talking about San Francisco
I was thinking about the bridges they
have they're thinking well we don't
exactly have the Golden Gate or the
Oakland bridge but I'm pretty excited
about the new bridge in front of a
Zenith Center and techno park because
that's going to make a huge difference
for traffic in that area so when you
went through was the traffic basically
reduced yeah I mean it was a morning
meeting and it's Ramadan right now so
traffic's already lighter
in the first part of the day but I was
just I was about to exit and go around
the round-about before I realized
that it was open because it was you know
it opened at 6:00 a.m. today and so I
almost missed it and then when I saw it
was open I quickly darted across
multiple lanes just so I could
experience it for the first time and I
was singing to myself as I went across
it yeah so alhamdulillah, it's finally
open
let's get into the topic of the day
which is should Moroccans move overseas
for education or business opportunities
or work opportunities and Ryan you
mentioned you did a video that you
posted on your YouTube channel last week
how has that video been received yeah
when I posted it I wasn't sure how it
would be because the stance I took was I
was encouraging people to remain in
Morocco and the evidence I was giving or
the reasons I was giving were number one
that there's a lot of opportunities here
and I was sharing some of those reasons
but then number two I was saying life
isn't as amazing as you might imagine
overseas and it's particularly difficult
when you immigrate somewhere there's a
lot of challenges associated with that
when you're living outside of your own
culture and language and network and I
wasn't sure how it would be received because a
lot of people I meet really wrestle with
this decision and people are always
asking me oh how can i immigrate to
Canada?
do you know anybody can you help me out?
and I was surprised that there was a
mostly positive feedback most people
were were encouraged by my efforts to
help them see how great things are here
and giving people more more hope and
more reason to stay but there were still
a few people that you know have
complaints about issues we've got in
Morocco and we're very explicit in their
reasons why they they were hoping to to
move and start life somewhere else but
overall very positive that's good let's
let's start with a few
of those challenges a Moroccan will face
when moving overseas particularly to the
United States or Canada or Europe one of
the things that has been quite shocking
to me
maybe shocking is too strong of a word
but it has been surprising and has been
bit of a wake-up call is especially in
the Washington DC area and California is
the cost of living when I go in to a
grocery store here it is a big
difference yeah so I'm used to Carrefour
and Marjane and street vendor prices
mm-hm and I would say on average the
grocery stores in the United States are
twice as expensive yeah if you were to
take all the products especially fruits
and vegetables it is significantly more
expensive yeah and so that's one of the
challenges when you're you're moving
overseas from Morocco you may move to
the United States and get a better job
but essentially every single aspect of
life is going to be more expensive for
you utilities, cars, housing, food,
medical care, all of these things are
going to be more expensive that will
present a challenge especially if you go
to the grocery store today in Morocco
and you think things are expensive right
it's very true I mean people look at the
salaries being advertised abroad and
they think oh my goodness can you
imagine if I was making double triple
five times what I'm making now but it
very often is relative to the cost of
living and particularly in big cities
where the majority of these jobs are
available it's very very tough to
maintain a lifestyle you might be
enjoying in Morocco the food is a huge
one as you as you mentioned I mean we
eat very very healthy here in Morocco
because we can afford to where as eating
healthy in these other countries
very expensive particularly if you live
in northern Europe or in Canada or the
northern US because it's so much
dependent on the weather and when it
gets to the winter months all the food
is imported from a long way away which
of course makes it not as healthy but
definitely drives up the prices so the
fresh fruit and vegetable that we eat
the amount of it we consume we couldn't
afford to do I mean our kids don't
realize that things like red peppers and
cherry tomatoes and blueberries those
were really expensive when we lived in
Canada and it was considered a treat we
had to really ration them whereas here I
mean we let our kids eat as much of that
stuff as they want so cost of living is
one challenge another challenge for a
Moroccan moving overseas is language and
culture if you're gonna get one of these
high paying jobs in one of these foreign
countries you're typically going to have
to have a very solid grasp on the
language in the culture if you're moving
to the United States and you're gonna
apply for a job that is high paying
you're essentially gonna have to be
fluent in English and not just formal
English but informal English slang
you're gonna have to have a good grasp
and have to be able to have a
conversation with a wide variety of
people in order to have even a chance of
getting one of these high-paying jobs
and you're also gonna have to understand
the culture which we have talked about
on this podcast Moroccan culture is
quite different from American culture or
Canadian culture and if you're going to
succeed in some of these environments
you need to have a good understanding of
the differences so that you can
effectively work on a team you can meet
the the said and unsaid expectations of
your boss not saying it's impossible but
if you don't have a good grasp of the
native language
of the country that you want to move to
and you don't really understand the
culture that is going to be a challenge
for you when you arrive and you'll have
to adapt somehow and and there could be
some growing pains involved yeah I mean
you have to think about the area that
you work in and the current job that you
have how much of your role is based on
your ability to communicate and to be
articulate so if you're listening to
this podcast you clearly understand
English you have quite a high level of
English but are you able to really
express yourself fluently, quickly in a
way that people can really follow and
understand and as you mentioned with
there's a lot of culture tied into
language as well so when your boss says
something like look we really need to
hit a homerun on this on this project or
you know look it's fourth and one so I
say we go for it do you have any idea
what I'm talking about right now because
I'm making sports references that are
very specific to North American culture
even Europeans would struggle to
understand what I just said and that's
something that is difficult you you
don't always pick up on these subtleties
or these expressions or the humor and
that can affect your career as well as
your relationships outside of work.
Americans love their sports references
and their slangs and their mottos yeah
you could be completely lost if you're
not familiar with these terms yeah maybe
we should put a link to a website or a
YouTube video that explains American
football jargon for people yeah let's
put that in the resources of this
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now back to the show
another area that can be
challenging is certain qualifications
may not transfer so i've met people
working in Toronto who were
professionals in their home environment
in the country where they were living
before immigration but the
qualifications that they enjoyed were
not recognized by the Canadian
authorities and so they were forced to
kind of start over in their careers and
were forced to take jobs that were far
below the level that they had achieved
in their home country yeah that is
another issue that I was gonna mention
credentials are are difficult when they
transfer from foreign countries into the
United States but that's not just
because they don't ,companies don't value
your credentials it's because overall
university degrees are becoming less and
less valuable less and less meaningful
for employers and they're giving more
credence more weight to technical
proficiency to referrals to
recommendations but that does transition
to some of the opportunities that
Moroccans have overseas particularly in
the United States since that's my my
home country and I know the
most about the United States if you are
a Moroccan and you have technical
expertise you have credentials you have
the ability to do something your best
opportunity will likely be starting a
business and the reason is of all the
places that we've mentioned the United
States is by far the easiest place to
start and run a business the regulations
are low relatively speaking the taxes
are relatively low the infrastructure is
pretty good the availability of
hard-working educated people to work in
your business is good so let's say
you're an electrician you're a plumber
you're a doctor a dentist a computer
scientist assuming you you take the
state licensing exams if they exist for
your business you have a good
opportunity to to start that business
and do well because what people care
about is your ability to provide a
valuable product or service regardless
of your credentials while a company may
not give credence to your credentials
there may be customers out there who
appreciate your product or service and
that will be willing to pay for it yeah
and I will say another real benefit to
going overseas fom Moroccans is that if
you study and/or work in one of these
Western nations it really gives you a
lot of leverage in coming back to
Morocco so a lot of the professionals
that I work with a lot of the the
clients that I do training with a high
percentage of them spent time overseas
either for their education or their
early years of work experience and upon
coming back to Morocco they were able to
gain a very high position because
companies just look very favorably on
what they gained and their mindset and
their work ethic and some of the
strengths that they bring to the table
from their experiences overseas so even
if you plan on you know raising your
family or retiring or settling in the
long run in Morocco doing a stint doing
you know several years or your education
abroad does have some benefits upon your
return here
I completely agree if you're Moroccan and
you can get accepted to a US or
Canadian or European University I think
you should go especially if you will
have help paying the tuition whether
it's a friend or a relative or the
Moroccan government as long as you're
not going to be left with a huge amount
of student loan debt then I think it's a
great idea to go overseas and study
abroad and get a diploma or a degree from
a foreign University in fact if you're a
younger moroccan you're in high school
lycée or college and you're looking to
go to university overseas send us an
email at Ryan@moroccopodcast.com and
we'll see if we can connect you to
someone who specializes in helping
foreign students get accepted to US
universities now this service is not
cheap but for many foreign students
trying to get acceptance in universities
and also and also apply for grants and
scholarships the return on investment
can be significant so again if you're a
student in Morocco and you're looking to
go to US university send us an
email and we'll see if we can connect
you to this education consultant that
specifically helps foreign students get
get into American Universities that's
cool man is that somebody you know yeah
was a friend that I used to work with
at a job that I had 10 years ago yeah
and he specifically started a business
he's in Dubai
and he helps foreign students get into
US universities in terms of shaping
their curriculum their courses during
high school developing their extra
curricular activities meaning their
hobbies their their habits that are
outside of school helping them develop
their ability to take the entrance exams
the SAT test the ACT test it's a
four-year relationship meaning the best
chance you have of getting into
university is starting four years before
you want to go so that your application
will be as strong as possible so his
customers are really parents right
actually I have a meeting tomorrow with
a guy here in Casa well he's based in
Rabat but he's taking the train down and
he's approaching me about us, I think he
does a similar business I've just seen
him on Instagram but he I think is
interested in potentially doing some
sort of collaboration or maybe a
sponsored video or something I don't
know what kind of funds they have
because I think they're pretty young but
that might be an option for one of our
sponsors on the podcast I think he runs
kind of a similar style business where
he helps people get scholarships and get
accepted to universities overseas yeah
it's a big business it's a growing
business and again if you're Moroccan
you can get accepted to a US
University and go to that school with
and again this is the key point without
coming out of that university with huge
amounts of student loan debt it's a much
different discussion on whether or not
you should go to US University if
you are going to have significant
student loan debt I'm talking about
40-50 a hundred thousand US dollars in
student loan debt which is very common
for American students today and is a
very difficult debt to pay off in the
long term yeah so imagine graduating and being a million
Dirhams in the hole that's no way to
start your career that would be like
shackles or handcuffs exactly so while
we're talking about the opportunities
and the challenges of moving overseas
let's talk a little bit more about the
challenges and opportunities of staying
in Morocco. Ryan what are some of the
challenges that you saw in your
commentaries on your video regarding
what Moroccans think about the
difficulties of staying in Morocco?
well one of the big ones is unemployment
you know a lot of young people just feel
like there aren't opportunities like
it's very very difficult to get a job
and so they feel like if I went overseas
it would be far easier the unemployment
rate is lower or I'd have a much higher
chance of just getting hired and being
able to get started when you're still
living with your parents you've done
your degree but you can't kind of get
life started with a good job you can
feel very discouraging and it's easy to
sort of look across the ocean and think
that's where the answer lies
another thing was people mentioned you
know the challenges we have here with
our health care system people are
frustrated by the current state of
things and people are also frustrated
with different things the government
does they feel like there's less human
rights here or the government is slow or
corrupt those kinds of things those were
the main things about the comments some
people didn't like what was going on and
others just felt frustrated because they
couldn't get a job yeah I think that
there is some truth to all those things
that you mentioned I will tell you that
in terms of medical care the costs are
significantly lower in Morocco than they
are in the United States now you may be
able to get insurance but insurance
costs are very high I think the average
cost of insurance for a family of four
in the United States is ten thousand
Dirhams a month Wow now if you get that
insurance through your employer then
you will be paying less of course it's
still very high or if you want to go to
a doctor who doesn't take insurance it
could be a thousand or two thousand
Dirhams just for an appointment just for
a consultation some other challenges
in Morocco that I've seen of course high
unemployment the regulations on business
are pretty restrictive especially when
it comes to employment law, high taxes
and the one that I'm becoming more
familiar with as of late is the high
cost of commercial or retail space for a
business and that presents now a severe
obstacle to new business formation when
you talk about high unemployment it's
not for no reason it's because it's
difficult to start and grow and maintain
a business in certain parts of Morocco
in certain industries to the extent that
the taxes are low that the regulations
are low that the cost of doing business
is low you will have less unemployment
you will have higher employment rates
and you will have more job opportunities
because the more businesses that exist
the more competition there will be for
employees and wages will go up and
employment will go down but if it is
very hard to start a business and to
maintain a business then there's going
to be fewer opportunities we've talked
in a previous episode of the fear
of business owners have of hiring
permanent employees because the labor
laws are so favorable towards employees
it's very difficult to fire someone
that's underperforming and so that makes
people reluctant to hire and that
restricts businesses from expanding and
that raises the unemployment rate so
here for our listeners is a concrete
step here is a very practical step that
I'm about to give you to deal with all
of these challenges of living in Morocco
and working in Morocco and that is go
sign up today for your auto-entrepreneur card
it's almost free it's very
easy it takes about two weeks go to La
Poste sign up, start a bank account once
you get your card you will be able to
work as an independent contractor as a
freelancer and you will be able to go
into businesses and offer to do services
for them without the difficulty that we
mentioned regarding full-time employment
and you will be able to take advantage
of the fact that Morocco has a growing
economy that the infrastructure is
improving, you mentioned the bridge we
have mentioned that the internet access
and speed is very good in Morocco there
are also other changes the fact that the
United Kingdom is leaving the European
Union is actually presenting quite a few
opportunities for Morocco for example
Societe Generale
is moving a lot of jobs to Casablanca
from Great Britain well and these types
of trends are going to continue because
as we've mentioned in a previous episode
for the next 50 years Africa is going to
be the only growing continent in the
world yeah that is going to present many
opportunities considering that Morocco
is one of the leaders in terms of
economy and market in Africa and there
are a lot of companies that are growing
their businesses in Morocco yep I've met
I've met people who have come from
Europe to work in business here so the
the application Babel Liste which is a an
online marketplace using your smartphone
those guys moved from northern Europe
came to Casablanca specifically to start
that application because they recognize
this as a an unsaturated market they saw
an opportunity there same thing with
Glovo which is the delivery service
that's available in multiple Moroccan
cities it's a Spanish startup and
they're here in Morocco because they
want to tap in
to this market Jumia we've talked about
before it's another example that is a
company that's doing well here there was
somebody who who commented on the the
video I made where he said I'm a
Canadian citizen born and raised in
Morocco and confirmed that it's not
worth it if you're from the middle class
in Morocco then there's absolutely no
reason why you would move anywhere else
I'm moving back as the economy and
living standard in Canada is really
getting bad there's so much opportunity
in Morocco especially if you're willing
to start your own business and so this
is a guy named Anwar who is coming from
Canada to Morocco because he's seeing
more opportunities looking this way this
is a really difficult question because
people love their country they love
Morocco but they also want to build a
great life and it looks like there's a
lot of opportunities and a lot of
benefits to going abroad but I just want
to encourage you that there are people
doing incredible things here in Morocco
and brain-drain this name for the young
and the best and the brightest moving
overseas because they have opportunity,
it really is hurting Morocco and in some
ways there's a temptation to look at the
problems in Morocco and escape from them
to run away from them but we need young
people to stay and to invest and to help
bring positive change here so I know
it's not an easy decision I know it is a
real challenge but I'm hoping that this
next generation there'll be a lot of
young people that decide to roll up
their sleeves invest here and make it a
better place
you've been listening to
the Business in Morocco Podcast my name
is Ryan Kirk here with my co-host Ryan
Maimone, if you enjoyed this episode be
sure to subscribe and leave us a 5-star
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we hope you'll have a lovely day doing
business in Morocco we'll see you next time

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