Episode 74 Transcript

Today on the podcast we have a special
guest the founder of Englishbooks.ma
and during the podcast we talk about his
upbringing how he learned English how he
became passionate about the English
language and specifically why he started
this business new business in Morocco
English books ma because he had an unmet
need he wanted English books he couldn't
get English books so he decided to solve
the problem for himself and you're gonna
hear in the interview the challenges he
overcomes including how do I deal with
publishers how to import books into
Morocco, how do I set up an e-commerce
system, the importance of customer
service and some of the challenges that
he's faced during confinement and also
some of the successes he's had and some
of the changes he's had during his
business so stay tuned it's a great
interview. All right welcome to episode
number 74 of the Business in Morocco
Podcast today we have a special guest
with us Othmane Laraqui e he is the CEO and founder of English books MA an online
book store focused specifically on books
in English you can have delivered
anywhere in Morocco he's gonna be
sharing about how he started this
business and how the business has fared
during the pandemic we've got a whole
bunch of questions about logistics and
hiring and all kinds of exciting stuff
coming up so Othmane thank you so much for being with us today we appreciate your
time thank you both Brian's for inviting
me it's it's a pleasure and I've been
waiting it's full listen to the podcast
I was waiting for my turn so offended I
mean it's time to do that yeah it was
just a matter of time it was just a
matter of time we were wanting to grow
our audience before we used up a great
guest so Othmane can you introduce yourself tell us a little bit about growing up
and your education and and how you
became interested in English yeah of
course, my name is Othmane Laraqui, I'm born in Casablanca
mikasa we and I'm a proud father of two
lovely daughters Rita and Malik twelve
and eight years old my background I I
studied in Morocco until high school I
started learning English until I was
fifteen years old which is quite
different from my daughter that I
started learning English for five years
old in kindergarten just to show you I
mean just at the step that Marat has
done since and then I did my bachelor
degree here in Morocco at a business
school that you teach used to teach her
Ryan is with a shoe M high high
education in Morocco specializing in
management and I was majoring in in
marketing and then I had the opportunity
to go to the United States for a
master's degree I was always fascinated
by the US my late father lived and
worked in the u.s. between 1969 and 1972
and he was always talking to me about
the US showing me pictures so I was
growing fascinated by this country and
he was the one who pushed me and
encouraged me to go pursue my higher
educational mais my master's degree in
the US so he must have learned English
when he lived in the States but he
didn't teach you English when you were a
kid I mean believe it or not I mean even
he still until his death speaks English
even he didn't practice it just and in
three years I mean just like he could
understood he could speak English and
he's the one I mean just like who who
brought this passion for for for English
and he encouraged me to to go the way
and to and I had also my my auntie who
was an English teacher at high school so
she she gave me also this this love for
the for the language and for for the
environment hmm what were some of the
ways that you you learned English
was it through formal study at school or
how did you develop your language I mean
you know back then I mean just like the
only way that we had is through formal
studies I did some classes on the
american language centers in Morocco
which are a great opportunity and I
encourage everyone I mean just like to
what to enroll to learn to learn English
and also back then we didn't have the
internet we didn't have the courses so
the only way to learn English is through
formal education through high school or
specialized learning like the American
or the English Institute here in a in a
brook and and that's it that's all we
had I mean the best
I mean wheeler I learned in English is
one way when I arrived at the u.s. and
basically I mean I had this for my first
class one of my team American teammates
he he told me that your English is like
textbooks because I mean just like I I
speak formal in English and and for me
for example it was a shock of
discovering accent I thought that I
learned I had my TOEFL I had my scores
that allowed me to get into the MBA my
English was was fluent but whenever when
arrived in the US it was a completely
different story
yeah but what I did is for example I I
thought I think I never watched TV as
much as I did the first three months
that I was in the US and I was using the
the caption so I was out at the same
time reading the caption and and and and
listening to the air to get to the audio
and that's the way that helped me
getting the slang getting me the accent
and lose in Oklahoma hopefully I was
like thank God I didn't catch the
Oklahoma because it was it was quite it
was quite an accent but but still
listening to
this and this something that I incur
have Netflix we have YouTube I mean it's
a wonderful way to learn English through
through all these these tools that we
didn't have back that we have only TV
yeah and you've given some great tips
for any of our listeners that are
wanting to to polish their English you
know using the subtitles that YouTube
produces or Netflix has as well and then
in addition kind of combining informal
study like watching series or YouTube
videos or podcasts like this with formal
study looking in books learning grammar
that kind of stuff and combining them
allows you to have the level that you've
reached which is great advice in my
doctorate on my left to watch for
example just a favorite shows first time
in French and then second time in
English and then you can see differences
and they can learn some new new words
and they liked it so I just suggested
and they picked it up yeah I've done
that with French I've been reading
French books that I've already read in
English yeah so I already know the ideas
I know the story and that really helps
to gain understand yeah we can do the
same with books so I was already so
since I was a kid I was found with books
I remember like man I'm a lady's father
taking me to a used book store and I was
located just in the neighborhood India
the area where I was living and I used
to buy used books for only a few gems
and exchange them for half a DRM you
have for half a day I'm used to have new
books it's used books but you have to
have books and since then books have
played a major role in my life
they helped me as a student as a
professional when I started working as a
manager as an entrepreneur as a husband
as a father and all these rules books
had a major impact in in my life and
when I just to make the transition with
with English books that MA in the u.s. I
started reading
extensively in in English and I loved I
mean see once you read a book in its
original language even if you go back to
a translation the meaning is not it's
not the same I mean and I happen to and
I think we both share the same in terms
of reading we're more into the
nonfiction reading so when you when you
go back and forth in French
I mean it's and especially the
translation has are da by French
Canadians I mean with the different
translation laughs and it is it is
really it is really it is really tough
in terms of getting all the knowledge
from the from the books so I always

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