Wide Angle

Diaspo #94 : Abderrahim Rochdi, embracing Africa through entrepreneurship

Throughout his career, Abderrahim Rochdi maintained a good connection with Morocco, through his family and business. Today, he exports goods, through the company he founded with his friends, to the Kingdom and the rest of the continent.

Moroccan-French entrepreneur Abderrahim Rochdi and the head of Tenso Digital Africa Omar Tikaouine. / Ph. DR
Estimated read time: 2'

Abderrahim Rochdi grew up and lived in France with his five relatives. When he turned 18, he became interested in Paris, a city where cultures meet according to him.

Born to parents from Casablanca, the French-Moroccan recalls that his parents were lucky enough to witness the golden days of the white city. «My father, a Moroccan entrepreneur, visits the country four times a year», he said, citing his «need to reconnect with his roots». In France, Morocco is present in every corner of the family’s house.

«We have always spoken Arabic at home, growing up. We used to spend summer vacations in Morocco. We have managed to maintain a strong link with Morocco (…) it was more than just speaking the language».

Abderrahim Rochdi

Business with friends

Before founding his firm Logic group, the 45-year-old entrepreneur started his career in the business world by studying commerce and marketing. «I studied in Ireland», he recalled. After living in London for two years, he spent four years of his life roaming between Dubai, the United States and France.

Through his many travels, Rochdi managed to «meet Moroccans living abroad», and discover the community. Speaking Arabic, French, English and Spanish, the man started working in marketing in a big firm, then he joined a startup that he helped «take off». «That’s what allowed me to bite my lips and say to myself that I could do it», he said.

In 2005, Rochdi decided to start his own business as an entrepreneur and an investor. «We launched the first project, Tenso, an adventure led by ten people and which stands for 'ten solutions'», he told Yabiladi. With his nine friends, from different cultures and fields, such as banking, process and marketing, he decided to launch an entrepreneurial project.

«Everyone has invested heavily and this mix gave birth to a nice result that has allowed us, twelve years later, to consider growth».

Abderrahim Rochdi

Morocco and growth

A bit more than a year ago, Abderrahim Rochdi's company focused on Morocco, announcing the birth of Tenso Digital Africa after it was joined by a partner.

«Morocco is witnessing growth as we conceive it», the entrepreneur said. «I was in contact with the Moroccan market because I proposed solutions in telecommunication and consulting to a number of Moroccan actors», Rochdi explained.

«I always start with a simple principle : we will invest and create a structure where we are able to have a domestic market that allows us to finance part of the activities but which will also allow us to go a little further, to innovate and address other markets. Today, Morocco offers this and in Casablanca, we concentrate on a lot of things, which is, for an entrepreneur, an advantage to consider when choosing an import».

Abderrahim Rochdi

Today, Abderrahim Rochdi and his associates want to «make of Casablanca an African hub». «We are convinced that the African business unit of our group will be more important than the European one», he proudly said.

He also suggests entrepreneurs in France have to «try these new markets». «Europe is more saturated and has lower growth levels and people often ask «what are my growth engines? «If you have the chance to know and understand the culture, it is not expensive to try», he advises.

«From here on we have another view on the world. You have to get out of your comfort zone and tell yourself that you can do it», he said. 

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