Today, Intelcia is a multinational present on 3 continents through 16 countries and with more than 35,000 employees.
Ambition, will and tenacity. Here are the pillars of the Intelcia adventure which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Behind this epic, two men firmly believed that effort and self-sacrifice are the essential ingredients of any entrepreneurial success. From a small company founded in 2005, Intelcia has now entered the big leagues, multiplying its partners and constantly expanding its spectrum of customers. The adventure told by its protagonists.
Intelcia, a leading Moroccan operator in customer relations, celebrates two decades of entrepreneurial adventure. To mark its anniversary, the company has published “Alea Jacta Est”, a book that traces the history of the group, while echoing the economic and industrial progress of the Kingdom. On May 26, the African platform for startups, companies and investors, HSEVEN, based in Casablanca, received Karim Bernoussi, CEO and co-founder of the group and Youssef El Aoufir, managing director. The two leaders thus shared their experience of entrepreneurship with the community of entrepreneurs on the occasion of the release of the book. Intelcia’s real story begins in 2005. Transcom, the Swedish ancestor of the company, is 5 years old. Karim Bernoussi, then a passive shareholder in the company, offers Transcom to buy back his shares and those of his friends. The three protagonists then held 40% of the capital of this box which had settled in Morocco in 2000, following a canvassing initiated by Bernoussi and the late Kamil Benjelloun. “We wanted to resell our shares for reasons of differences in the development of the company,” says Bernoussi. No agreement is reached then. Karim, tenacious and ambitious, sees in it the opportunity to embark on an entrepreneurial adventure.
The experience to start
“It was time, he says, to trace my own trajectory”. He couldn’t do it before. Because, to start a business, you need gold: experience. “By joining Microsoft Morocco for five years, I was imbued with the American corporate culture where you didn’t feel the weight of hierarchy. We were in direct contact with Bill Gates. This experience was very enriching for me insofar as it enabled me to acquire sales techniques for difficult products such as software”, recalls Bernoussi. He convinces his Moroccan partners to take over Transcom’s shares. The deal will take place in 2006. The young warrior takes control of the company, after buying the Swedish shares.
The tone is then set. Transcom Morocco becomes Intelcia. The adventure can begin. Bernoussi called on his friend, Youssef El Aoufir, whom he nicknamed his co-pilot. 2007, Youssef is propelled to the head of general management with a particular focus on operations. Shortly after, he offered Intelcia a golden contract, that of the American technology giant: Google. The duo triggers a new dynamic in the customer relationship market. Listening only to his instincts, Bernoussi leads the group through a series of developments.
The dream comes true
In 2010, he doubled the size of the box by setting up his hand on a sophisticated local company: Eurocall. Another strategic operation, the Cap Mezzanine investment fund entered the capital of Intelcia. Bernoussi will not stop there. In 2011, the entrepreneur bought The Marketing Group, a French company listed on the Paris Stock Exchange. “From one shore to the other of the Mediterranean, one is surprised to see Moroccans buying French. More than audacity, we see a break with the customs of the market,” recalls Bernoussi. Generally, it is the North that invests in the South. For Intelcia’s top management, setting up in France is the best way to be close to its customers and therefore serve them better. In 2016, by joining forces with the Altice group, Intelcia took a new step in its journey.
An inspired deal for both parties since the two structures have the same entrepreneurial vision and the same development ambitions. For its part, Altice wants to have a customer experience pro among its companies. Intelcia sees a clear interest in this: to accelerate its international expansion. In 2020, Intelcia celebrated its 20th anniversary. “A contemporary of Goethe, the French moralist, Joseph Joubert, wrote that genius begins beautiful works, but work alone completes them”, underlines Bernoussi. The entrepreneur insists that you have to follow your instincts. When you make deals, he says, it’s not always done rationally. “We have always followed our instincts, Youssef and I. Ditto for the acquisition of companies or association with partners. You have to know how to listen to your interior”, he summarizes. Today, Intelcia is a multinational present on 3 continents through 16 countries and with more than 35,000 employees.