Soufiane Alimi is a highly skilled and analytical professional with a strategic planning and analysis background. Based in Dubai, UAE, he has gained valuable experience in his field, with a reputation for consistently delivering exceptional results. He is the founder of Thamann Dubai, a pricing strategy consultancy for startups. He is an excellent communicator and team player with a track record of successfully managing complex projects and being an active leader focused on a client-centric and quality-based approach to work.
Learn more about Soufiane and his business pathway through our interview below.
Starting The Journey
We asked Soufiane, “Which career path led you to where you are today?”
He said, “After graduating from Arts & Métiers ParisTech, the top engineering school in Paris, I joined the number one group in the luxury industry as an International Digital Project Manager for a beauty brand. My second position was in the same group as a Pricing Strategy and Business Analyst for the beauty division, in charge of the Middle East region and the Americas. This experience in the headquarters of such a leading group made me crave an international experience closer to the markets where the business is done in order to complete my 360-degree picture.
And where better than Dubai, this dynamic Middle Eastern hub, to expand my business knowledge and learn more from the field? In April 2022, I moved to Dubai to continue my journey in this luxury group within its watches and jewelry division as a Strategic Business Planner for a Swiss watchmaker. Seeking further opportunities and learning, today, I work in a completely different industry as a Strategic Business Planner for a leading Japanese tyre company.
This loaded and fast-paced career path didn’t prevent me from achieving my childhood dream. The story began when I was studying at a university in Paris, and I started tutoring as a part-time job. Six years later, after graduating, I founded two tutoring companies/online schools, the first one in Paris called ‘Midi 15 Consulting’ and the second in Tunis called ’S Bro Consulting,’ employing more than 60 full-time teachers.”
He added, “My entrepreneurial spirit and appetite for growth have been positively boosted in Dubai, and I am currently working on some projects. The most important of them is ‘Thamann,’ a pricing consultancy for early-stage startups.”
We further asked, “What inspired you to develop the idea of your company?”
He replied, “First of all, as an entrepreneur with a major in business development from a top school in France and relevant experience working in the headquarters of a leading multinational group, I am conscious of the lack of pricing awareness in the startup ecosystem. To establish a sustainable and strategic pricing strategy, you have two options: the first is to have your own pricing department or to pay for a pricing consultancy firm. Both options can be too costly for early-stage startups. However, setting up a pricing strategy at an early stage for any business model is paramount.”
Business Priorities & Network
We wanted to know more about how Soufiane Alimi works with his business, so we asked, “How have your priorities in terms of business evolved since you first started?
“Like many graduates, I found myself in the dilemma of choosing between the corporate world and entrepreneurship. Most of my friends and family had binary-choice advice supported by relevant arguments. I listened to all of them and finally decided not to choose simply because both options bring a different learning journey.” He replied.
We further asked Soufiane Alimi, “What are the most challenging situations that you overcame?”
He continues, “The first obstacle I faced when I first started my entrepreneurial journey was the administrative side, but I guess this is common for any first-time project. The key was to surround me with a competent network of people, each with their expertise. Networking is key.
The second one was the Covid crisis. My initial project was supposed to be in-person tutoring, where tutors would offer hand-tailored courses to students in Paris. We quickly switched strategies to start online courses, not only for our initial target of students but for anyone interested in learning any skills. We kept our eyes open to seize the Covid opportunity of 1) people having time to learn new skills and 2) unemployment of many skilled people because of the crisis who are willing to share their knowledge and make a profit out of it.
The most recent challenge was moving to another continent and keeping on running the business in Paris and Tunis. The key here is, once again, people. From the beginning of these two projects, I hired two of my unemployed friends to support me, and I learned with time how to trust more and delegate better. Now, they’re completely responsible for the business and accountable for it.”
A Unique Approach
What makes your company stand out from all the other businesses in your industry?
“Let’s talk about ‘Thamann’ (aka ‘Price’ in Arabic). Our added value is our accessibility to startups at a very early stage. You can approach us with a simple idea that crosses your mind or a concept of a project that you are working on, and we will work hand in hand with you to assess the sustainability of your product/service from a pricing point of view.
We go further and help you evaluate your profitability and growth expectations. Additionally, we offer accounting services and marketing consultancy. We join your team’s brainstorming sessions and debate your strategic vision as if we were part of the project to end up with a relevant and long-term sustainable vision.” Says Soufiane Alimi.
Key Performance Indicators & Major Pricing Strategies
We then asked, “What KPIs do you use to measure your business success?”
Soufiane says, “I learned from big, successful companies that customer satisfaction must be at the heart of your vision and the most important of your KPIs. It drives all other profitability-centered KPIs to last and grows. However, to achieve this, you must have a proper and regular feedback collection process in place.”
“Tell us something about your services. What are you working on now?”
With that, he replied, “In Thamann Dubai, we offer pricing strategy consultancy for early-stage startups. We assist them in defining the launch, short-term and long-term price positioning, and strategy for their product or service. In the second step, we can help them study their cost structure and review the profit and loss statement together to assess the project’s relevance and define a clear vision. If needed, we also offer accounting and marketing consultancy services. We provide a comprehensive panel of services tailored to fit the specific needs of the startup world.”
Technology Adaptation & Word of Advice
We were also curious about how Soufiane Alimi and Thamann Dubai adapt to the technological transitions. So, we asked, “How do you stay on top of new technologies and trends in your industry?”
He added, “I believe that apart from tech companies, in other types of businesses, technology should be wisely suited to the company’s business model. Technology should be an accelerator and not the end goal of the startup. Leaders should be more focused on their customer journey and value chain, and if technology can make it leaner, then it’s worth adopting. However, if it adds unnecessary complexity, it could become a threat. It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your customers and your team, assess the pros and cons of any tool you are considering adopting, and seek their opinions both before and after adopting the tool.”
Lastly, we asked, “What advice would you give to starting entrepreneurs?”
“Motivation is the trigger, but discipline is the fuel that drives you forward. Continuously adapt your trajectory to take better roads and agilely overcome obstacles. The most important lesson I learned from my experience is that people are the key growth factor. Surround yourself with skilled individuals and establish clear processes with them.” concludes Soufiane Alimi.
Connect with Soufiane Alimi on LinkedIn.