Specialized in the urban transport sector for more than 100 years in various regions of the world including China, and number one in the passenger transport sector in Spain, the Alsa company in Morocco has been providing for a quarter of a century management of public, tourist, school and staff transport in six cities of the Kingdom, notably in Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca, Khouribga, Marrakech and Agadir.
Alberto Pérez, managing director of Alsa-Maroc testifies to this 25-year period spent in Morocco, not without certain satisfaction. Arrived in Morocco the year of the launch (1999) of ALSA Morocco, he participated actively in its development, but above all, he witnessed the evolution of Morocco, “a fantastic country to do business in and where we have done very well and where we are very happy”.
It is a “success story” and a story of long-term work, of commitment to this host country, he will say again, “where we tried to create value without making quick transactions and where we invest a lot. It is also the story of a service rendered by Moroccans for Moroccans. We do not export anything and we provide a service to the people of the country” he confided in Atalayar during an interview at the International Tourism Fair (FITUR).
These confidences or this gaze that another, not to say “stranger” – whatever – has on us, cannot but be shared. For Alberto Pérez, the development of Alsa-Maroc has been an evolutionary process. Currently we are established in five large cities of the Kingdom, plus Khouribga a small town of 200,000 inhabitants and the buses are operated entirely by Moroccans and Moroccans. “We work hard on diversity aspects, making significant efforts to integrate women into positions traditionally reserved for men, such as driving or maintenance positions”.
Last year will continue, “we launched a plan to hire 100 drivers (ladies) in Casablanca, we paid them the driving license as well as the training. Little by little, thanks to a gender equality policy, we are integrating women a little more”. That said, for the 6,000 employees of Alsa-Maroc, “with the exception of a dozen, they are all locals, Moroccans to whom we offer a professional career both in Morocco and in Spain. It is a much better prepared staff, which has received much more training than that of Spain, especially in terms of security”.
But to achieve this fully, “we are still facing some administrative problems, which we are trying to resolve as soon as possible. This will pave the way for pursuing a professional career in Spain. With regard to the accident rate, we have made efforts in training and equipping vehicles. Unfortunately the road environment is a little more complicated in Morocco than in Europe”.
Never mind ! “our drivers receive much more training and this is confirmed by the successes in terms of safety. In the last 10 years we have reduced the accident rate by 85%, which is a significant result. It is a very grateful and hardworking staff of virtues that are not found everywhere”.
Alberto Pérez highlights the fact of having introduces in Morocco all the new technologies in the service of transport, integrated in the buses of Alsa-Morocco and applied in the same way as in Europe. “To talk about the last city in which we set up in 2019, Casablanca, it has nothing to envy to any European city in terms of quality of buses, service or integrated technologies because today it is at the same level”.
In Morocco, the DGA will say again “we had no major administrative problems. Investing in certain countries is sometimes a risk. After 24 years in Morocco there has been none of that. Admittedly, it has not been easy, especially because it takes time to understand how things work, but we have not encountered insurmountable obstacles, at least not different from those that can be found in Spain, Switzerland or Portugal”.
Full of praise he will confide in terms of the passenger, “he is also a very grateful customer who, when he sees that you make an effort, appreciates it very much and returns it to us. Today, we have 300,000 customers and more and more every year. As for another more particular customer, “the authority”, you make a value proposition that solves the real problems and it is followed by a win-win agreement, where we are all winners, the staff, the customer, the authorities, and us as a company”.
Then realistically, the DGA of Alsa-Morocco will note that “for a foreign company, operating in a public service as exposed to public opinion as public transport, in addition to having a quality of service well above the existing average, it is necessary to get involved in the socio-economic fabric of the country, understand the culture, needs and align with the strategic vision of the country”.
Finally he will conclude, “we have experienced during these 24 or 25 years crises like all countries in the world (attacks in Casablanca, Persil Island, changes of government from one trend to another) but in truth we have never been taken into hostage for anything. Whenever we were entitled to a certain claim, we were granted it. I think that in Morocco we know very well how to separate economic relations from political ones, and a private company often has nothing to do with the disputes between the governments of our two countries”.