It all began with a cup of coffee.
Soraya Badraoui Drissi started her career in Europe, heading a 600-employee enterprise that sold perfumes. However, after drinking a particular cup of coffee, she decided to sell her business and start a new one back in Morocco.
Soraya was on a mission to provide high-quality coffee in her home country. She launched the Lavazza brand in 1994 and has been managing the Top Class Lavazza Company since then with franchises across Morocco.
Morocco is a “tea culture,” explained Soraya, but it was that challenge that motivated her to innovate and bring change to the local market. “I had a vision and a strategy to be able to introduce my product in all the market segments,” she said. Today, the company leads the Moroccan coffee market. Her goal is to have 20,000 clients by the end of 2012.
With over 20 years of experience in management, Soraya also works to support the creation of new companies led by women, as well as the training of young graduates and unemployed women.
She is a Founding Member and the Former President of the Association of Women Chiefs of Enterprise of Morocco, the MENA BWN hub in Morocco. “It is essential to be part of a professional network,” she said. “Networking across the region will create new opportunities for businesses.” Soraya is working on expanding the network, which currently has 600 members and supports more than 100 enterprises, by creating delegations in different parts of Morocco.
Soraya, who is also the Vice-President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises and a Board Member of the Moroccan National Agency for the Promotion of SMEs, wants to contribute to the economic and social stability of the MENA region. She hopes that her network, along with the MENA BWN, will be able to advocate for policies that affect businesses in the region.
“If you expand the middle class in our countries, the entire society will benefit,” Soraya said. “The work of women in particular is extremely important since women invest back into their families, children and community as a whole.”