By Abderrahim Boualy
By Abderrahim Boualy
Ouarzazate – Abdellah Elhaloui, a professor at Cadi Ayaad University and the director of the American Corner Marrakech recounted a very inspirational story entitled “Qrita and McDonald’s” during the North Africa International Model United Nations (NAIMUN) conference, which was held in Marrakech from September 26 to 28, 2014. He was among the experts coming from different universities and organizations to inspire youth using their own experiences and stories.
Qrita was a Moroccan cook who ran a small business in Jemaa el Fna Square years ago. He prepared various traditional dishes, mainly fish-based meals. Qrita opened his business the same year international fast food chain McDonald’s opened its first African restaurant in Casablanca, Morocco in 1992.
Both Qrita and McDonald’s started humbly serving local customers, but with different visions. They started in the same time period and in the same field. Though McDonald’s was able to reach customers worldwide and achieve tremendous success, Qrita failed.
There are many reasons behind the success of McDonald’s and many reasons behind the failure of Qrita. The success of McDonald’s can be linked to the background of its community and the fact that it has set plans for the future. Furthermore, McDonald’s has innovation skills and the ability to take risks. Likewise, Qrita’s failure can be attributed to his education and lack of creativity.
Just about everybody agrees that in the modern, competitive world, business creativity is essential for success. However, it is time that all Moroccan business people should think outside their boundaries and dream of becoming international business owners. It is time to tell Moroccans to go beyond the traditional and welcome modern business. It is time for them to embrace creativity. Innovation is the key for successful business.
The key questions that should be asked are: why have we failed to make a fortune? Why have we failed to produce knowledge? Why have we failed to advertise our products? There are countless ideas regarding business creativity. First, creativity is domain-specific. Second, creativity can be taught only if embedded in a well-designed training program. Third, creativity requires inspiration. Fourth, creativity requires hard work.
The major problem for Qrita was that all the characteristics mentioned above are absent in his business, which led to failure. Qrita is the typical Moroccan; one who is satisfied with the status quo, is unable to take risks, and has no future plans. Qrita is the same person year after year, decade after decade.
After a group of students started an initiative to help Qrita develop his project, he moved to another location and opened a new restaurant. Finally, Qrita was able to take a big step in the right direction. This demonstrates how youth can help their community’s effort in becoming creative. Thus, we all encourage all Moroccan business owners to learn from Qrita.
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