At 32 years old, Abderraouf Otay is a well- informed and rigorous entrepreneur. In 2015 he launched “Plastinjection”, a plastic injection unit in Kairouan that has already created 5 jobs including 2 executive roles. His training, experience and career path have helped him to assume an entrepreneurial profile in a sector where it is necessary to constantly innovate to succeed.
Abderraouf has always sought to perfect himself. After completing his industrial maintenance diploma in 2007, he forged this know-how through two-years of experience in a company that supplies hotel equipment in Djerba. He then decided to resume his studies at the Ecole Polytechnique in Sousse to build on his technical skills.
“I was closely following innovations and found out that for the first time in Tunisia, companies were interested in the treatment of risk waste,” says Abderraouf. “In 2010, I was recruited for two years by the “Centre Environnement” in Kairouan and “Sud Environnement” in Gafsa as a Technical Director in charge of the choice of equipment and the purchase of supplies.“
Since then, Abderraouf’s interest in the operation and treatment of high-risk waste, such as infectious material from hospitals which is eventually disposed of in landfills, has grown and he decided to start his own business. To reduce competition, he identified and worked on developing two niche markets; packaging for infectious waste (that was previously always imported), as well as plastic boxes for the water meters used by the National Company of Water Exploitation and Distribution (SONEDE), as part of a spin-off project.
Abderraouf’s dedication to make the best product has led him to analyse the molecular compositions of imported packaging in order to guarantee the quality of his product and be able to compete with European products.
“It was the Kairouan Business Incubator, where I was carrying out the project study, which referred me to the Mashrou3i program to help me to further develop my project. Even though I was more advanced compared to the other participants, I greatly appreciated the HP LIFE training that taught me many innovative technical skills. The training is very professional and perfectly complemented the coaching that was provided to me by the regional Business Incubator. I always keep in mind what I have learned there: finance, marketing, operations, communications as well as efficient technical IT skills and tools. These modules that I have integrated have not only been very useful in the running of my business but also for its development.”
Operating since autumn 2015, “Plastinjection” today supplies 80% of the production of packaging for infectious waste that was previously imported.
With an additional 8 people in his factory, he is already preparing to launch his second niche product, the water counting boxes, which will be delivered to SONEDE.
“In 2016, our UL-certified product won the National Competition for Best Packaging. Now we are working on a product which meets international quality standards that will allow us to compete in neighbouring markets.”