Based in Kénitra, Morocco, Brahim Belghiti wants to conquer African roads with his robust scooter, capable of carrying heavy loads.
An office building in Kénitra: plans spread out on a table showing a 3D rectangle bordered by all kinds of measurements. In a corner of the room, cycle wheels, thick black or white tires and shiny rims. The Pickalty team, which is refining its scooter project, is hard at work.
There is Brahim Belghiti, the founder of the start-up, a trainee from the ENSET (National School of Technical Education) in Rabat, and a person in charge of the administrative aspect. “Three subcontractors with specifications and that we put in competition delivered prototypes, explains Brahim Belghiti, but I am not satisfied, even if it passes for an untrained eye …”
Verdict: back to the workshop, manufacturers will have to put the book back on the job. “We try to do in 3-4 months what usually takes 1 to 2 years. The model must at all costs avoid returns for nonconformity or technical problems ”. With a selling price of 12,000 dirhams (1,000 euros), Pickalty wants to win over customers who today have to pay between 20 and 30,000 dirhams for an entry-level engine model.
A production unit in Kénitra
Pickalty plans to eventually open a production unit in Kenitra
By then, local companies will be responsible for manufacturing the scooter. Established for six months in this medium-sized city north of Rabat, Brahim Belghiti emphasizes that the market is buoyant. The vehicle he is developing will be able to carry up to 300 kilos of load, thanks to a box located at the front.
“There are around 280,000 two-wheelers in Morocco, not counting those who are not registered, that’s 1% of the population [which has 34 million inhabitants]. Initially, we target popular, professional or private projects. Small vendors, freight transport or even an urban courier, for example. “In the long term, other uses are envisaged, such as recreation and tourism.
A tamper is still safer than having to transport a lamb on a moped.
With the implementation of the regulations on two-wheelers in Morocco, which requires their identification, “Pickalty will be the only alternative”, believes the young leader, who says he is struck by the risk-taking he sees on the roads Moroccan: “A tamper is still safer than having to transport a lamb on a moped. ”
Originally from Tiznit, at the gateway to the Sahara, Brahim Belghiti arrived in France at the age of eight months. His family then settled in Denain, in the north, in the middle of the mining basin, a town hit hard by the decline of the steel industry.
After passing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he followed a BTS commercial technician. He then worked as a mechanic in industry and went on to temporary positions.
Since a first professionalization contract, he pursues, in parallel with his entrepreneurial activities, his career in consulting with large groups in many sectors, Hamon, Altran, Alstom, Clemessy Nucléaire, L’Oréal … He is now committed to from Kelvion, one of the world leaders in heat exchangers.
Not to mention malimousine.fr, a high-end limousine rental site, which has won several awards, and which it is also at the origin of.
Fundraising of 3 to 4 million dirhams
But for Pickalty, now, “the objective is to succeed in raising 3 to 4 million dirhams, if we manage to raise 50% it will be perfect,” said Brahim Belghiti. The rest will be a personal contribution. The start-up would like to be present at the next Pollutec fair. Ultimately, the leader sees himself investing in the Atlantic Free Zone, the Kenitra free zone.
And counts on the ripple effect of the active policies pursued by Morocco in terms of clean energy and the momentum given by the COP22 in Marrakech.
Once built, the Kenitra production unit should produce 10,000 scooters per year from 2018, 20,000 from 2020. Brahim Belghiti sees his Pickalty rolling beyond the Moroccan market: “I would like to export to Spain and in southern Europe, but it is above all the African markets that seem very promising to me. “