Happy 5 years: Ossama Aasriou VP Procurement & Marketing
My name is Ossama Aasriou, married, two children and I’m VP Procurement & Marketing at CTA Group, which I joined over five years ago, as I arrived in June 2015.
On my arrival, as Sales Manager, I was in charge of the commercial development of our company in West and Central Africa.
I spent the first six months between Kontich (our headquarters) and Africa (our customers).
The objective was for me to get to know my new colleagues, to get to know the company culture and to understand the needs of our customers and more generally the markets we were present in. During this period, I realised that CTA was known on the continent as a central purchasing centre for the mining sector, capable of supplying a wide variety of products used on a mining site (exploration, camp, production, plant, etc.). CTA was also known for its ability to consolidate different orders and ship them quickly to Africa. Efficient logistics had been redesigned to integrate the order process upstream, which enabled us to offer better follow-up and personalised service.
Perhaps this is what prompted CSTT AO Group to take an interest in CTA in 2014 as the two groups were complementary.
CTA Group then deployed its new strategy based on three major pillars: Distribution, Service and Trading.
In our development strategy, it became clear that we needed to be closer to our customers and so I was asked to launch our first subsidiary in Africa, in Burkina Faso.
A country with very strong mining and industrial potential that I had been in for several years through my previous missions. So I spent four years there, based in Ouagadougou, while continuing our commercial development in other territories.
In 2016, with the same objective in mind, we launched our second subsidiary: CTA Sénégal.
This subsidiary would be the start of new adventures and new challenges.
Indeed, 2016 was the year that marked the beginning of a new vision: to be the preferred partner of our customers and position ourselves as a provider of integrated solutions.
Our distribution division has strongly contributed to this change by forging strong partnerships with premium manufacturers and brands such as: Siemens, SKF, DAF, NLMK, Xylem, etc…
CTA Group is now able to offer an integrated solution from sourcing, procurement, logistics service, after-sales service and stock management (VMI).
The integration is complete as CSTT AO, our parent company, provides us with the solutions for freight forwarding and logistics services with a network of subsidiaries and agents throughout Africa.
CTA Group, as a distributor, ensures product promotion and availability while offering after-sales service with a mobile technical team based in Dakar, for greater responsiveness.
Senegal has become a HUB for the supply of products and services.
In 2018, we concretized our agreement with DAF and started the construction of our first DAF distribution center in West Africa. It is now completed and will be inaugurated in the last quarter of 2020. It combines all the necessary services for the maintenance and repair of our customers’ DAF trucks with a dedicated workshop, spare parts stock and technical teams.
In addition to these services, Senegal is also our logistics hub with the African Logistic Platform: Located on the border between Mali and Senegal, this platform represents a very competitive solution to meet the challenges in terms of local and regional availability.
With these changes and the strengthening of our teams both at headquarters and in the subsidiaries, we have been able to reorganize our way of working. The management team has been reinforced with the functions of VP Sales & Operations, Inside Sales Manager and Sales Regional Manager.
This is how I started a new challenge with CTA as VP Procurement & Marketing, since the end of 2019.
My missions are to develop partnerships with manufacturers and premium brands, to develop the distribution of these products and services with the right marketing approach. Marketing encompasses communication, positioning, market research, brand deployment in our territories and many other challenges.
I am now based in Dakar, closer to our HUB and our parent company.
As soon as I took up my position, I set about giving CTA’s image a slight facelift, be it the logo, the website, our presence on social networks, our publications through flashnews and corporate news. Then, with the help of management and my colleagues, I defined the products for which there was very strong demand and which we had to approach through the distribution division.
This is how I started my sixth year at CTA Group, hoping to take on many more challenges and continue to contribute to the success of CTA Group!
I’ll see you in five years’ time for another update!