Ahead of time with entrepreneur Bilal Yakhlaf

With Calinz, entrepreneur Bilal Yakhlaf wants to introduce the world to Moroccan gold: Argan oil. The oil has been praised for centuries for its beneficial effects. It nourishes the skin, nails and hair, is rich in antioxidants and has a hydrating effect. Bilal's search for pure, honest and quality products made from this miracle oil eventually led him to produce it himself. In Time Ahead, MASTERS looks to the future with the young entrepreneur and exhibitor at MASTERS EXPO: what does he hope to have achieved in ten years and what will he take with him to the fair in December?
Edwin Smulders

If you were allowed to invent something yourself that has already been invented in the past 50 years, what would it be?

"A quantum computer. Not only because of the financial returns I would have made, but also because I believe this computer is going to change the way we live in the future."

What was the initial reaction to the business plan and who did it come from?

"Thefirst person I told about my plan was my colleague in the office. He reacted very enthusiastically; he already knew Argan Oil and fully supported the product. I told my colleague about the future plans of Calinz: the lifestyle we want to convey, the farmers we help and the women's organizations working for Calinz in Morocco.

My colleague and I know each other well; he knows that I work with passion and full conviction when I start something. My colleague has the same attitude, by combining our strengths we can work very well together and manage my team well."

What is your company's vision? 

"The goal is to introduce people to Argan oil. But above all, with Calinz I want to mean something to people and create a better world in Argan oil; Calinz becomes a lifestyle. It is important to me that everyone involved benefits from our success. For example, we have agreed with farmers in Morocco to pay a daily price. Often you see that companies from abroad have concluded a kind of stranglehold contracts with these farmers containing a fixed price for their products for, say, four or five years. This can put the farmers in trouble when prices rise. In addition, I also want to do something for women in Morocco. I actually also have only one male colleague, for the rest the company consists of only women."

 

"Above all, I want to mean something to my fellow man with Calinz. Calinz is becoming a lifestyle"

 

What is the biggest milestone you have achieved so far?    

"Our customer satisfaction is very high. On Trusted Shops we score almost all stars, when I see that I really think that's a milestone. Another highlight was sales in the first year. In the first year we had the same numbers in terms of sales as a major competitor from the Netherlands. Then I knew: 'We are on the right track'."

What do you hope to have accomplished ten years from now? 

"I want everyone in the world to know what Argan oil is ten years from now. Argan oil from Calinz is a pure and honest product. Before I came up with the name of the company at all, I knew I wanted to go global. The good results achieved in the first year give me a lot of positive energy and motivation to continue this line."

Who is your dream customer?

"I don't necessarily have a dream client, but I do have a company I would love to work with. They have 2,700 branches around the world."

MASTERS EXPO focuses on craftsmanship, innovation and entrepreneurship. What do you hope the fair brings you?

"The foundation of Calinz has already been laid on Dutch soil, but I think at MASTERS EXPO we can introduce the brand at a higher level. Also, many international brands are present, so I think I can expand my network."

Curious about Calinz' 100% natural products? Visit the website here.

 

MASTERS EXPO 

MASTERS EXPO is Europe's only exclusive business fair and focuses on craftsmanship, innovation and entrepreneurship. Approximately four hundred exceptional (family) companies from nearly twenty different industries - from business to lifestyle, cars to design and watches to boats - will enter the exhibition floor from December 8 to 12, 2022 in RAI Amsterdam. Keep an eye on the website for the start of ticket sales.