External authors

Samir Benmakhlouf

Director General, Microsoft Morocco

After completing his studies, Samir worked as a consultant in the industrial information technology field in Indianapolis, Indiana and in Rochester, New York for leading companies such as Cummins Engines, United Technologies, Bausch and Lomb, and Toshiba. Samir has 16 years of experience in ICT and franchising across many countries, having first joined Microsoft Morocco in 1998 as OEM manager for North and West Africa covering 23 countries. He was later promoted to manage the Small Business and Partners group for North Africa. Samir then moved to leadership roles as a Business Development Manager and then Country Manager of Microsoft Algeria in 2001, then of Microsoft Bahrain in 2002. In 2006, Samir followed his passion for franchising and entrepreneurship, taking a break from Microsoft to start a Century 21 real estate franchise in Morocco, opening 23 branches in 9 different cities. In 2010, Samir established Morocco's prestigious “Arsenal Soccer School” in Casablanca training young footballers and creating a new approach to football and professionalism in this national sport. Since returning to Microsoft in 2011 as Country Manager, Samir has driven many initiatives around e-government services, e-banking and the development of a national education strategy.

Industry associations: During his tenure with Microsoft in Bahrain, Samir was elected President of the American Chamber of Commerce and contributed to the Free Trade Agreement between the United States and the Kingdom of Bahrain. He also serves the CGEM Commission of Ethics and Compliance, the American Chamber of Commerce and Start-Up Weekend, and as a Board Member of APEBI (NTIC Association).