Interview with Hakim Mimoun
1) Tell us about yourself.
My name is Hakim, I’m from Corsica, I studied in London and then worked there for 11 years. I joined Roche Bobois in 2010 as it was a company in expansion and I was looking for new horizons. After one year, the Doha (Qatar) franchise was about the open and I applied for the position.
2) How do you make your selections and where are they made?
My selection for the showroom is based on a few aspects:
First I take into consideration what the local market likes, especially in terms of sizes, combinations and material (finishes). There is a lot of intuition, I always order some talking pieces and some pieces which are not too commercial but set trends or are iconic. Twice a year I travel to Paris to see the new collection and from which I make my selection.
3) What was your career before Roche Bobois?
I studied English literature in the UK and was teaching initially. Then I decided to go into a sales environment and by chance I was a recruited to work for an Italian brand and naturally progressed to a managerial position.
4) What motivated you to start with Roche Bobois?
It was a new challenge, but really as the company was expanding worldwide I saw an opportunity to travel – and so it happened.
4a) How did the Roche Bobois business come about in Qatar?
The investor in Qatar was looking for a new brand and recognized Roche Bobois as a great opportunity, I was introduced to him and the decision was made to go ahead.
4b) What are your best-selling collections at Roche Bobois in Doha?
Illusion, Long Island and Grand Hotel
4c) Have you been exploring any new directions in sustainable design or production?
Yes – it’s been ongoing for a while They have redeveloped their own qualitative assessment software tool from Eco6 in 2012 to ECO8 in 2015 based on stages and criteria of the life cycle for a particular product. See ECO-DESIGN AT ROCHE BOBOIS
4d) What are your most recent product releases, what sort of trends and issues do they address in terms of how we are working and living?
See New Collection for the recent product releases. Trends in accessories to be” Odyssey in Colour “: Pink, Green, Pastel universe, Gold, Black & White with retro and multicultural inspirations.
The way of Roche Bobois : “This is what we do: bring together inspiration, know-how and people. Art and life. To make a piece of furniture means to create an “art de vivre”’.
Its sustainable, creative, responsible, tailor-made, for people spaces and pace and exclusively manufactured in Europe.
5) What motivates you to select the suppliers which you have and who are they?
The suppliers are numerous, and mainly located in Italy for the contemporary and in France for the classical. The relationship between the Roche Bobois headquarters in Paris and their suppliers is a very long-term and established one. I have no personal input in selecting Roche Bobois suppliers.
6) What are your business goals at Roche Bobois – Doha?
To open a new showroom in the newly developed luxury Lusail city, 23 km north of the city centre of Doha.
6a) What is the connection between Roche Bobois and its franchises worldwide?
The Roche Bobois headquarters are constantly developing tools to help each franchise around the world to work in the best possible condition, they set a standard in terms of corporate identity and they provide support with marketing and opening new stores.
7) What motivates you to excel in this business?
My integrity, my personal sense of achievement, my responsibility to preserve the reputation of Roche Bobois in Qatar and worldwide – and for my children.
8) What top 5 skills does a National Retail Manager like yourself need in your industry?
Proactivity and reactivity – Team player – Resilience – Attention to detail – Taste for interior
9) As the National Retail Manager of Roche Bobois in Qatar, what are your most significant challenges?
The length of time it takes to receive furniture from Europe and damages when they occur.
10) Tell us your daily activities?
Respond to tenders, provide help and advice to my staff, showroom management: improvement, rotation, display, attending to Client home visits. Ordering stock, checking stock, tracking the logistics of the goods, resolving complaints.
11) How do you promote your collections to Clients and Professionals?
I set up a team to go and make presentations to Interior Designers. We also developed partnerships with wealth funds and credit cards to give offers and incentives. We use Instagram and we promote ourselves at organized events in our showroom in order to meet with our clients.
12) What advice can you offer people who are just starting in that type of industry?
Be very resilient, don t take anything for granted, and always be proactive.
13) What dreams do you wish to achieve in your life?
I want to cultivate my own garden.
14) What is your proudest moment so far?
Achieved Number 1 ranked in the Middle East and Africa – top 16 worldwide.
15) What are the challenges of a franchise owner?
To have sufficient cash flow in order to pay suppliers so that stock can be ordered regularly
16) Where do we find you and Roche Bobois – Doha?
Al Rayyan Al Qadeem St, Doha
Tel: (+974) 4021 2040