The new sales manager for the northern part of France is passionate about canyoning. On a minibus trip, he would watch the film “Inception” and take a potato omelette as a snack.
Soufian Fadil (Kasbat Tadla, Morocco, 1987) starts his seventh month of work at Integralia this July. The sales manager for the northern part of France speaks four languages, has studied at two universities in two different countries and is considering a PhD at the Public University of Navarra. Although he comes from the oil sector, his specialisation covers everything related to mobility.
What has it been like landing at Integralia?
Since I arrived six months ago, I feel that every day I have learned something new from my colleagues. There are people who know in depth what their areas of work are, they transmit that passion to the rest of the team in their day-to-day work, so learning in this way is easy.
As a result of my responsibilities in the company, there are two people in the team who are helping me a lot and with whom I have the most contact. On the one hand there is Óscar, who as CEO is showing me what the company is like and what challenges we are facing and, on the other hand, Efrén who also has a lot to teach me as he knows the market very well due to his position as Sales Director for Spain.
What was your first day like?
Beginnings always involve nerves as a result of doubts about what the responsibilities are going to be. But, from the moment I arrived and started to get to know my colleagues, everyone made me feel very comfortable and the welcome was very good. I feel integrated from the first day at Integralia.
Is it possible to innovate in the sales process?
Integralia’s sales processes are very personalised, so we could consider that we innovate in each sale. Customers’ needs are not the same and for us, satisfying them is our priority. The sales processes are very different from each other, so I am always looking for solutions to bring to our customers.
You speak four languages very fluently (English, French, Arabic and Spanish) and you use them all on a daily basis, do you sometimes mix them up?
Sometimes I mix them up, especially when I write between French and Spanish, which have a similar Latin root.
Do you learn to sell or are you born with a commercial streak?
I think everything is learned. Some people are better at some tasks, but then you have to practice. Even people who are born with that commercial streak need to study and learn about the product, sales processes and customer service.
How did you train?
I studied Business Management and Finance at Hassan University in Morocco, where I also did a Master’s degree in Marketing. Then I did a Masters in Business Management at the Public University of Navarra, which was the first step towards a PhD in Economics at the same university.
I am sure that patience is one of the characteristics that a person dedicated to sales and customer service must have. How do you learn it?
Patience is learned with patience (laughs).
And do mistakes teach us anything?
Yes, I am convinced that every mistake is an opportunity to learn and improve.
What is your favourite work tool?
And the most rewarding part of your job?
Delivering vehicles to customers. That’s when you can see the culmination of the work of the whole company, from SAT to Finance to Innovation. Each minibus has a little bit of each department.
And the least?
I don’t like to do a job twice. But sometimes you have to do it, and you do it.
A phrase you like?
There is one attributed to Confucius that I think is definitive about how human beings learn: ‘Tell me and I will forget it, show me and I will remember it, involve me and I will learn it’. I think it expresses a willingness to connect with each other that makes all the difference.
What do you do in your free time?
I love watching series and going out with my friends. I also do sport, I really enjoy swimming, hiking and canyoning. I love the surroundings of Pamplona because there are great areas to walk around and the views are wonderful.
Can you recommend a recipe?
Couscous with vegetables and chicken. It was my favourite dish when I was a kid and it always takes me back to that time in my life when I loved playing football with my friends in the streets of my city.
What drink do you accompany couscous with?
Of course, a typical Moroccan recipe must be accompanied by its traditional drink: mint tea.
What film would you watch on a trip in the minibus during a journey?
Christopher Nolan’s ‘Inception’ with Leonardo di Caprio. Especially if the scenery is not very beautiful, because this film hooks you and doesn’t let go until the end. Even in the credits you’re still thinking about it.
And what would you eat in the minibus while travelling?
A potato omelette, because it’s easy to transport, travel-resistant and delicious.
What is your favourite technological gadget?
I couldn’t live without my laptop and watch.
What would you like to invent?
The recipe for a new cake.
What would you like others to start?
A time machine. There would be days when I would use it to go to the past and others to live in the future.
What series have you watched recently?
The Good Doctor, I love Dr Murphy.
What book has shaped your life?
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. It made me see features that you don’t normally hear about in formal education that are really important in the development of life.
Can you recommend a song for travelling?
Destin by Celine Dion.
Where do you like to sit when you travel in a minibus?
I don’t get carsick, so I don’t mind sitting in the middle or in the back. But one thing is clear to me: on the non-sunny side of the bus.
Do you have a routine when you travel?
If it’s a business trip, I take the opportunity to work on my laptop. If it’s not a business trip, I try to memorise the route the first time I go somewhere, while enjoying the scenery.
What was your longest minibus trip?
There were several trips in Malaysia, some lasting up to 16 hours on a wonderful backpacking trip with friends, we travelled by bus from the island of Langkawi in the north to Malacca in the south via Kuala Lumpur. We were also able to enjoy the area from the east to the Perhentian Islands, it was a wonderful trip and adventure.
Which destination do you still have to visit?
Many, I love to travel. My next destinations will be in Asia and Latin America.
What is comfort for you?
Something I like.
What do you do when you travel?
Look out of the window to enjoy the scenery. I rarely fall asleep.