Starting off in Marrakech, we got to experience Morocco’s intriguing culture – Berber-women carpets, colourful spices and tasty tajines. Our adventure continued in Skhirat, outside Rabat, where we had the opportunity to enjoy the ocean between several fruitful meetings. This meant that when we left for Casablanca – the financial centre of Morocco and our last destination – we had made substantial steps towards our final report.
For most people, Casablanca may be most famous for the movie of the same name. Today, Casablanca is a pulsating city of business, and several multinational companies have located their regional headquarters here. Positioned along the Atlantic Ocean and in proximity to both African and European markets, Casablanca is an obvious home for shipping. This we were lucky to learn more about from our visit to the Norwegian Consul-general, Mr. Bennet Kjeldsen. Kjeldsen, which have lived in Casablanca for almost his entire life, gave us a warm welcome and shared with us his unrivalled experience and network. We are very thankful for Mr. Bennet’s hospitality, and would like to encourage any Norwegian
in Casablanca to visit his pristine Scandinavian offices.
Being the financial centre of Morocco, Casablanca has attracted most large consultancy firms like McKinsey, BCG and BearingPoint. We were lucky enough to score meeting with all of the mentioned, getting to know their viewpoints on the Moroccan economy and its present and future opportunities. Helping clients from all over the globe to establish themselves in Morocco, these companies provided essential material for our report.
Luckily, we also had the time for some good old sightseeing. A handful of the team went to visit the jaw-droopingly beautiful and enormous Hassan II mosque. Opened in 1993, the mosque is the tallest building in the whole of Morocco with its 210-meter minaret. Allowing 20,000 praying visitors at once, it’s no less than the largest mosque in the whole Africa. Without doubt a recommendation to all visitors of Casablanca!
Anybody who have seen the movie Casablanca will most definitely have a certain café in mind – Rick’s Café – and we got to visit it. Even though (spoiler alert) the movie itself was never shot in Morocco, Rick’s Café is nevertheless an actual restaurant and bar in the city of Casablanca. Decorated just as in the movie, a visit is just like stepping into a time machine. 40s music sets the atmosphere as we enjoyed beers and drinks over the roulette table. Sponsors will be delighted to know that it was closed for gambling, but still made us feel like characters in the 1942 movie.
Casablanca proved to be a valuable last resort for our visit in Morocco, and on Saturday morning we headed to Marrakech to fly back to Norway. Morocco has been a truly unforgettable experience, and flight back were filled with discussion on what we would like to do on our next visit. This country has so many things to experience, and like many Norwegian businesses we have only scraped its surface. Our final report will maybe make this a fact of the past.
Putting an end to our fieldwork, the flight back home was not the final effort for our part. There is still work to be done, and in the coming weeks we will finalise the report and recruit the next IB-team. Stay tuned for more information!