1. Can you introduce yourself, please?
My name is Hicham Ziati, I am 28 years old, I was born in Canada and grew up in Morocco. When I was 17 I went to France to go to Nice for prep class because the weather conditions were close to the weather in Rabat (Yes, I must confess that the weather portrait of my person is very mixed, I am kidding 😉).
Besides, I’m passionate about cinema from all over the world, whether it’s a film by Almodovar or Bong Joon Ho, what counts is that I’m emotionally touched.
Super attached to the multicultural side that my parents passed on to me, if I had to define myself, it would be the word “Sociable” which would be the most appropriate and which is a direct consequence of the environment in which I grew up in. I assume that I am thinking in a certain way, but that by listening to the person in front of me, I would come out richer because he or she might have a different point of view. Not only is it very enriching, but it makes you humble.
Yes, humility is a very important value for me, it was transmitted to me by my parents as much through education as by those around me. It is invaluable when it is passed on by others, and I am super grateful to them.
I consider traveling as a living art, observing people as if I was really attending a show. From Dubai, Rabat, Montreal to Chile, I keep these memories in me, and they are gems that I hold on to in my everyday life. It calms me down a lot.
This living art, I live it every day and that’s why I love the contact with people, I can seem discreet but in reality I start all the time by observing and listening (I use it afterwards to make imitations of people 🙂). I consider myself a unifying person, both professionally and humanly. This goes along with my creative side constantly nourished by this touch of humor and laughter, so vital to me.
You will have an impression that I am so bulimic of my two main passions, that “I have watched a billion movies and traveled through 40 countries.” Apart from that, I’m sensitive to techno music, and to art in general, because creativity is for me essential from a cultural, relational point of view. It’s very inspiring.
2. What is your job position at Toucan and what are your missions?
I am Delivery Manager, and I come into the picture at the time of the implementation of the application at the customer’s site and where it is customized according to his needs. I like to summarize my job in a synthetic and precise way with three hats, that of :
- a project manager who does both project management and customer relationship management
- an expert in data visualization, on the Toucan Toco product and also on the latest product features and to be proposed in order to make customers react on it.
- a trainer, to make the partners increase their competence on the product, this is the “Trainer”.
3. In your opinion, what are the essential qualities to do this job?
For me the essential qualities are :
Empathy and listening: in this type of job you have to be focused on customer relations and be able to understand that they can react to certain things as well as their frustration because our customers are at the center of our priorities, and they can also give us good feedback. Especially since we work with sectors that are constantly evolving.
- Adaptability: because it is essential to adapt to different situations and to deal with problems that are not the same every day.
- Reassurance and pedagogy: choosing the right words and highlighting the sincere advantages of the solutions we can bring to the client. Taking the time, it’s through a sincere and transparent discussion that we can communicate more.
- Knowing how to say no to a client goes hand in hand with explaining the reasons and the added value of an alternative solution.
4. Have you always worked for a tech company or in the tech sector?
No, not necessarily, I did a prep course at HEC Nice with a specialization in Economics and Business and then I joined Neoma Business School in Rouen. During this course I did 4 internships:
- At Havas Media International, a company where I carried out marketing studies for luxury cosmetic brands. (Coty and Hermes for example)
- At L’Oréal where I was a Business Analyst for L’Oréal Paris and Garnier brands in Dubai.
- At Canal + in the finance department, of the international distribution of Studio Canal films. An internship during which I worked on Paddington, Mac Beth etc, a real pleasure! )
- At Criteo, one of our unicorns, in the FP&A department
It was during my last internship that I realized that it was tech that interested me the most, both for the possibility of professional and personal evolution but also for the ability of this sector to continuously reinvent itself. So you never get bored.
This wake-up call made me take a real shift, so I went to work at CapGemini Invent for around 2 years for various industries. It was a good opportunity to be able to learn from different challenges and to grow in my expertise.
Then, I wanted to specialize on a particular product while keeping this plurality of industries. I also wanted to evolve in a dynamic company, to be part of a human adventure with real values. One thing that was close to my heart was to bring something to the company, hence my search for a smaller structure. That’s when I encountered Toucan Toco.
5. What motivated you most to work at Toucan? The job in itself, its missions, its career perspectives, the values?
From the very first stages of the recruitment process it was a crush, I immediately felt that I was going to be part of a team. As an amusing memory, in the first call I was talking to Margot Sylvain, the Product Owner Dev & Product, and I could hear her cat Merlin meowing in the background. This natural side of doing serious things without taking oneself seriously pleased me and I took it as a sign. The rest of the adventure confirmed this intuition, and I am grateful to evolve today with original and colorful personalities.
6. According to you, what’s the biggest value the customer got out of this analytics offer?
The biggest added value is the fact that our solution meets a need. Handling Excel files on a daily basis is time-consuming, and we’re not going to lie to ourselves: this is boring!
In response, the added value of the Toucan Toco solution is that it’s a sexy data communication tool that allows a real-time reading of the data, which allows companies to project themselves, and above all makes the experience more fun for the user. And all this without leaving the solution, all the resources being in the platform itself gives the possibility to communicate with its collaborators.
7. How does the analytics feature impact customer business growth?
What comes immediately to me is the real time saving that the Toucan Toco solution brings. Indeed, it allows you to dedicate the time spent on time-consuming and non-value-added tasks to the analysis. As a result, companies gather actionable insights and take enlightened initiatives/decisions.
8. Can you tell your best project story/memory? And why did this project make a particular impression on you?
It’s my first project, it made a big impression on me! It consisted in creating an application for Euler Hermes called Tradematch, (a sort of tinder of commercial opportunities for export) which helps companies to identify export opportunities and risks in order to know where to invest in the world according to economic studies. This makes even more sense now in the age of COVID-19.
To carry out this project, I had the chance to work alongside Ludovic Subran, Chief Economist at Allianz, and Georges Dib, Economist at Euler Hermes & Allianz, and it was super inspiring both.
9. What are you gonna do after this interview?
I’m going to have dinner with friends, eat a good ramen at Ippudo, my canteen in Paris!