Self-made icon Ahmed Mhiri sets example for Tunisian youth

“Dream big and work hard! My motto is “it always seems impossible until it is done!” See how far you can go but do what you really want to do!” said TravelCar Founder and CEO Ahmed Mhiri.

For him, the key to accomplishment is to be motivated, determined, and positive. He believes that it is not going to be easy, there will be many bumps and bruises along the way and that he will never get through them if he goes into the project half-heartedly. Ahmed Mhiri knows that he can achieve anything if he puts his mind to it and knows his direction to fully pursue it.

Native of the aghlabite city of Kairouan, Ahmed Mhiri obtained his baccalaureate in the early 2000s, and began an academic career which seemed rather ordinary but later turned out, thanks to his ambition, to be in an outstanding success.

Getting his degree from the Ecole supérieure des technologies de l’informatique (ESTI), now called the National School of Engineers (ENI) of Carthage, Tunisian Ahmed Mhiri was looking forward and wanted to reach further horizons where achievement takes perseverance and dedication.

So his journey started when he went to France and joined the university to get a master degree in computer security at the University of Versailles before obtaining a new diploma of specialisation which allowed him to be appointed as manager of IT projects. He became responsible for the security of information systems.

Ahmed Mhiri’s ambition and determination were stronger along with a self-confidence that made him join entrepreneurship by creating his own start-up “TravelCar”.  The project takes him all his time since then by travelling between Paris and Los Angeles to ensure follow-up and expansion.

Ahmed Mhiri has a strong passion for travel and for the discovery of a new world and cultures which make him a globe-trotter, and a great admirer of the world of startups and great entrepreneurs which leads him to the creation of an innovative start-up in the field of mobility and tourism with a project that meets the needs of several travellers.

TravelCar not only makes parking free but also turn it into a source of income for the owners of the car and also a mobility solution that costs up to 70% less than traditional players.

Expressing his pride for the project Ahmed Mhiri said:”It is quite obvious that every entrepreneur wishing to succeed must make enormous sacrifices”.  “Your project is your baby! You devote all your time to it: morning, noon and evening, and cogitation continues during your sleep”, he told media.

He spoke of the difficulties he faced in order to complete his work. The young entrepreneur had to find an insurer who would agree to follow him and create a suitable product, to find investors to finance the project at several levels of development, not to mention that it was also necessary to conquer the owners of cars and renters, answer all their questions and apprehensions.

To overcome all these difficulties, there is no miracle according to the young man. “You have to be realistic, pragmatic, persistent, dynamic and visionary, and surround yourself with more experienced people and learn how to walk”, according to his own words.

Once all these ingredients united, the company of Ahmed Mhiri, is in a position of strength in the market, or even as leader in this brand new field. But, still with a boundless ambition, the Tunisian businessman is already thinking about the next step, according to him, to strengthen the project while guaranteeing the possible widest expansion.

“Now that we are leaders in car-sharing in France and Europe with more than 500,000 customers in 35 countries, we want to conquer the world, starting with the US market where we are based, since TravelCar is now present and active in Los Angeles, the second largest airport in the United States of America and in San Francisco”, he said

After  this strong presence in Europe, Travelcar is firmly embarking on the US market, where its low-cost parking activity near airports will be very useful for limiting development and make its car-sharing offer known. The young shoot counts on the five biggest airports in the country by the end of the year.

To carry out and accelerate growth in France and abroad, Ahmed Mhiri recently managed to raise the sum of 15 million Euros.

Crowning this success, TravelCar was awarded the Prize of the Start-up “Tour of the year 2015” and the European Prize of the public 2016 at the Summit of the innovation Travel to the Phocuswright in Dublin.

Additionnally,  in February 2017 Ahmed Mhiri was ranked among the French’s top 10 favourite young entrepreneurs at an entrepreneur prize ceremony hosted by French newspapers Les Echos and Le Parisien.

On 15th June 2017, He  won an award for innovation during the opening night of the Paris Air Forum.

Besides,  TravelCar won the  International Pioneer Award at the BFM Business ‘Grands Prix des services’ ceremony, on 26th June 2017 .

Speaking to Tunisian youth Ahmed Mhiri said: “Move, be more curious and fight for carrying out your dreams. Nothing is guaranteed but nothing prevents you from giving the best of yourselves. The key to success may not be there but you will have the merit of trying, gaining new expertise and a little more learning.  So do not stop saying that nothing is impossible. Everything is about timing, ideas, environment and work, work and hard work.

Ahmed Mhiri is also grateful to his homeland and looked for ways to help and carry out  something beneficial and fruitful there. On the occasion of the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought (June 17), Ahmed Mhiri’s TravelCar is committed to “Acacias For All”, a new project to offset CO2 emissions from private car rentals.  A bit like the Indian Jadav Payeng did on Majuli Island, the goal is to build a plant barrier to protect the village of Chakmou, in Tozeur, Tunisia and prevent desertification.

TravelCar’s contribution to this project is financing the installation of water well and irrigation system in order to gradually plant 20 Ha of land and protect the village of Chakmou from wind, sand and desert progression.

“Supporting Sarah Toumi’s initiative and its social and solidarity-based business “Acacias for All” is a choice of heart and reason for TravelCar, With heart because I am of Tunisian origin and of reason, in view of the state of emergency of the climate change effects the region,” said Ahmed Mhiri, founder of TravelCar.

Ahmed Mhiri’s success story is a strong message to the whole world that Tunisia is a land that gives birth to youth who work hard, give hope for a brighter future, share good will, knowledge and experiences and most of all reject the culture of obscurantism.

TunisianMonitorOnline (MNHN)



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