Success story: Jalel is building a detergents empire in the south of Tunisia

December 21, 2018

Strategically located on the main road from Houmet Essouk to Midoun in Djerba, AMEN Detergents is one of the largest firms for the manufacture and sale of cleaning products in Southern Tunisia.

Jalel Moussa, founder and manager of AMEN Detergents, is busy overseeing the latest orders for delivery to some of Djerba’s hotels. Opposite the factory, private customers are queuing up to purchase the many products available to them in AMEN’s self-service store.

“A good vision, a solid strategy and a sense of sharing” are the three keys to my success,” explains Jalel.

As a true self-made businessman, Jalel looks back on his career during the last 9 years that led him to create a company that today exports from Djerba to Libya. The business is flourishing so well that he soon sees himself making AMEN Detergents a large industrial group.

“I had to leave school at barely 20 years old for private matters. I started working in the hotel industry, in the food sector, where I proved myself for 10 years,” says Jalel. “My first job was in a hotel in the region and then with a large French group. I became more mature and responsible, with great potential for management and control in food and beverage. I also gained a wealth of knowledge and became well-known in the region.”

In 2010, he sealed a friendship with his first business partner and jumped into the field of entrepreneurship with the launch of the company AMEN Detergents for the trade of cleaning products. They took advantage of the Revolution period to launch the export of their products to Libya. The adventure succeeded and two years later they opened their first manufacturing factory together. Today, it employs 35 people, including 5 seasonal workers.

But the adventure of entrepreneurship was just beginning. In 2016, he founded AMIN with Senegalese and Tunisian partners, a business that manufactures and sells cleaning products in Senegal. The business runs so well that he is seriously thinking about manufacturing sodium hypochlorite, the raw material for his cleaning products.

In November 2017, he attended a seminar organized by the APII in Douz, where he discovered the project Mashrou3i funded by USAID, the Italian Cooperation, HP Foundation and implemented by UNIDO.

“Thanks to this meeting and the Mashrou3i training in environment, the launch of a point of sale was obvious to me, with a unique concept in Tunisia: self-service,” explains Jalel. “This concept has been duplicated everywhere in the South with the opening of 50 boutiques exclusively dedicated to the sale of Amen products.”

“We also received a visit from the UNIDO experts who helped us solve our three main issues and allowed us to expand the structure: certification, container recycling and raw materials.”

Today Jalel’s major concern is to maintain quality at a competitive price. With a production of 50 tons per month, the company is able to supply its suppliers but also the retailers and individuals throughout southern Tunisia.

“Meanwhile with the creation of Tunisia Chimie, we will supply the entire south of Tunisia in sodium hypochlorite and meet the needs of manufacturers. We are currently working with the UNIDO experts on an impact study and securing access to financing for a round of 5 million Tunisia Dinars.”

From self-made businessman, Jalel Moussa has become the man of challenges. Supported by Mashrou3i, he ambitiously tackles the new year with two new projects: the manufacture of his own packaging and the establishment of a factory for detergent products in Mali. After all, the man of sharing became the man of all situations, with one goal: success.