Othman Ktiri is a self-made entrepreneur who is ambitious, supportive, and enterprising. The attractive-looking businessman also has charm – undoubtedly a useful quality for anyone starting and developing a company in a foreign country. He admits that he came into the automotive world by chance and is not particularly passionate about cars, in the way that some people are. Despite this, he has managed to create a successful automobile company in Spain, based in Mallorca.
He has been in love with the island since he arrived – especially the weather and the gastronomic offerings in the capital, Palma de Mallorca. “There are so many good restaurants I like that I cannot choose my favourite,” he says. Othman considers Palma de Mallorca to be a perfect place to develop a business – for several reasons: “Firstly, its connectivity and strategic location within Europe. In addition, it offers an excellent quality of life,” he says. “We often take security for granted, but the island offers both physical and legal integrity – essential for enjoying both your personal and work life.”
As all entrepreneurs have experienced, the beginnings are never easy. But with a background in economics, Othman took advantage of a unique opportunity when he discovered the automobile sector almost 20 years ago. He is passionate about trade and his ambition has led him to succeed in business.
The most valuable lesson of his entire career is never to give up. His company’s rapid expansion has not been to everyone’s taste: “We had to insist…fight…and show the competitive spirit I have within me.” He says it is essential to capitalise companies, invest in them, and consolidate. “I would tell new entrepreneurs that if they believe in their project, they will never give up in pursuing it.” It was also important for Othman to learn to deal with criticism. “If competitors copy you, then you have a successful model; if they criticize you, they do not know how to copy you.”
An important step in his career was to change his attitude. “I consider myself a perfectionist but, for me, this has been a fault. It wasn’t until I settled for doing just 70 per cent of things right, rather than waiting to be 100 per cent satisfied, that I could make important decisions and take the next step. With this mindset change came the beginning of the OK Group expansion.” He believes the most important differentiating factor of his group is offering excellent quality and price to retain customers. “What holidaymakers save on their car rental allows them to spend more on a better hotel or restaurant – which means they can enjoy their holidays even more,” he says, with an engaging smile.
Significant milestones have been reached during OK Group’s rapid growth, although there has not been enough time to celebrate each one along the way. But a highlight moment in his career was a recent meeting with the branch managers of all the OK Rent-a-Car locations in 27 cities in Spain. “At that time, I became aware of the scope of what I had achieved, and it was very comforting.”
Business success also entails a social responsibility. “We are very concerned about the social fabric that surrounds us. We are involved in local, national, and international initiatives. We contribute where they need us, and we support several environmental associations and NGOs,”Othman says. “We are very concerned about child poverty and the mistreatment of women and children. We are also concerned about the future of our planet and participate in sustainable campaigns. For us it is everything. Money is not an end, it is a means: a moment arrives when business is not only about profitability but also knowing that you can contribute, with humility and from the heart, to the society that surrounds you.”
As for the future: “Ten years ago I did not know where we were going to get to. I cannot read the future but the only thing I do know is that it will be a group which will seek the same commitment from our team and we shall continue to be motivated to give good service and provide the same values that have made us the success we are now. Let’s see where the future takes us!”.
Photos by: Soravit L