In a conversation with Habanos S.A’s founder Moulay Omar Zahraoui who speaks about his success in the tobacco business


Moulay Omar Zahraoui is a 29 year old Morocco based businessman and the founder of popular Cigar brand Habanos S.A, which is the biggest cigar factory in Africa and currently owns tobacco stock worth $50 million.

The best tobacco products are made with the finest ingredients and cigars are one of those sophisticated products majorly used by the high-class people. Nothing beats the elegance that of a cigar. With several different varieties and options, Habanos S.A will emerge as the most popular cigar brand globally. Moulay, the founder, is a serial entrepreneur and a Moroccan investor who has taken over the world with his outstanding business skills.

With Habanos S.A taking everyone’s attention across Africa, Zahraoui’s plan is to expand the cigar brand all over the world. Recognized as one of Morocco’s richest businessman, the 29-year old has got a terrific experience of a decade in the cigar and tobacco business. Moulay is currently at the discussion stage on how to bring Habanos at the forefront on a global level. In an exclusive interview, the businessman reveals about himself, his brand and much more.

Q: What does a typical day in Moulay Omar Zahraoui’s week look like?

Well, it is just like every businessman. The day starts early in my life as I wake up early and plan the entire schedule from morning till night. In the first half, I spend most of my time in the factory and work on pending projects. Tobacco business is something which keeps going. Its consumption by people is never-ending. After finishing the work in the factory, I spend my time on social media understanding how contemporary brands are doing in the market.

Q: What would you say is the key to building a successful cigar and tobacco business?

“There is no secret formula as such to make a cigar and tobacco business a successful venture. It is all about making your clients feel good. If you ask me, quality is the key to build a well-known cigar brand. The clients and customers highly rely on the variety, taste, ingredients used in a cigar. If these criteria are met, there is nothing that can stop a tobacco brand from growing.” the founder said.

Q: What are the 3 things people must know before stepping into this business?

First and foremost is the knowledge about the tobacco industry. One cannot build a tobacco factory or a brand just to run as a successful venture. Before stepping into this business, having a proper understanding of laws is mandatory. Make sure you know all the laws regarding the tobacco business in your country.

Besides this, identifying the target market is also important. The consumers of cigars are majorly the high earning people. Lastly, the product quality comes in the picture and to build trust among clients, it is important to provide the best quality cigars to the customers.

Q: What are your future plans?

We have some bright plans about the future of Habanos S.A. It will gradually make its presence all over the world. However, the first three target markets we are thinking are London, New York and New Delhi. After proper research, my team and I have decided to target these 3 cities of the world first and then we will expand Habanos S.A across the globe.

Q: What is the impact of coronavirus on your sector?

Honestly, COVID-19 pandemic has not affected the tobacco industry. In fact, it has seen a drastic growth. The demand for cigarettes, tobacco and cigars saw an upward trend during the lockdown. The tobacco products have witnessed a great demand at the time of crisis which has benefitted many companies.

Q: To sum it up, what suggestion would you give to our viewers who are into the cigar business?

Moulay said, “It is important to understand the true meaning of partnership. I would suggest that every cigar businessman must build partnership with distributors. Having a strong network with distributors can do wonders for the brand to make the tobacco business a successful venture. We have got 24,000 distributors who have helped us in getting tremendous business.”

We wish Habanos S.A’s Founder Moulay Omar Zahraoui good luck for his future endeavours.

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