Joe Sakr, a heavyweight in the world of industrial sheet metal vehicle manufacturing
With his Master’s degree and diploma in Mechanical Engineering, this charismatic entrepreneur surpasses frontiers. In fact, thanks to his twelve years in the service of this industry, Joe Sakr founded his own company and is tackling the markets in one of the most difficult continents, Africa. With his analytical thinking, Sakr goes into overdrive and shares with Masculin all about his career, achievements, and ambitions.
What have you named your company and why?
Lynx is the actual name, derived from “links” basically because what we effectively do is create links between our industrial sheet metal vehicle manufacturers and the imminent needs of carriers in this field. This is also to have the sensibility of a feline and the piercing eye of this Lynched king that sees through walls, hence the expression “Eye of a Lynx”.
How was “Lynx” born?
Lynx is the accumulation of 12 years of expertise and active presence in 16 countries of West and Central Africa stretching from Senegal to the Congo. In 2013, after the economic crisis of Europe, the manufacturers were forced to revise their prices downward and to align with the conditions of the African market to find new markets to compensate for the recession of the Euro zone. Based on a rigorous portfolio in the MEA (Middle East and Africa) zone, I capitalized on this rare opportunity; that of offering the African market a European product of high quality with a rather affordable price. When the manufacturers became aligned with the required conditions of the new markets, I was able to commit myself, thus enabling me to sign the exclusive distribution agreement with four major industrial sheet metal vehicle manufacturers such as Menci, Mitra, Schmitz, and OKT (Italy and Germany).
What is your battle horse?
We were among the first in Africa to introduce the fuel truck conceived and manufactured according to the ADR code, and our trucks were approved by TOTAL and SHELL for their 41 African affiliates. We are also quite present in the mining industry with our rear and lateral tippers which respond to quite severe conditions of operation; while not neglecting the active sector of transportation of containerized and bulk cargo.
On the other hand, our reputation allowed us to gain the confidence of some major players in the field; being the suppliers of trucks and tractors as we established strong links based on mutual trust with industry giants such as Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Renault Trucks, Iveco/Astra, and Volvo Truck Corporation among others.
How do you operate?
I have my “eye of the lynx” everywhere. I keep an eye on many countries and I have local partners who are constantly in close touch with the market; with their extensive knowledge of the surrounding economies and with my immediate intervention whenever necessary. In any case, I spend 50% of my time in Africa.
What are your future projects?
We are market leaders in more than one country; we are always trying to enlarge our geographical reach by affirming our presence in the markets we sell into as well as in those potential markets we wish to penetrate. Strengthened by our European partners, we can offer a wide range of steel-made products, which are very common these days in Africa. We are also able to offer products made of aluminum and stainless steel, which are already popular in Europe and we are not too late in knocking on Africa’s doors. We are ready, and already in the process of supporting our customers with this strategic development.
What are the risks you face in Africa?
The risks, like everywhere today in the world, are first physical, attacks or others, followed by the risk of instability, especially political, particularly in this region of the world. But the future is in Africa, because most of the countries are experiencing strong growth and development, and are in need of qualitative support to accompany their progress.
What message would you like to pass on to our readers as a young entrepreneur?
We have to learn to withdraw from already traveled roads and start a new endeavor in which we can excel. My own experience proves that we need to get ourselves into risky markets and be agile in our approach.
So, remaining loyal to your customer base, increasing your presence, and establishing your reputation are not accidental. Being always available, meeting the needs of clients in the shortest possible time, and striving to always offer the best with a step ahead of the competition, can be the secret of success for sustainability.
This business model is also suitable for major brands as they are able to make profit with fewer expenses; all while being incorporated in a single professional entity.
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