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Egyptian-born newcomer Moatassem Moatez builds a successful business during the pandemic

October 5, 2022

By Canadian Immigrant Magazine |

Imagine you decide to start a new company in a country you recently immigrated to. You don’t have any clients yet and rather than try to get the small fish in the sea and build from the ground up, you decide to knock on the door of the largest online retailer in the world – Amazon.

Now, imagine they say yes?

Moatassem Moatez, CEO of MyCourier
That’s what happened to Moatassem Moatez, CEO of MyCourier. Moatez was born in Egypt, spent 15 years building a career in Dubai and immigrated to Canada with his wife and two children in August 2019, only six months before the world would be shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A few months after arriving in Canada, Moatez decided to start an e-commerce business selling an outdoor retractable stool that he branded Yellow Box.

“The first shipment came at the end of January, then boom – March 2020 came. I felt I was literally just starting,” he says. With people in lockdown and mindsets shifting from outdoor social activities to isolation activities, Moatez decided to scrap the business and donated the entire shipment of the product to charity.

“If you leave it in the warehouse, you’re paying for the warehouse and it’s not selling,” he says.

By May 2020, Moatez was done with the Yellow Box. He says this was the dark part in his journey. Still new to the country, having received a lot of no’s from companies he’d applied to, the pandemic felt like a dark cloud over what he had hoped would be a bright future in Canada.

Then out of the darkness came the idea for MyCourier. “I was calling a neighbourhood grocery store. I asked them for a couple of products, and I wanted delivery. The gentleman told me, ‘We don’t have delivery capacity.’”

Moatez figured that there must be other local retailers with the same issue. He dove into researching the courier business. For three months, he worked as a driver, using his own car, picking up and delivering flowers, pharmaceuticals, and the like. As he was working, he was speaking with customers to determine what could make the delivery experience better.

Being a delivery driver during the pandemic wasn’t easy. Moatez experienced a strange duality of treatment. Some people expected him to be a carrier of the virus. “You are the COVID yourself,” he says. “People asking you not to go into the elevator, people asking you to go to the back door, the side door.”

But Moatez says he also experienced the kindness Canadians are so known for. “One time at a bank, people were lining up outside. I had my vest on and was going to stand in the line to pick up some papers. It would have eaten up my whole day. People said you’re a front liner, please cut the line and go do your job.”

Moatez says these experiences reinforced to him how easy it was to dwell on the negative experiences and encounters, but when something good happens, like someone opening a door for you or giving you a bottle of water, it could turn the whole day around.

In July 2020, Moatez launched MyCourier, a courier company that could offer more personalized and customized service with delivery times  that could be adjusted to meet flexible office hours; something that larger delivery businesses don’t have the flexibility to offer.

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