Some businessmen like to shine under the bright lights of the media, others like Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi, have a rather discreet approach to success. An Engineer in hydraulics, graduated from Polytech Lille (graduate when named School of Engineers of Lille) in 1978, he produced tunnel boring machines in the 1980s with AMIS (Artois Maintenance Industries Services) his mechanical engineering company.
The company supplies engines for subway construction sites in Lille (France) and Caracas (Venezuela) and railway construction sites for Cosenza in Italy. Subterranean projects, far from the top of buildings which shine the name of their owners.
Creator of the Portube
Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi was born in 1951 into a military family, in Gabès, Tunisia, where he learnt to serve before serving himself. His grandfather served as a non-commissioned officer in the French army during the First World War. His father was commander of the Tunisian Army after the country became independent, it’s him who encourages him to study. After his Father’s death Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi leaves for France and enrolls in the navy in St Malo and 5 years of sea effectively leads him to the rank of lieutenant.
Immediately after his studies as a hydraulic engineer in Lille, he began his entrepreneurial career: he buys out ISEE, a company specialized in oil and marine operations for which he worked. He founds a first company: AMIS. Then a second: Portube. This company bears the name of its invention: an underground irrigation system. Instead of watering lawns, gardens and plants with streams of water, they are watered using capillary action in the soil. A substantial gain in water consumption for countries where this resource is scarce.
CNIM, an international success
Portube opens the doors of the Saudi market to Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi. The system equips the gardens of the King’s palace, airports, public roads and farms in Riyadh, Medina, Jeddah and Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In 1985, the businessman moves to Saudi Arabia and then come to with his French wife, and his two sons. At this point he has become a specialist in trade and industrial investment in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This expertise led Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi to negotiate a contract worth more than $15 billion for the distribution of water and sanitation systems in the Mecca region, whilst being the president of Safege subsidiary of Arabia. A success at a time when France saw all major industrial contracts escaping to the Middle East.
Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi is committed to CNIM Group’s success, which has 3,000 employees worldwide. Founded in the middle of the 19th century, CNIM designs and manufactures industrial materials and equipment for multiple industries such as defense, environment, energy and health: motorized floating bridges, giant magnets, escalators, industrial boilers or mapping systems. For example, CNIM has delivered 163 energy recovery centers in 23 countries around the world, which process 70 million tons of household and industrial waste every day. Paris counts several factories, some of which have been operating for more than 40 years.
The accomplishments of this international group, relatively unknown by the general public, are numerous and diverse. Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi is advisor to the Chairman of the Board, Nicolas Dmitrieff, and manages CNIM Saudi and CNIM Middle East. He also holds managerial positions in other international companies he has founded or taken over, such as SADEG SA, Aquatraitements Energies Services SA, Objectif Pertinence SA, Razin Contracting, SNCFIME, Ferrara Ltd. He invests in transport, desalination, water treatment and distribution, waste recycling and recovery.
Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi, advisor and decision-maker
Both Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi’s oriental and western culture as well as his vast experience make him a recognized businessman, recognized member of the exclusive club of economic and political decision-makers. He advises and informs. He has met some of the world’s most influent people: US Vice President John Kerry, various French presidents, the Fahd kings, Abdallah and powerful personalities from Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, President Ben Ali before the revolution of 2011…
In addition to his investments in France and the Middle East, he maintains close ties with his native country. In 1995, as part of a privatization, he acquires Sogetram, a freight transport company in which he invests several million dinars. In 2010, he signed a public-private partnership with ONAS (the National Office for Sanitation) to export the expertise of this public and industrial Tunisian institution specialized in environmental issues and the fight against pollution.
In 2013, as well as the acquisition of the TV channel AL JANOUBYA, he created a political party, the Tunisian Movement for Freedom and Dignity. He strives to play a part in the social and economic choices that transform Tunisia. But fifteen months later, he announces the withdrawal from the legislative elections. He declares that his “battle is not political but economic and social” and that “he remains a soldier of Tunisia”. To Serve and not serve himself, Mohamed Ayachi Ajroudi prefers discretion and dedicates himself to his businesses.
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