Moatassem Moatez – Founder and CEO (Chief Energy Officer), MYcourier Inc, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

Moatassem Moatez – Founder and CEO (Chief Energy Officer), MYcourier Inc, Oakville, Ontario, Canada

One-way ticket to success: Middle East alumnus applies experience and resilience in launching award-winning Canadian startup

In 2019, Moatassem left his successful career and life in Dubai and headed to Canada with his family, on a one-way ticket. His goal was to find ways to leverage his skills, education, and experience to contribute to the Canadian economy and advance his career. It wasn’t instant success - the pandemic hit hard and he needed all his reserves of resilience - but he did achieve his goal and has built an award-winning business and a new life for his family in a close-knit community in which he is making a real difference.

Five years on, MYcourier has over 100 staff and delivers more than two million parcels annually with a fleet of branded vans and trucks. It’s been a truly hands-on effort by Moatassem but it’s not just about the business – his contributions to the community have earned respect and recognition, including the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year Business Excellence Award. He is also actively involved in the Oakville community as a board director for the Oakville Chamber of Commerce. It’s a very inspiring story – as Moatassem himself tells it…

“My journey in Canada can be divided into three distinct phases. In 2019 through early 2020, I entered what I call the Rethink Phase. This was a time to familiarise myself with the culture, market needs, business values, and ways of conducting business. It was essential for me to understand how my own values and expertise could align with the Canadian market. I experimented with various projects, including launching an online private label brand from scratch. I handled everything from product development and branding to logistics and online sales. Unfortunately, the onset of the pandemic in March 2020 meant my outdoor products were no longer in demand. I tried several sales strategies, but none succeeded, so I eventually decided to donate the products and cut my losses.

In mid-2020, I transitioned to the Rediscover Phase. In April, I observed that retailers faced a major issue with delivery capacity due to the surge in online and phone orders, paired with a limited number of delivery providers. My curiosity led me to apply for a delivery driver position at a local company, allowing me to gain hands-on experience and insights into market dynamics from retailers, customers, and other drivers. By July 2020, I decided to use my newfound knowledge to establish a last-mile delivery business. Thus, MYcourier was born. I began securing clients, handling orders, and building the operation. My ambition then led me to approach Amazon, aiming to become their delivery partner in the downtown Toronto area. After an extensive due diligence process, I signed a contract with them in October 2020. In 2021, I entered the Reshape Phase. My operation shifted its focus to serving Amazon, requiring high performance and efficiency. I worked on enhancing my business’s capabilities and capacity, including fleet, workforce, processes, systems, and financial capabilities.
As of 2024, MYcourier boasts 120 team members, over 2 million parcels delivered annually, and a fleet of branded cargo vans and trucks. My contributions to the community have earned me recognition, including the 2022 Entrepreneur of the Year Business Excellence Award. I am also actively involved in the Oakville, ON community as a board director for the Oakville Chamber of Commerce.

Why Canada, why courier services?

Selecting a country to settle in and start the next chapter of our lives was a challenge. I sought a place that would truly feel like home and offer my family the chance to thrive and explore new opportunities. Canada, as one of the most advanced countries, seemed like an ideal choice. Its culture, systems, and progressive immigration policies, as well as its proximity to the United States, made it an appealing option for us.
During the pandemic, I observed a major challenge that retailers were facing. My experience taught me that the foundation of a sustainable, scalable business that adds value lies in identifying a problem, solving it, marketing the solution, and then expanding it. This approach guided me in building MYcourier.

What were the challenges?

Starting any business is challenging, especially in a new country where you may lack connections, credentials, and familiarity with the local culture. My approach was to "learn while building." In the beginning, the main challenges were proving to the market that MYcourier is a value-driven, reliable business with a solid foundation capable of helping them achieve their goals. I faced difficulties in reaching clients, obtaining financial support, hiring the right team, and getting to know the logistics industry, which was new to me. However, my persistence, resilience, and consistent efforts to seek support from the community were key to overcoming these challenges.

What did you have to learn to launch a successful startup?

To launch a successful startup in Canada's last mile delivery industry with MYcourier Inc., I had to focus on several key areas of growth. First, managing my mindset was essential for maintaining persistence and resilience in the face of challenges such as navigating regulatory requirements and adapting to changing market conditions. Developing industry knowledge was vital to understand the logistics landscape, including local traffic patterns, delivery routes, and the specific needs of businesses and consumers. Building connections and fostering relationships within the community helped me gain insights into customer preferences and secure partnerships with local retailers and e-commerce platforms. Additionally, actively putting myself out there and consistently showing up allowed me to establish a trustworthy reputation with clients, demonstrate MYcourier's value, and differentiate us from competitors. Combining these elements helped lay the foundation for MYcourier Inc.'s success in the last mile delivery industry.

Were you able to apply your Middle East experience to the new venture?

Yes, I was definitely able to apply my business experience from the Middle East to the new venture in Canada. The fundamental principles of running a business and maintaining the right mindset are consistent, regardless of the country or industry. This includes building a performance-based team that is motivated by clear goals and objectives, offering incentives for efficiency and customer satisfaction, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. Managing the financials effectively was essential to sustain and grow the business, including budgeting, cost control, and strategic investment in resources. Additionally, developing a strong strategy that set MYcourier Inc. apart from competitors was crucial. This involved identifying unique selling points, leveraging data and insights to optimise delivery routes, and prioritizing customer experience through personalised and reliable service.

My Middle East/MBA experience provided a strong foundation for starting my new venture in Canada. It equipped me with the skills to navigate uncertainty and establish a clear structure amid the chaos of a new business. My education guided me to focus on essential areas such as key metrics and financials, enabling me to maintain a firm grasp on the business's performance. In essence, it was like entering a gym with a pre-set plan, giving me a clear path to achieve my desired results. This solid background has been invaluable in building and growing MYcourier Inc. successfully.

Did you have any other support?

In Canada, I received significant support from various sources that helped me establish and grow MYcourier Inc. The business community, including financial institutions and chambers of commerce, played a key role in connecting me with the right vendors and service providers to set the business on track. These relationships proved invaluable in helping me navigate the local market and access essential resources. Additionally, the government offered a Digital Adoption grant, which MYcourier was able to utilise to enhance our digital platforms and systems. This grant provided crucial support in improving our operational efficiency and staying competitive in the last mile delivery industry. Overall, this network of support was instrumental in MYcourier's success.

Are you still involved with the Middle East and alumni network?

I am not currently involved in any business ventures in the Middle East. I believe that focus is essential to maximise the potential of your business. At present, I am dedicating my resources—time, funds, and energy—to building and growing MYcourier Inc. in Canada. This concentrated approach allows me to optimise the business and establish a solid foundation in the Canadian market. In the future, once MYcourier is fully optimised and there are promising opportunities in the Middle East, I may consider transferring my North American learnings and experiences to that region. For now, my primary focus remains on strengthening MYcourier in Canada

However, I maintain connections with a select group of alumni and administration from my Middle East ‘alma mater’. Although I value these relationships and the perspectives they offer, the time difference can make regular communication a bit challenging. Despite this, I appreciate the opportunity to stay in touch with the network, as it allows me to stay informed about developments in the region and share insights from my experiences in Canada.

You actively share your experiences as an entrepreneur and a coach – what’s your motivation?

My motivation for sharing my experiences as an entrepreneur and coach stems from hope. As someone who came to Canada and faced the challenges of integrating and building a business in a new country, hope was the driving force that got me out of bed every morning. I believed that each day could bring progress, that I could solve the puzzle and find my place in the community while building a business that benefits myself, my family, and eventually my team. Through my videos, I aim to offer new immigrants to Canada hope and encouragement, sharing stories from my journey, useful tools, and connections that can help them on their own path. My ultimate goal is to provide a positive influence for at least one person each day, showing them that with persistence, they can achieve their dreams.

What did you learn on the MBA that you still use today?

Two key lessons from my MBA continue to guide me today. First, the knowledge gained during the program isn't always immediately applicable, but it becomes invaluable when the right circumstances arise. Concepts I learned in the MBA have proven instrumental when I needed them most, such as starting a business from scratch in Canada compared to running an established business in the UAE. Second, age is just a number. Joining the MBA program in my mid-30s taught me the importance of meeting deadlines and following a structured learning approach. This disciplined mindset was crucial in the early stages of building MYcourier Inc., as it felt like being back in university, studying and acquiring new skills.

What could the Manchester alumni community in the region learn from your experiences?

My journey in Canada has taught me five key lessons that I believe the University’s community in the region can benefit from. First, life is not a straight line; despite careful planning, you will encounter unexpected changes that require adaptability and resilience. Second, with every challenge comes opportunity, and the key is to identify the value in each pain point. Third, set aside your ego—you're not always right and you don't have all the information. Don't hesitate to ask for help or support, as this can lead to fresh perspectives and innovative approaches. Fourth, don't overthink ideas; take the first step and focus on progress over perfection. Even if you only have 70% of the information, the rest will reveal itself as you move forward. Finally, start small and build gradually, brick by brick. Embrace the beginner mindset, staying curious and open to learning and gaining new knowledge as you grow.
To learn more about Moatassem’s remarkable personal and professional journey and about Mycourier, click on the links below.

Newcomer builds a successful business during the pandemic

Business Excellence Award, Entrepreneur of the year,