As children, we primarily gain experience and understanding of adulthood and working life from our parents. For some, a parent's decisions set an example and provide a clear pathway to replicate or follow in. While for others, the pathway that our parents took actually drove us in the opposite direction, in hopes of finding a life that is more well suited. Interestingly, for Taha Yassine Zinifi it was a combination of both.
The early days
With a modest childhood in Casablanca, Morocco, Taha watched closely as his father worked hard to provide for his family working for a small trucking company. Although he respected his father’s work ethic greatly, it was unfortunate that it meant his father was rarely able to be with his family. The transportation industry was very demanding on his father, with long hours and a great deal of stress. Although Taha’s father had expressed that he never wanted his children to work in the industry, it seems that life had other plans.
Taha Yassine Zinifi was always an excellent student, and was granted a full scholarship to study in France at the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique. He completed his Major in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science with a Minor in Product Management. In recognition of his academic excellence, he was awarded the highly acclaimed Outstanding Leadership & Investment Award and even received French citizenship upon graduation. Transportation and logistics from a different angle
After completing his studies in 2017, Taha was brought on as one of the first employees of ClearMetal. Ironically, ClearMetal is a leader in the Continuous Delivery Experience (CDX), enabling supply chain organizations to optimise logistics and provide their customers with easy access to trusted, live information about their shipments. Just like that, Taha found himself working in the transportation industry for a company that was essentially making life and business easier for people just like his father.
ClearMetal was founded by top software engineers, data scientists, and operations researchers from Stanford University, Google, and Silicon Valley. In the beginning, Taha worked as a data scientist and co-led the Predictive ETA initiative, iteratively assessing data sources and statistical methods that led to building a robust product which, as of 2020, accounted for 30% of the company’s recurrent revenues. During this time, he also ran a spontaneous experiment that led to developing the product’s most used and appreciated feature. From analysis to product management and leadership
As of 2019, Taha took on the role of lead product manager and was responsible for overseeing the entire product lifecycle of the core platform, from customer discovery to product launch. He led a team that built supply chain visibility software (ClearMetal CDX App) recognized by customers for the unmatched quality of the user experience. The ClearMetal CDX Platform utilised proprietary machine learning algorithms to break free from static-visibility paradigms and to make sense of supply chain data. Taha’s unyielding obsession for usefulness and his deep empathy for users proved to be critical assets for ClearMetal’s product development and his work helped to save their customers over $50M in fees related to lack of transportation visibility. Furthermore, his work also contributed to a monumental 400% increase in the company’s ARR.
In May of 2021 ClearMetal was acquired by project44, a supply chain visibility leader, where Taha now leads the Application Experience department responsible for building the next generation platform. This product, inspired from the work done at ClearMetal, will similarly transform how global supply chains run their transportation operations. In fact, Adam Compain (founder and CEO of ClearMetal) shares that “Now, joined with project44, there’s no question this is the industry’s number-one platform and our combined team, capabilities, and execution deliver remarkable digital transformation for supply chains and the people who rely on them.” Full circle
While it may not have been exactly the path that his father envisioned for him, it is clear that his dad was a source of deep inspiration and motivation. From his humble roots, Taha Yassine Zinifi gained a profound understanding of the struggles of the “working man” in the transportation and logistics industry. With this unique appreciation, he was able to utilise his skills and talent to help lay the foundation for a better way in the future. Talk about making your father proud.