Karim Maachi Is Taking Over Sports and Entertainment Services in Los Angeles

CEO of Cardel Group Karim Maachi is no stranger to working with big personalities, and that has only helped him as his company recently expanded to Los Angeles and California overall with their global management and transportation services.

NBA players, a-list celebrities, tech companies and multinational corporations use Maachi’s services daily, and that’s because he is a trusted name, with over 20 years of experience.

Under his leadership, Cardel became a global transportation business based in Paris, Geneva, New York, and here in Los Angeles, managing 350 daily requests and 250,000 passengers per year thanks to its network of affiliates in 110 countries.

With big changes and new expansions since the pandemic, we spoke one-on-one with Maachi about his company, clients, investments and being an award-winning business mentor.

For those who don’t know – even though they should at this point – tell us about your company and what you offer?

Cardel Group is the world leader in the field of Global Management Services, providing high-end services to International corporations, Athletes & Talents through his three Business Units :

  1. Cardel Business Management – One of the European leaders in global ground transportation, travel, and facility management for corporations, a trusted vendor of many financial institutions and large international groups.
  2. Cardel Sports Management – From the travel arrangements of Sport Clubs in Europe to the daily logistics, and facility management, Cardel Sports capitalizes on its newly acquired partner Nornes to provide Club Services, as well as an integrated approach of business management, and day to day management for professional Athletes.
  3. Cardel Publicity Management – Leveraging all of Cardel entities’ skills, experience and network, as well as a newly recruited team of experts, this latest addition to the Cardel Group focuses on international publicity management for the entertainment industry, providing them a 360° logistic support for their Movie Premiere, Junkets and Private, Promotion Tours or Private Events and a day to day management service dedicated to their Talents.

How did you get into this line of work?

Leader and key actor in the field of ground transportation management on a global level, our group reached a significant turning point in its development when it opened a branch in Geneva in 2012 and another one in New York in 2014, with the blessings and support of our clients. Cardel Group is thereby nowadays a well-established company, internationally recognized as a trusted partner for its expertise, which was officially recognized by two awards in 2012 and 2019 at the LCT Show in Las Vegas, as the best international ground transportation company.

The digital era is accelerating the world. New technological advancements are at the heart of this global logistical revolution. Our sector is transforming with the promise of a responsible approach to sustainability and environmental impacts.

Being adaptable means always moving forward and always being susceptible to changes in order to become better equipped to tackle pressing challenges or anticipate those to come. Encouraged by Cardel clients’ growing needs and requests for new services these past few years, more diversification of services followed, with private air management, high-end events production, and personal concierge services: Cardel Global becoming a Global Destination Management Company while staying a leader in Corporate Transportation Management.

Staying true to its core values and competencies, the Group accelerated in 2020 its development in innovative logistics and transportation solutions, while groundbreaking new paths for growth in the sports and entertainment industry with additional major investments and key experts joining the group. Uniquely positioned to serve new industries and clients, Cardel Group leverages the two companies’ successful track record and strong experience in Business Logistics & Transportation Management, Sports Management and Publicity Manage.

How has the expansion and service in Los Angeles been? How does it compare to your work in France and overseas?

We started our activity in the US just before the pandemic, but 2020 is a very good year marked by important developments in Sport and Entertainment.

The big difference with France is the ease of communication and exchanges in business. If you are good in your field and you provide quality and innovative service like ours, things go very quickly in the United States and especially in a city like Los Angeles. Things take more time in France and more generally in Europe and the volume of transaction and potential of development is less.

What high profile clients have you worked with here in town?

We’re working on a daily basis with various Athletes such as NBA Players, Tech companies, CEO’s and Multinational corporations.

What do you feel sets your services apart that people keep coming back?

Our business model is unique and allows our customers to outsource their needs to an expert company in the day to day management. Understanding the new era of externalization of services, cost optimization, and flexibility, Cardel initiated a few years ago an ambitious and forward- thinking expansion by becoming a Global Management Services agency, a one-stop shop with a dedicated single point of contact for Corporations, Athletes and Talents.

This transformation is a natural combination of skills and experience acquired in the past 20 years through Cardel’s successive diversification and acquisitions. Our customers can rely on our various experts who, through the centralization of their needs (Relocation services, Air and Ground Transportation, Private Aviation, Taylor-made travels, House rentals, cars rental or art purchases…) can save time and money (average 25 % per year)

How did the pandemic change the way you do business in Los Angeles? 

The pandemic has allowed us to sign many new contracts as the outsourcing of services is becoming a priority, with our customers seeking maximum flexibility. We were therefore ready for these new clients, so it was easy to pitch new clients and highlight our twenty years of experience. Sports and entertainment sectors are prescribers and allow, when the business model is innovative, to easily recover natural organic volume.

What are your plans moving forward?

We’re always adapting to our market and have decided to open our doors to the crypto-ecosystem. Cardel Group has been approached  in January 2022 by “Smart Chain”, the #1 European multi-protocol innovation center and consulting firm specialized in blockchain technology to reinvent our clients’ experiences in the web3 era with the launch of “ The Plug 3 NFT collection, the world’s first NFT Pass collection transforming digital assets into high-ends experiences and services. This is a new but complementary diversification of our business model which will allow us to digitize our services while approaching a new customer profile.

What are you most proud of today?

Being able to duplicate our business in the US and convince some key NBA players, Talents and major US companies to use our services on a regular basis.

Any final words for our LA readers?

Los Angeles is an amazing city to live in especially when you’re open to meeting local people whether for professional or private purposes. I am also very proud to help international companies or individuals in their relocation in the US, always promoting the west coast and especially LA to people who want to relocate their business or simply come on vacation.

LA Weekly