Electrosteel produces hydraulic infrastructures: pipes for water and sanitation systems. Their French subsidiary serves the European market. In this video, Cyrill Hahang, Electrosteel Europe Managing director, tells us why this Indian company chose to invest in France.
MapR's core business is Big Data. They are specialized in Hadoop. They chose Paris for their Southern Europe headquarters. Steve Fitz, Senior Vice-President, Worldwide Field Operations, tells us why MapR chose France. What is MapR's core business? Our core business is big data. We specialize in Hadoop which is one of the main components of big data that allows companies to track analytics on mobile devices and recommendation engines, and to leverage their data more effectively. We have over 170 employees today, we were founded back in 2009 and have raised just over US$60 million of venture capital in the last four years. A couple of examples of our customers, both in the United States and globally, are Camscore, who have used us now for several years and who track all internet activity; Sony Corporation in Japan; and Cisco in the United States. They use us for different applications involving Hadoop and big data. Why did your company choose France? As we opened up in markets across Europe, in the UK, in Germany, it was just a matter of time before we opened up our French region which actually covers what we call "Southern Europe", addressing all the southern European market. What else makes France attractive to you as an investor? France is a well-established and mature market for technology. We saw that it was a relatively early adopter for technology involving big data, and so we wanted to gain a first-mover advantage in this market. We were able to establish early partnerships with Bull, Acto, e-Sens and Finatech here in France and particularly in the Paris region. It's the 'go-to' market for our customers and our partners here, both for customers in France as well as in southern Europe. Did your company receive any government support to set up your business here? The time when the Invest in France Agency contacted us back in Silicon Valley was when we were looking to explore and open up the French region, so it was very timely from that perspective. They helped us to establish our entity in France and also introduced us to quite a few companies here that pertain to our space around big data in both the Paris and French markets. What are your company's future plans in France? We will continue to expand our sales and our technical organization here, as well as services, and will also look to expand our partnerships locally. Paris will be our headquarters for Southern Europe which includes Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and all the outlying countries around France.
The latest meeting of the Indian Investors Club took place on November 20, 2013 at the Invest in France Agency (IFA) headquarters. The aim of the event, which was organized in conjunction with the Indian Embassy in France and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry France India (CCIFI), was to enable Indian investors with a presence in France to meet and discuss their main concerns in complete confidence. http://blogs.afii.fr/en/2013/11/the-2013-indian-investors-club/
Une nouvelle édition du Club des investisseurs Japonais en France s’est tenue le mercredi 2 octobre 2013 à l’Agence française pour les investissements internationaux (AFII). Cet événement était organisé pour la 5e année consécutive sous le haut patronage de l’Ambassade du Japon en France, en collaboration avec l’Organisation Japonaise du Commerce Extérieur (JETRO Paris) et la Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie Japonaise en France (CCIJF). http://blogs.afii.fr/fr/2013/10/en-2013-le-club-des-investisseurs-japonais-fete-ses-5-ans/
Agfa is a leading company both in graphic arts and healthcare businesses. The company has been in France since 1935. In 2012, they have been elected the most innovative Belgian company in France. In this interview, Christian Reinaudo, President and CEO, tells us why Agfa chose to invest in France. What is Agfa’s main business? Agfa is a company that has two main core businesses, both are related to the history of the company, which used to be a big film manufacturer: on one side graphic arts; and on the other, Agfa’s healthcare business. What are the key numbers for your company? The first number I would like to give is the number of people working for Agfa, because they are the key asset of the company: around 12,000 in the world. The second is our company’s turnover, which is a little more than €3 billion. And the third is the amount of money we spend on research and development, because we are a technology company: every year, we spend from €150-160 million on R&D. Why did you choose to set up a business in France? We have a factory in France near Lille, in Pont-à-Marcq, which was built in 1935. In terms of industrial presence, we have been in France for a long time. France is a natural territory for Agfa because of our long presence in the country and the acquisitions we have made in the last 10 to 15 years in the healthcare sector. France is also a big market in Europe. Agfa has deep roots in Europe. And of course when you want to sell lots of products, it’s better to sell products in France. What else makes France attractive to you as an investor? France is attractive firstly because of the talent available here. It’s a place where you can easily find engineers for all businesses. You can find engineers for R&D and talented people for services, to deliver and install products, in IT, etc. In terms of investments, there are a few things that are attractive like France’s research tax credit. I mentioned earlier our factory in Pont-à-Marcq. The employees working there have been fantastic over time in terms of adaptability, because they used to manufacture films, then they moved to plates containing silver. So there’s a mix of things which are making this country attractive. Did your company receive any support to set up your business in France from the Invest in France Agency or from its regional partners? Over time, we have had two strong sources of support. Firstly from the Aquitaine Regional Council with whom we have a very good relationship and some common programs; and secondly from the Invest in France Agency, as in 2012 we were elected as the most innovative Belgian company in France. We received this award for the development and investment we are making in Bordeaux. What are Agfa’s future plans in France? We have been successful enough in the last three to four years to secure large contracts with large university hospitals, such as the APHP (Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Paris) for which we delivered the largest information system ever built for hospitals in Europe. The key focus of the company in France in the next few years will be information systems for hospitals. That’s the main driver. The second is probably what we can do with inject printing. I believe that the digitization of printing in France will be one of the key markets and probably the most advanced market over time. And of course, this is an area in which we would like to make substantial investments.
Videology is a company in technology allowing advertisers to find their audiences across devices. From having nobody in France a year ago, they now have twelve people working in their new Paris office. In this video interview, Anne de Kerckhove tells us why Videology chose France. Videology – Anne de Kerckhove, Managing Director EMEA What is Videology’s main business? Videology is a technology company in the advertising and media space. Basically it allows advertisers to find their audiences across devices. So it will find them through the use of data and targeting a consumer, from TV to connected television, to a tablet, to a mobile, and reach them at exactly the right time with the right message. What is Videology’s strategy? The strategy right now is really geographical expansion. We are now in 26 countries. Three years ago we were in two. So that’s been a primary focus and a big part of it because the world of media is very global. What is it like doing business in France? France at first doesn’t feel comfortable because it’s a new language. But actually it was very easy to set up in France. First of all in media and advertising, it’s one of the power centers of Europe and the world. If you think about it, you’ve got Havas, Publicis, and some of the biggest agencies right here headquartered in Paris. So, obviously, it’s a very natural choice to settle into the region. Did you receive some help from the French government to set up your business in France? We had a lot of help in settling into the country, getting registered, finding employees. We were also equally lucky to have the Invest in France Agency to help us through the process of all the forms and formalities that you need to deal with in order to set up a company in France. What kind of partnerships do you have in France? I was lucky enough to have worked in France before and I knew how easy it was to recruit very top talent. So it’s a mix of the centrality of France, the ability to service Europe from France, and just the simple fact that in media and advertising Paris is one of the powerhouses of the world. So it’s absolutely vital to have partnerships here locally for us in France and in the Paris region. We’re incredibly lucky: I think that most of our clients are within 15 km of our office. The Paris region in very important, but we also have partnerships throughout France. They happen to be in technology, data, as well as media and entertainment. All the big broadcasters are partners that we work with. France is uniquely lucky to have a company like Dailymotion, which is both a leader in the video space and the technology space. We’ve got partners like Sticky Ads and AdVideum who are again small young companies that three years ago didn’t exist and now really run the video space in France. What are your future plans for Videology in France? What is wonderful for us here in France is that you actually happen to be talking to me on the day we are moving into our Paris permanent office. So, from having nobody in Paris a year ago, we now have 12 people on board, and therefore we had to find a permanent home. So we’ve moved to Rue Pasquier, right in the center of Paris and it’s a wonderful office that will not only serve France but will be one of the leadership regions for Videology. We have all our senior management from the U.S. coming over next month to learn about the uniqueness of Europe and what we need to do in terms of geographical expansion. Globally we are now one of the fastest-growing companies in media and advertising. So for us, it is all about expansion and growth, but smart growth, making sure that we have the right people, and constantly looking at innovation, pushing the boundaries of advertising technology.
KFC is a quick service restaurant brand which specializes in chicken. The brand has existed for over than 70 years, it was founded in the United-States and we have been in France since 1991. Ivan Schofield, General Manager France, tells us why they chose to develop in France. Can you tell us about KFC? KFC is part of Yum! Brands, Inc., which is the world’s largest restaurant company, with 39,000 restaurants in 125 countries around the world and 1.4 million employees. KFC is a quick service restaurant brand that specializes in chicken. The brand has existed for over 70 years; it was founded in the United States, and we have been in France since 1991. With KFC in France, we developed with company-owned restaurants and franchise-owned restaurants. Our franchise partners are entrepreneurs but they also do a fantastic job serving our customers, looking after employees and partnering with us to build the brand here in France. Is France a good place for innovation? When KFC started in France, it was really very small, a niche brand. Today, it’s a mainstream national brand. We have been able to do this because we made the brand more appealing to French customers – through innovating in terms of the retail experience but also, importantly, in the product range. So today, if you look at our product range on sale in restaurants in France, in every single transaction that we have with our customers, there is a product which was invented by the French team. At KFC we only serve freshly prepared chicken products. Some of them are breaded, some of them are cooked in ovens. These products are then presented in various different forms, we have products like “The B.O.S.S.” and the “BoxMaster”, which were developed in France based on our chicken recipes that you can find everywhere in the world. But we also have more traditional product offerings like the bucket of chicken, which is known throughout the world and that is very, very successful here in France as well. Why did you choose to develop KFC in France? We chose to develop KFC in France for two principal reasons. The first is that we see relatively little competition in the category. The second is that we know we have a very powerful brand. France has become a center of innovation for KFC in Western Europe and in fact the globe. The reason for that is that we have highly passionate teams. They are also great marketers and have a really good sense of food taste and of what customers want. What kind of partnerships do you have in France? KFC sees itself as a big organization with a big heart. First of all, KFC creates lot of jobs; we have created 7,500 jobs in France in the last 10 years. But as a company, we like to give back to the community as well. Yum! Brands, Inc. is the number one contributor to the United Nations World Food Programme and KFC France also makes a significant contribution. But we also have a very strong partnership with a French charity called Les Restos du Coeur so we can give something back to the local community. What are KFC’s future plans in France? Competitive environments are tough for us everywhere in the world and France is no exception. But we know we have a very strong brand and if we can build a really strong organization, we know we can succeed. We have a terrific team of people here in France. They provide great service to our customers and those people who are based in our head office provide great service to the restaurants and our franchise partners. Thanks to the work they are doing, there is no doubt in my mind that one day, we will have a very, very big business here in France.
Pavatex is a medium-sized Swiss company producing building shell solutions out of wood. Martin Brettenthaler, Pavatex' CEO, tells us why they chose to open a new plant in Golbey, in the Lorraine region of France. What is your company’s main business? Pavatex is a medium-sized Swiss company producing building shell solutions out of wood. Our products are sustainable, ecological and healthy. With our products you can achieve very good energy standards in a house. When you isolate with Pavatex products you protect against the cold in winter, against heat in summer and against noise. The building shell is then open and lets the building breath. Through this you achieve a very high quality of indoor living. Can you tell us more about Pavatex in the world? We have 250 employees. Last year our group turnover was around 100 million Swiss Francs which is around €80 million. We are active all over Europe. We are a Swiss-based company now with a strong presence in France. Our turnover is mainly in Germany and Austria, Switzerland, France, but we are also present in Italy, the Benelux countries, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia and we also have a sales representative office in Japan. Our products are not really DIY products, they are more designed for professional people in the construction world. Why did you choose to open a site in Golbey, near Épinal? Our two plants in Switzerland did not have enough production capacity, as our market was growing. So we looked for an alternative to set up a new plant and add additional capacity. We investigated various sites in many European countries – France, Germany, Switzerland, and Austria – and we chose France for several reasons. Reason number one is that France has a very high potential for our type of products. In France, the renovation market is just beginning. The market for wood frame construction is growing strongly and there is a lot of political emphasis and resolve to make buildings more durable and sustainable. The second reason concerns wood. Wood is a raw material which is in short supply all over Europe, and yet we have found a sufficient supply of it here in the Vosges area, in the Lorraine region of France. Another reason is that Épinal is home to the ENSTIP (École Nationale Supérieure des Technologies et Industries du Bois), a French school for wood, training engineers and people in the trade which is obviously very helpful for us. What else made France attractive to you as an investor? We also had a very strong incentive to come here because we teamed up with our neighbor, a big newsprint paper mill, with whom we are exchanging synergies on an industrial level. We are using their steam, we are working together for wood supply for logistics, and last but not least, there has also been strong political support for us to come here. There is strong willingness to convert this region so that it has more future-oriented industrial activity. What are your company’s future plans in France? In France, we really want to help and contribute to the conversion from traditional building methods to something more future-oriented, more energy-efficient, more sustainable. I think that, together with our partners, we will be able to do this.
Airbnb is a Web and mobile service that connects on one hand hosts, who have a place to rent out, and, on the other hand, travelers who are looking for a more authentic travel and experience. On Airbnb, you can find either entire places, like apartment or houses, and also private rooms. Nicolas Ferrary, Country Manager France tells us why Airbnb chose to open an office in Paris in 2012. Can you tell us more about Airbnb? Airbnb is a Web and mobile service that connects on one hand hosts, who have a place to rent out, and, on the other hand, travelers who are looking for a more authentic travel and experience. On Airbnb, you can find either entire places, like apartment or houses, and also private rooms. The company was created in California in San Francisco in 2008. From the beginning the website was accessible from everywhere in the world. So we had very quickly listings and users everywhere in the world. We wanted to open offices in different countries in the world. So we opened more than 10 offices in the last 2 years in Europe, Australia and South America. Why did you choose to open an office in France? There are about 20 people working in the Paris office. They were two main reasons why Airbnb chose to invest in France. The first one is that obviously France is one of the main touristic destinations in the world and Airbnb is really part of these new touristic trends. The second reason is that because when we opened the office in 2012, a year and a half ago, the Airbnb community in Paris was actually quite big already. In France, we had a little less than 10,000 listings. A year and a half later, we have nearly 35,000 listings in France. What else makes France attractive to you as an investor? I think that another important thing is that Airbnb is part of what we call the collaborative or sharing economy and France is quite ahead compared to other European countries in this field. So it was also one of the main reasons why Airbnb chose to be in France and be part of this sharing economy movement. What are your future plans in France? The first thing is that we are going to continue what we are currently doing. This means meeting our community, developing our community and making sure that more and more people are aware of this new way of traveling so more and more people will use Airbnb. We now want to develop more and more outside of cities. For example, in France we now have more than a third of our listings which are outside of cities: on the seaside, in mountain area, etc. The third thing is that we want more and more people to use Airbnb on mobile devices. We think that travel is something totally related to mobile. We want Airbnb users to be more and more mobile using the application more and more. That’s really the third thing that we want to focus on this year.
Michel Langrand tells us about VELUX's success in France. VELUX was founded in France in 1964 and has four industrial sites where it produces roof windows, blinds and roller shutters. The group is happy to make sizeable R&D investments in the country and the VELUX Foundation is a leading sponsor of France’s national monuments. What are Velux activities in France? Velux has first started in 1964 here in France and ever since it has been a continuous growth and success on the French territory. We employ close to 900 people, we have 4 industrial sites where we produce roof windows, blinds, roller shutters and we have a sales company with 4 regional centers in France. What kind of partnerships have you developed in France? We have developed a number of local partnerships. Some with the historical monuments thanks to the Velux Foundation: we are one of the big sponsors to renovate the Sainte Chapelle. We have also developed some industrial partnerships with big groups like Saint-Gobain and we have a lot of partnerships with the roofers, the craftsmen who install our products thanks to our training center. In the same way, we have decided to supply with pine wood from “pin des Landes” in France which is also only certified wood. What else makes France attractive to you as an Investor? The main features for the motivation for Velux to be here in France is first to be locally close to our customers. The second thing is by being local, we save lot of CO2 and a lot of energy as well in our products. R&D is at the root of your company’s success. Is France a good place for R&D? The Velux group has decided to have its research and development centers both in Danemark and in France close to Besançon, in Marnay, for the roller shutters. The first big project is the model home 2020, meaning how to develop the house of the future thanks to day light and fresh air into the house. We have built a house in France where we have a family living in the house that will give us practical learning from what is the real comfort in the house. What are Velux’s future plans in France? The immediate project today has been the launch of the new generation roof windows. It has been a huge investment in France. The group has invested more than €27 million to the production companies to make sure that we would have the roof windows that will really meet and fulfill the criteria of the future giving more daylight, more comfort and less energy spent.
Mike Nolet tells us why AppNexus chose to open an office in France. AppNexus is an online advertising platform. In France over the past 12 month, they have seen a 140% year over year growth in their business.What is your company’s core business?AppNexus is an online advertising platform we licenses to major companies like Orange and Hi-media in France and let them operate their own online advertising businesses. Globally AppNexus has seen a tremendous amount of success and receives uploads of 40 billion ads every single day.One of the things that differentiate AppNexus from other technology companies in this space is that we provide our client with an open platform and let them their differentiated business on AppNexus. So companies can extend, customized and really bring their differentiations, their secret sauce to online advertising using our technology. Why has your company done so well in France? In France over the past 12 month, we’ve actually seen a 140% year over year growth in our business here. We are very excited about our recently done partnerships with Orange and also Hi-media and a number of other French companies to come soon.R&D is at the root of your company’s success. Is France a good place for R&D?As a technological company, R&D is critical to our success. With over 150 people working in engineering in AppNexus, we spend a lot of time and money building our platform. Europe has been a key strategic area for AppNexus since 2010. We began our expansion to Europe with an office in London and we very quickly realized that for us to have a significant presence in France we needed to have an office here in Paris. So last June we launched our first office with one employee and since then we’ve grown to five including expending with our first engineering presence here starting next month which is very exciting for us.What else make France attractive to you as an investor?AppNexus is very excited about this new opportunity in France. We see a lot of growth coming from existing partnerships and we also planned to sign a number of other deals here. Our really vision is actually help to change the French online advertising market. We think we can bring our technology and improve how publishers in advertisement now operate, bringing more revenue to publishers, higher efficiency to advertisers and overall improving the experience for the end user.How has the Invest in France Agency helped you in your investment project?Invest in France was very helpful to getting AppNexus on the ground. They provided operational support, logistics and really helped us land softly here on the ground.What are your company’s future plans in France?AppNexus is very excited to be here in France and not just because of the food. We think that it’s a fantastic economic opportunity and we are excited to be here and invest heavily in this country with our business here. We expect to really grow here over the next couple of years.
Stefano Di Lullo tells us why Sorin chose France for its research program. Sorin is a leader in the development of medical technologies in the cardio-vascular field. During the past 10 years, they have invested more than 200 million euros in Research and Development. Their INTENSE project has been chosen to be one of the “Projets de l’avenir” within the French government.
Marie-Christine Sawley tells us why Intel chose to set up its Exascale Lab in France. Intel is a US based major industrial firm which produces IT components in a whole range of services in our society.
Elisabeth Bargès tells us why France is so important to Google. Google’s mission is to organize information worldwide and to make it accessible to all. Google set up in Paris in 2002, and decided to expand in 2010. The Invest in France Agency and Paris City Hall helped them for this expansion project.
Microsoft Research and INRIA have recently opened a joint research center in Paris Region on the Saclay Plateau. The idea was to create a single-site joint research organization where researchers from both INRIA and Microsoft could work together more easily on big projects and share students and postdoc students.
Juan Miguel Villar Mir tells us why France is so important to the Villar Mir Group. Villar Mir Group is the 14th largest group in Spain and had the unusual feature of being made up of companies in difficulties, now fortunately sorted out and working well. They are regularly working on R&D projects in France with the CNRS.
Enric Casi tells us why France is so important to MANGO. MANGO is a internationally famous Spanish multinational which designs, manufactures and markets women’s and men’s clothing and accessories. France is MANGO's second most important market after Spain.
Alex Cruz tells us why France is so important to Vueling.Vueling is a new-generation airline that offers all the services and products of traditional airlines, but at a very low cost.Today, they offer nearly 20 destinations from Paris, and operate from many airports throughout France.