La French Tech Beijing hosted the first of its new event series, French Insiders, together with CCI France Chine, on March 9, 2021.
The event series offers insights into the life of French managers working for Chinese tech giants through their personal stories of successes and challenges.
After a brief introduction of La French Tech Beijing President Jean-Dominique SEVAL, Helena JAVITTE La French Tech Beijing VP launched the event by introducing our speaker Jean-Baptiste CARPENTIER, Marketing Director at DSers and former Head of Marketing Communication at Qihoo360. It was a great and dynamic Q&A session between Jean-Baptiste and Helena about his professional and personal experience.
La French Tech Beijing VP Helena and Jean-Baptiste entertaining the audience during a great and dynamic Q&A session
Jean-Baptiste answers were very inspiring and 3 main takeaways can be drawn from them.
1. Seize the opportunity when it shows up➡ China is an amazing land of opportunities ?
Jean-Baptiste has been living in China for 10 years. He came to China through an exchange program while finishing his bachelor in foreign languages (English and Chinese) and got the opportunity to work part-time during his studies. After coming back to France for the summer, he realized he was missing the fast Chinese pace and decide to come back to China to find a full-time job. He found a position as a translator in a Chinese company developing video games for Facebook (which can be surprising).After staying for about 2,5 years Jean-Baptiste started to wish to find something more challenging. China is known to be a land for opportunities and Jean-Baptiste understood it very soon for himself: in the same building, arrived a company called Qihoo360 that happened to be the mother company of his current workplace. During a cigarette break, Jean-Baptiste met one of the employees who encouraged him to apply to a marketing position even though he has no such prior experience. 3 days later, Jean-Baptiste was starting his new job and move from the 5th floor to the 3rd. He was part of the department in charge of acquisition & marketing for apps and softwares that Qihoo360 was acquiring, such as Opera and Grinder in order to develop them for the Asian market. Networking matters!
2. Hard work matters more than experience!
➡Be trustworthy, people’s trust is essential in China ?
Qihoo360, an internet company providing full security solutions, is one of the earliest Chinese tech giants. With revenues of 12,84 billion RMB in 2019, Internet advertising and services account for 3/4 of it.
Helena and Accuracy analysis about Qihoo360 (www.accuracy.com)
Jean-Baptiste was given the challenging opportunity to manage the rebranding of the famous browser Opera, recently acquired by Qihoo360, for the African and Asian Market. The projected represented 1.2 million USD to design a creative advertisement and for a diffusion during the US Superbowl. Impressive as Jean-Baptiste was only 27.He knew that « If you want to do something, you can do it! » as he had learnt everything from scratch since he had no experience in marketing. He was appointed the difficult task to travel to South Africa instead of the managers to shoot the campaign: « an amazing and exhausting experience. » Amazing because the shooting involved being face to face with a lion and working with ostriches (he confirmed that ostriches do not put their head in a hole so it was challenging to shoot this misbelief). Exhausting because he had to work through 4 time zones (Beijing, New York, Norway and South Africa) while pleasing Qihoo360 CEO who was personally involved in approving the campaign. But he was deeply motivated by the desire to have a real impact on the company and to be part of the decision making team.
3. Be seen by the decision makers!➡ China strong management culture needs to adapt by being trustworthy and using assertiveness ?
After his unique experience at Qihoo360, Jean-Baptiste got approached during his break in France by his former boss at Qihoo offering him the opportunity to join DSers, a dropshipping app acting as an intermediary between the dropshipping platform, the seller and the supplier. After only a few years, DSers is now the #2 in the market thanks to its exclusive partnership with Alibaba.
Jean-Baptiste is currently in charge of international marketing and helping finding new users. DSers being a much smaller company than Qihood360, the expansion is much faster and the scope bigger! But the challenges and the responsibilities is what Jean-Baptiste is looking for and by being closer to founding team, Jean-Baptiste can work quicker and more efficiently. Despite not having worked in france, his management style remains French, introducing rigor and productivity tools, establishing targets, encouraging people and most importantly, giving freedom and responsibilities « without micro managing ».
As a conclusion, Jean-Baptiste said: « You can achieve anything you want if you put the work. China is a land of opportunities where people give you a chance to prove yourself ».
The audience of the event asking questionsto our guest Jean-Baptiste CARPENTIER.
Finally, the audience who was inspired by this story (estimated by the warmth applause) asked several questions to better understand the path, the success, about China, the dropshipping and what surprised the most Jean-Baptiste in China.
Jean-Baptise surrounded by the teams of the CCI France Chineand La French Tech Beijing.
Our first event of the Insiders series was launched by our President Jean Dominique SEVAL who welcomed the audience by reminding the core values of La French Tech Beijing that are SHARING, INNOVATION, CONVIVIALITY and COMMITMENT. Then, Jean Dominique gave a short description of the near future launch of the Working Groups which are Blockchain/Fintech, Semi-Conductor/IoT, Mentoring, Sport Tech and Corporate Innovation and where any member is welcome to share and together achieve annual objectives.
La French Tech Beijing President Jean Dominique SEVAL reminding the values of La French Tech and the launch of the Working Groups.
Helena also presented the different types of Events that will be organised this year, encouraged to become a French Tech Beijing MEMBER to build the Beijing Tech community and be active in French Tech Beijing.
La French Tech Beijing program for 2021, presented by our VP Helena JAVITTE.
We would like to thank our partners CCI FRANCE CHINE who hosted the event, BUSINESS FRANCE and the FRENCH EMBASSY and our sponsors ACCURACY et ADEO and ORANGE.
27 years old leading a 1M USD marketing campaign
➡Be trustworthy, people’s trust is essential in China ?