French entrepreneur embraces digitalization and transformation of Shanghai


Vincent (left) makes a speech at La French Tech Shanghai. [Photo/]

Born in France, Vincent has had a profound interest in the digital world since childhood. A decade ago, he set foot in Shanghai, and starting from scratch, founded a digital innovation consulting company. The company has recently been acquired by the multinational corporation VO2, transforming into VO2's Asia-Pacific headquarters, where Vincent now holds a senior management position. With a substantial growth of his team, the company has established a foothold in the competitive market.

Throughout his 10-year journey in Shanghai, Vincent has witnessed constant evolution in both industry and daily life, a change he has welcomed with open arms.

Staying ahead in the digital era

Vincent had his first encounter with the concept of "digitalization" in 2000, at the age of 10. A decade later, as a 20-year-old, he ventured the opportunity to study in Wuhan, China, as an exchange student. The period coincided with the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, marking Vincent's inaugural visit to Shanghai. 

The city made a lasting impression on him with its cleanliness, extensive subway system, and its youth filled-ambition. Inspired by Shanghai's advanced digitalization, Vincent saw a land full of opportunities. "All I wanted was to come to China and stay in Shanghai," he said.

Four years later, Vincent returned to China as an MBA student in Suzhou, a neighboring city of Shanghai. During his study, he developed a keen interest in digital entrepreneurship, embarking on his first venture on an online cheese marketplace. The project marked the commencement of his entrepreneurial journey.

Starting from scratch and growing amid changes

Vincent began his entrepreneurial pursuits in Shanghai in 2015. Besides the online cheese marketplace, he dove into providing digital innovation consulting services, using digital platforms to connect people with products and forge online communities.

Leveraging his Chinese language skills and cultural understanding, Vincent facilitated smooth interactions with European businesses. His profound knowledge of Chinese digital media and market dynamics, gained during his study in China, also played a crucial role in his success. In 2015, Vincent started publishing articles on China’s social media platform, WeChat, quickly recognizing the wide opportunities available in the digital industry.

His digital innovation consulting firm experienced swift growth, winning the trust of leading enterprises in various industries.

"Employees over 35 are precious"

In the highly competitive digital industry of Shanghai, Vincent pondered on how a small entity such as his survived. “The most crucial element is our people, including partners and employees.”

As client demand surged, so did Vincent's team, which has now reached 60 employees and aims to double in size the following year. Initially comprising only content and customer service departments, the company later expanded to include a technical department, which now stands as one of its pillars with around 40 staff members.

Vincent places great value on expertise and experience of his employees. Contrary to the trend of hiring predominantly young individuals in the digital consulting field, Vincent adopts a holistic approach. “We don’t only hire young talents but deeply value employees over 35. Their maturity, attention to details, responsibility, and initiative are irreplaceable. Their experience is our treasure."

“This job thrives on creativity. We employ intelligent individuals who efficiently manage their tasks without the need for overtime,” Vincent says, emphasizing the importance of rest for maintaining creativity and productivity.

Reflecting on China's rapid development, Vincent added, “The transformation I've witnessed in the last five years is astounding.” He observed the shift from foreign cars dominating the streets to Chinese-made vehicles taking the lead, the city's growing cleanliness, and the addition of more parks. While many things have evolved, the essence of embracing change, chasing global trends, and the perpetual vibrancy of life, remain constant.