MY INTERVIEW
What have been the biggest milestones in your personal life?

Two impactful incidents  come to mind, which later proved to be important life lessons. First, I was betrayed by my business partner in France in 1997. Once I had overcome the initial shock, I quickly realized it was for the best, because this is what pushed me to single-handedly establish Natec. I turned an unfavourable situation into an opportunity and came out stronger.

The second was a spinal fracture in 2008. I suffered a terrible fall on my head while playing morey with my children, which left me paralyzed for a while. I remained absolutely idle for two months. Believe me, being bedridden after having narrowly dodged a permanent handicap really makes you reflect on your life and the choices you make. Had I been paralyzed at the age of 42, what legacy would I have left for my family, my company? This incident fundamentally altered the way I envision my life, my business objectives and my personal goals.

On a positive note, failing to find funding for my business in Europe in 1998 was a blessing in disguise that ultimately led me to Boston, in the United States, where I not only managed to set up Natec but did it while simultaneously assimilating a new culture and an unfamiliar way of life.

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You have developed an Eco Lodge, the Five Senses Lodge, on the West Coast of Madagascar.

Why Madagascar and not Mauritius for instance?

It was a matter of pure luck. The Eco Lodge Five Senses was born in a whirlwind, when an entrepreneur friend and myself found ourselves at the world’s end, enchanted by stretches of sand as far as the eye can see and a turquoise lagoon. We were immediately enthralled by this exceptionally wild and preserved environment, and went on to discover the daily lives of the inhabitants of the fishing village neighbouring Tsiandamba, with no water, no electricity, and no medical care. Eco Lodge Five Senses was built with the desire to seamlessly integrate the surroundings and nature, while also respecting the traditions of those who have inhabited this region for centuries. At the heart of this project is our aspiration to better the Vezo people’s quality of life by implementing a range of innovative measures in healthcare, education, eco-habitation, fishing and culture through my foundation, Fondation Dunes de Mer. The Eco Lodge Five Senses Lodge and Fondation Dunes de Mer are both very close to my heart.
Alain Goetzmann, a specialist in entrepreneurial management, has drawn inspiration from the teachings of renowned entrepreneur, Andrew Medal, and put forward the idea that outstanding businessmen are characterized by the following nine qualities: ingenuousness, tenacity, the ability to keep calm under pressure, the quality of networks, perseverance, vision, unwavering positivity, a sense of opportunity and execution. How do you identify with each of these qualities?
Ingenuousness?
No, being naïve and candid does not suit me. I prefer the term « optimistic ». One does not succeed by being ingenuous.
Tenacity?
Perhaps you should ask my wife and my collaborators. I like to think I am tenacious rather than stubborn. Tenacity implies resolutely and confidently pursuing your dreams, while being obstinate often means a refusal to acknowledge one’s errors.
Keeping calm under pressure?
I have often been reproached for having an exuberant character and making hasty decisions. I am working on this with a personal coach.
Quality of networks…
I am a man with many networks. I enjoy creating a sense of belonging, of adherence. This is likely due to the Scout values I picked up as a child but also my experience as President of the Student Body at the ENSAIS and President of the CCE (Conseillers au Commerce Extérieur), to my belonging to the APM (Association for the Progress of Management). My friends and collaborators are vital to me. I accept their criticism, which I believe can only help me improve.
Perseverance
One who perseveres is one who remains firm and resolute when making a decision or carrying out an action ; he displays consistency, tenacity. It describes someone who, regardless of obstacles, continues to work towards achieving a goal. This is undoubtedly a quality that is representative of who I am.
Vision
My motto is « Make your life a dream, and a dream a reality ». My dream was to create Natec Medical: twenty-one years later, we are diversifying our activities with the help of a laboratory, Abiolabs, and Umbrella Corp, our business solutions provider company (Finances, IT, Communications and Facilities Management). In the near future, I would love to make Natec a liberated company, a managerial concept based on the “No Rule, No Regulation” concept. It is however essential that my collaborators share and encapsulate my vision.
Unwavering positivity
This is my « Trust me, I’m an engineer » side. A quality that is, without a doubt, tied to tenacity. My failures and successes have taught me that by fighting for your convictions, you can achieve your goals.
A sense of opportunity
My biggest strength is my ability to identify, create and hunt down opportunities. The growth opportunities for Mauritius in the manufacturing of medical devices are immense. Mauritius has the ability to implement a field in the production of these medical devices, a medical devices cluster. We are working on convincing the Government. It’s a matter of playing your cards right.
Execution
For a long time I served as the leader of my company, embodying its sectoral expertise and colossal projects. Envisioning things that others don’t yet see, being capable of motivating others, possessing the acumen to build and develop a business as well as the courage to make the right decisions. I remain the Captain of the Natec ship but have delegated more functions to my team so that I can wholly dedicate myself to personal projects.
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