By Dhriti Chandrashekar, Global MBA 2013-2014, India
When you are at ESSEC, there are two kinds of events that you are always exposed to. One is career fairs and the other is company visits. Recently we visited two companies in a span of two days.
“There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard”
The first company visit was to MasterCard France. Entering the conference room of MasterCard, I was taken back to my software developer days at EMC. We met with Mr. Regis Folbaum, General Manager of MasterCard France, alum of ESSEC. MasterCard is a global payments and technology company that connects billions of consumers, thousands of financial institutions, and millions of merchants. Regis spoke about technology at MasterCard; he told us that there is a dedicated R&D team, ‘MasterCard Labs’, which serves as an incubator for new ideas. ‘MasterCard labs’ allows them to innovate and grow in the range of products and solutions that they bring to their customers. MasterCard leverages its technology and expertise to benefit its customers, partners, merchants and so on, which is why MasterCard is also identified as a technology company in addition to a payments company. He spoke about Priceless cities, a concept developed a few years ago, where special and unique offers are given to customers. It is meant to help drive preference and affection for MasterCard card holders by offering them an opportunity to enjoy the things they are most passionate about, whether it is travel, sports, shopping or arts. He also gave us a view of the roadmap of MasterCard for the coming year.
“Today changes with Orange”
The second company that we visited was the Orange Telecom. We met with Mr. Jean Pierre Bienaimé, senior VP Strategy and Communications of Orange Telecom, who is also an alum of ESSEC. After a small chit chat with him over coffee, we were ushered into the technocenter. The technocenter brings together marketing, development and implementation expertise to work on all the latest products in a multicultural environment. Paris is one of the only four Orange technocenter sites. Mr. Jean Pierre Bienaimé took us through the best practises of Marketing at Orange and how they have been replicated in other cities. It was good to learn that Orange invests in technology too, although its core competency is the network itself. Orange has around 5000 employees in R&D alone. The company has around 5000 marketers with 57% based in France and 44% of them women. It has the biggest marketing group in France. It has a customer base of over 232 million customers including 175 million mobile customers and 15 million fixed broadband customers and a turnover of 43 billion Euros. Orange’s main focus is to develop people and network, improve cost and international development for the year 2015. The technocenter’s flagship products include Orange TV, livebox play, Orange Money, Orange Cloud, 4G compatible ‘Business Everywhere’ connection kit, Le Block amongst many others. We got to see a demo of each of these products at the end of the session. It was interesting to see a lot of commotion near “Le Block”, a mini projector with Wi-Fi facilities (yet to be launched).