KEDGE graduates, what has become of your student...
Hello, David! To begin with, can you tell us about your educational background: what did you study at KEDGE and before arriving at KEDGE?
I am from Martinique, where I was lucky to live until I obtained by Bac ES. I left the island in 2012 to join the Bachelor's programme at KEDGE, on the Marseille campus. In order to consolidate my training, I decided to pursue my studies, and joined the Grande Ecole Masters at Kedge, where I followed the custom-made programme.
Tell us about what you did after finishing school: what jobs have you had?
During the first year of my Bachelor's, I launched my first entrepreneurial project by importing accessories for Smartphones from China (protective covers and connections) to sell them over the internet. In order to do so, I registered as an auto-entrepreneur and I opened several online stores in some of the main marketplaces such as Amazon, CDiscount, Fnac, and Ebay. This was a very enriching experience for me because I was able to directly put into practice the theory I was learning in class. I ran the activity for three years and the marketplaces generated 22,000 orders, which enabled me to expand my skills in the fields of e-commerce, business development, and managing customer relations. Then, for my end of Bachelor's internship, I worked for an Alsatian gourmet artisan. My role was to establish an online store to develop the activity and add a new distribution channel. The internship taught me to better understand the technical and logistical issues which artisans are confronted with when they decide to start selling online. These different experiences strengthened my interest in e-commerce and new digital technologies. The explosion of online sales suggests that e-commerce has some beautiful days ahead of it. That's why, when I asked myself "What should I do after my Master's?", I decided I wanted to create my own online store.
Tell us about Pomfeed, your new project. Where did you get the idea?
I wanted to create an online delicatessen shop specialised in the distribution of French craft gourmet products. To do so, I created the brand POMFEED which in the acronyme of the values I want to highlight through the project: propre Products that have a a certified Origine, by distributing them in a Modern way, all the while maintaining their Freshness and their Excellence. Additionally, we want to work in an Ethical way with the artisans, by fairly distributing the added-value generated by the sales. Finally, we want to facilitate the Discovery of the richness of French products. On Pomfeed.fr you will be able to order our monthly Box, in which you will discover five artisans from a region by tasting five specialities. You will also be able to purchase products individually. We want to showcase the know-how of the artisans, that is why we will be including their other specialities in our online shop. So, don't hesitate to visit our shop frequently. I hope to work with 40 artisans by the end of 2018, so we will have a rich and diverse selection!
What are your objectives for the future?
First of all, I want to launch the project nationally. Since, French gastronomy is very appreciated abroad, I hope to be able to target international clients (often expatriates) in the future, by adding the possibility of international deliveries. I want to create a real community of lovers of gastronomy and local products. Today it is essential for consumers to know the origin and history of the products they consume. The development of the sale of organic products and the explosion of short circuits shows to what extent the quality of our food has become important, as well as the fair payment for the work provided by farmers and artisans. I really want to be a part of this philosophy and work hand in hand with them in order to become a way for them to reach more clients. Additionally, I have already created links with certain business committees in order to offer to help them create custom-made business gifts.
I am currently being supported by the Daniel Carasso accelerator at Kedge.
Attention gastronomy lovers, the online shop will be launched in early March. Register by using the code “Kedge” to receive 5€ off your first order. I would be happy to hear your recommendations and exchange ides with Alumni who are interested in the project.
How did what you learn at KEDGE Business School help you develop your project?
My schooling at Kedge had an important influence on my professional project. My first project, although it was lucrative, didn't espouse the values I shared with the school, those being to “Create, Care, Share”. That is why I decided to launch a project that was more CSR. The support I received from my professors and speakers I met during my time at Kedge was a real value-add in the realisation of my project. They are the ones that introduced my to the school's incubator, and I had the opportunity to be admitted a few months ago. The Daniel Carasso space, on the Marseille campus, is an important place for me, because I am able to meet other young entrepreneurs, and exchange thoughts with them. There is a real spirit of mutual help, because even if we are all working on our own projects, sometimes we get together to help each other solve problems we are facing. Everyone has their own knowledge and skills, and we are able to solve problems together in just a few minutes, after we may have been struggling for hours on our own...
If you had one piece of advice for KEDGE students and Alumni that want to follow in your footsteps, what would it be?
Knowing how to surround yourself with the right people is, for me, one of the keys to success, both personally and professionally. By carrying out your project on your own, we can have a tendency to lack perspective, and make the wrong decisions. It is important to regularly ask for advice. That helps you, on the one hand, explain your project, to see if it is coherent, and on the other hand, gather feedback and criticism (even though we don't always want to hear it). This feedback helps us look at things from another point of view, and in some cases change our choices.