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To begin, tell us about your educational background. What did you study, both before and at KEDGE?
It began in 1 January 2000 when my mother, my sister, and I fled Algeria to escape the Civil War. I came to France when I was 11 years old, and I quickly realised that a good education was my only key toward success. It’s why I decided to pursue business studies, so the choice to attend KEDGE BS was an easy one. KEDGE has a humanistic culture and is also a school that promotes entrepreneurship. I remember the “flight of the eagle” from Mr. Pelazza during our business course. The methods have served me well!
Tell us about your course once your studies were finished. What positions have you held? What did you learn in those positions?
While at school, I did an alternate work programme for two years at an asset management agency for “AG2R LA MONDIALE”. This first experience in market finance and taught me two things. 1) I wasn’t really made for working in market finance, and 2) new technologies have completely changed the finance sector. Which is why as soon as I got my Master, I returned to the Wagon programme (batch #53 - Marseille). My goal was to familiarise myself with the web (mainly front-end) then continue my education to gain skills in back-end. When my courses ended, I was hired by a FinTech in Amsterdam that offers payment services to more than 5000 businesses in the world, including companies such as Uber, AirBnB, Booking.com, and others. At the same time, I continued taking on-line courses to learn C# and Java. This opportunity also gave me to chance to meet the co-founder of Kroko Studio: Mehdi Brun, a Java developer, and a fan of video games.
What is your project/situation today? What gave you the idea and desire to do what you are doing today?
Currently, I am actively working on the creation and development of my own company, Kroko Studio, an independent video and mobile games developer. In fact, our passion for games isn’t something new. When I was young, I devoured every game that came out on all the different consoles, from Sega to Game Boy, on to Playstation and the new Nintendo Switch. Playing is an excellent way to stimulate my creativity ad to escape a life that isn’t always easy. Meeting Medhi only confirmed my career choice. Experience in business and tech, and a love for games, all the ingredients came together to start my business! A year after meeting him, Lightly Ghost was born! A game full of colours where Lighty Ghost (an illuminated ghost) must avoid obstacles (spikes) and collect GEMs (local money in the form of blue octagons that let you buy new characters), and take "Green Zones" (green zones) to multiply your scores by X2, X4, X6, etc ... Our first game is now available in the Google Play Store. The iOS version will be available from 10 October 2019 on the App Store.
What are your development goals for the future?
In the short-term, our objective is to export the game to iOS so we can offer it on the Apple Play Store. Also, a V2 (2nd version) is being developed to satisfy the feedback received from our first 800 players. At the same time, we started our marketing campaign. In the long-term, Kroko Studio plans to create and develop ever more original games with unique experiences, aimed at a wide audience, especially females. This latter is particularly close to my heart. The gaming industry is growing. It is now bigger, in terms of revenue, than the film and music industries combined. Companies such as Google (with Stadia), Apple (with Apple Arcade), and Netflix are developing new activities in gaming, and their departments are sorely lacking in women! In the short- and medium-terms, Kroko Studio does not plan to raise funds. First, in view of our business model, we think that organic growth is possible. Second, we are also very confident about the international development of our games, which is easy to accomplish with the Google and Apple platforms, as well as with our good marketing and SEO strategies.
How did your education at KEDGE Business School help you become whom you are today, and which of its courses helped you develop your project?
The education I received at KEDGE Business School taught me the following three things, which I think are crucial to the development of my business. 1) Know-How to Be. Thanks to the work of the school’s groups and associations, I was able to integrate essential concepts to facilitate communication and collaboration with those who have very different profiles from my own. 2) Knowledge: Although we don’t leave school as an expert in a particular field (I did a general course of studies), the introduction to Marketing, Accounting, and the basics of corporate strategy courses allowed me to lay the foundations of Kroko Studio. 3) Learning to Learn: Finally, the most important lesson I had from my time at KEDGE BS Marseille was to learn to be curious, daring, and to continue learning throughout life ... That’s how I learned to code and then start my business.
If you had any advice for any KEDGE Alumnus or Alumna who would like to do something similar, what would it be?
My main advice to the students and graduates of the school would be to remain curious and daring. To know that women can also get into Tech and gaming. That everyone dares to change their course, to undertake their own projects ... try ... fail ... then start over again until they are successful.
Lila, anything to add, a message to pass along?
Today we need the massive support of the students and Alumni of our school: don’t hesitate to download, test, play, and have fun with the game! Also, please feel free to comment our games on the Google Store! This will provide more visibility in the vast ocean called Google! Also, feedback is essential for us to continually improve the game, and to offer games that are increasingly adapted to our audience. I sincerely believe that the support of young entrepreneurs, within our network, can be powerful and beneficial for everyone! Who knows ... maybe one day you’ll be a member of the Kroko Team.