Newsletter subscription
Log in

This KEDGE BS alumni imports African designers’ creations to Europe

In creating NAAKA, a company based in Lyon, Quentin Chellat-Gabolde and his associate wanted to put the spotlight on talented designers from the African sub-region by providing them with exposure to the French and European markets.


In 2012, after obtaining a BTS in Negotiations and Customer Relations and a professional degree from DistriSup, Quentin started a Master’s in Business Engineering at KEDGE BS in Toulon. While in school, he conducted an apprenticeship in the Strategic Purchasing Department at Airbus Helicopters (formerly Eurocopters), a perfect fit for his intended career path. “I was lucky, during my 5 years of studies, to work in different environments (multinationals and micro enterprises), with different types of clients (BtoB, BtoC, SME, and major accounts), and in different positions (sales, manager, buyer).”

At the end of his Master’s, he decided to finish off his training with an experience abroad. That’s when Quentin discovered the African continent. “I was fortunate to obtain an International Industrial Volunteer (VIE) position in Burkina Faso with Fasoplast, as Sales and Major Accounts Manager. Thanks to this experience, I was able to discover what it is like to work in a different culture, the work codes one needs to respect, and a new way to handle professional relationships.”

After his VIE, Quentin decided to create his own company, importing and selling furniture, handicrafts, and works of art from West Africa.

Along with his associate, Arnauld PLASSON, he created the company CHEGABSON and filed a trademark for the brand NAAKA to sell his products.

Naaka is based in Lyon and aims to put the spotlight on talents from the African sub-region by providing them with exposure to the French and European markets. As such, Naaka relays the creative energy of African designers, using a responsible and cooperative approach (knowledge sharing, establishing procedures, agreed upon remuneration).

“My degree in Business Engineering from KEDGE BS enabled me to strengthen my skills in fields such as accounting, law, marketing, or even solution selling, which were indispensable to creating my own company, and for managing its everyday operations today” explains Quentin.

Budding Kedger Entrepreneurs, Quentin has a message for you! “If you think you have a good idea and your research confirms it, then go for it! Don’t hesitate! It’s better to make a mistake than to regret never trying!”


To learn more:



0 Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

No comment