Telecom Market Trendsetter
From 2011, Jean-François Fallacher is Chief Executive Office of Orange Romania, leader of the Romanian telecommunications market, with over 10 million customers.
Jean-François Fallacher has extensive professional experience in the telecom market both business and residential, gained over the 19 years within France Telecom Group - Orange. Jean-François Fallacher began his career in France Telecom - Orange Group as Account Director in the Department B2B Corporate Sales Division. Later he moved to Netherlands where he was Marketing Manager at Euronet Internet and then Chief Operations Officer of Wanadoo Netherlands. Before his appointment at Orange Romania, Jean-François was CEO of Sofrecom, international consulting company belonging to France Telecom - Orange Group.
Jean-François graduated from École Polytechnique and École Nationale Supérieure des Télécommunications in Paris. He continued his studies in an International Business Development program at ESSEC Business School.
ENLIGHTENING LESSONS 2014
1. What was your first job?
I began my career in France Telecom - Orange Group as an engineer in the R&D Labs.
2. Looking back, is there something that you would change regarding the past?
What did you keep from that experience and what did you chose to change?
I am not really the kind of a nostalgic person to look back in the past and have regrets on what happened.
3. What was your first business idea?
My first business idea was at that time I was working in the R&D Labs in 1992 (22 years ago), and I discovered Mosaic, www. That I went to convince the commercial direction that this would be replacing Minitel.
4. Tell us about the people who influenced your career decisions and how/why.
My boss during the time I was working in Sales, Bruno Clery, who taught me a lot about listening and was a real coach, really opened my eyes into another world.
A lady called Nicole Forgeas that was the HR Director of the R&D Labs, that helped me two times in my career, to change and take new responsibilities.
I learned as well so much from two people during my job @ Sofrecom: one was called Pak Bon, our partner in Indonesia and another one was Mohamed Al Majid, our partner in Yemen; two very wise people.
Other people that marked me are President of the Board of Sofrecom, Marc Rennard, and the CEO of Wanadoo Netherlands JJ de Pins.
5. Have you experienced a life/perspective changing situation? Please share the context and impact?
Yes, when our kids were born and when I became the father of one, then 2, then 3 then 4 kids...
6. What does "leadership"? mean to you? Do you think that people can learn how to be authentic leaders or is leadership a gift that you're born with?
Leadership means vision, support and determine the team in creating value, give the right direction, the space and the necessary empowerment. I believe both are true, to be a leader you need to like people and you're born with this or not, on the other side I strongly believe one can learn and by management training, and by sharing experiences with other you definitely can improve your skills.
7. Which are your top five business values?
The key value for me is trust, and then I would quote Orange values which I really cherish: open, friendly, honest, straightforward.
8. What is the one thing that can ruin or bring up a business?
People, people, people! If I should name one thing that stays at the foundation when building a healthy business, I think people are the key. I strongly believe that together as a team, we are stronger, more intelligent and will always find better solutions than alone.
9. How would you describe the European business landscape (pros and cons)?
How about the Romanian market, any predictions for the following years?
In Europe and all over the world, businesses continue to develop across international boundaries, and the challenges will certainly increase. In this trend, most companies refine their business models, adjusted to the consumers' needs and paid more attention to the operational efficiency for strengthening or defending their business. IT&C sector is in the middle of economic development acting as a support and vital instrument for all others industries as: health, agriculture & food, retail, energy or security.
The Romanian market remains a very dynamic and competitive one, in all of its sectors. This year we've noticed a slight economic growth, reflected in some companies' financial performance. Also, in 2014 Romania's presence in the regional business landscape registered an increase, with new companies entering the Top 500 best performing companies. Predictions for the next year are hard to make, having in mind the local coming elections and the economic slowdown in Western Europe. We hope to see this positive trend continued in 2015.
10. How does the business model of the future look like?
The future looks Digital, I am persuaded we entered since the beginning of the 90's in what I call the Digital Revolution, exactly as having as large impact as the Industrial revolution was during the 19th century. At that time new technologies (the steam engines and the iron stage) brought an entire society revolution from craftsmen to industry, from roads to railways, with a societal arising of a new working class. The same type of revolution is happening under our eyes with the surge of computers everywhere, connected devices, ubiquity that are brought by broadband networks and the internet abolishing distances and twisting time.
11. What are the first 3 things that you value about people?
I value honesty, team spirit and optimism.
12. What is a true brand?
It is said "A brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room" (Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon).
A true brand is a real, authentic one, loyal to the promise made to all stakeholders. Orange values that lead and are found in our actions are dynamic, friendly, open, honest, innovative, reliable and responsible; a true brand commitment.
Orange is a bright and optimistic brand that believes in a better future, in a world where the latest technology helps people communicate more and be closer to everything that is important to them. Orange has positioned radically different from the beginning, communicating with customers in a friendly and plain language and providing innovative products and services that have redefined mobile communications market.
13. Can brands have "hearts"?
I think the answer is yes because behind the brand are people, when we talk about a brand that creates a strong connection with the customer. In today's connected world, a brand is essentially defined by customer experience and customers can now fill what values are behind the brand. Behind the brand and company's culture are the people, employees contributing to all, with inspiration and emotions more than the workforce. People are those living the brand and reflecting its values in everything they do while interacting with customers, society, business partners.
14. What do you think about the Enlightening leadership conference concept?
This is our first partnership in organizing this conference, and all I can say is this year concept is a powerful, inspirational one. So, congratulations!