To continue its international growth, celduc® relais is opening a new subsidiary in Chicago, USA. We asked Jean Perrot, CEO of celduc® inc., to explain in a few words what he does and what this new adventure is all about.
It will be short since I joined celduc® relais in 2015 when I was 24 and freshly graduated from my engineering school, and since then took some positions in our sales department. I started with Asia, where we definitely have huge opportunities in countries where we have been well established like Japan and South Korea with long-term reliable partners, and in China where I opened our sales office in Shanghai in 2018 with the help of my colleague Matt who does great job there. Since then I have taken over North-American sales where I could start “comfortably” as the most difficult part of the job has been done by the former US sales manager André (now leading our engineering): meetings, meetings and meetings for customers introductions! So it becomes clearly and quickly obvious that finally I will take profit of my Chinese experience to run a new company here in the US. Lastly, I am married to a wonderful wife, father of a one-year-old adorable boy and we are all happy to move together in Chicago!
Yes, this is exactly what I am saying! The funny thing is that we were originally supposed to move in May, but, of course, COVID 19 had other plans for us, so we postponed our travel to mid-September. But during summer our visa officer in US Embassy in Paris called us for an appointment and explained that we have to go now otherwise we will have to wait many months to get a new travel approval. So, the three of us quickly prepared and packed our stuffs, and we arrived in Chicago on August 27th. We forgot many things in this move but I carried with me my 600-lb samples pallet, so we are all set!
Well it has to start with a beginning: many administrative things that I was not able to complete in France, but fortunately I am almost done with this. Now, basically, there are two parts in my job. One is sales, which means I will meet (in most of the cases, virtually!) our existing and possible new partners and customers in the USA. So this part of the job has to do with sales support, distributors network management, building new business opportunities, technical support, etc. The other is marketing, which means I am building our products lines and prices based on the existing market here: in some weeks we shall have ready new catalogs, datasheets, and even new part numbers and products that we are creating for the customers here.
I think we actually have all the ingredients to turn this project in wonderful challenge and story: in terms of business, we have decided to not touch the existing channels and sales that we have already. It means, celduc® Inc. starts from nothing! And the amount of work to do is quite vertiginous, because we have to assume that our brand is not known at all in the US market, but this is what I like. So, exciting is definitely a good word.
Let’s try to be ambitious, and realistic! So I will not reply with the very academic plans that I prepared some months and weeks ago, and keep it simple. We estimate there are about 50,000 companies buying SSR every year all over the USA: in 2025, at least half of them must have heard about celduc®.
You mean, except where to put the accent in my words when I am talking? For me, the biggest challenge will be to convince the first customers, distributors and reps. I know the market did not wait for celduc®, and of course the situation here is all but favorable: we have a pandemic, and maybe more important, we have presidential election going on! But I am confident, and I know everybody in celduc® is over motivated by this challenge so I cannot disappoint them: they did their best so that I can do my best here, for them!