There are more than 200 international V.I.E. trainees in the Nordic countries, working for more than 100 companies to help them grow and develop new business opportunities. This trainee program allows any type of company to send young talents to expand abroad. Here is the story of Théo Egal, V.I.E. trainee in Denmark for Idealec (now part of the Mersen Group), a company specialized in eletronic components.
Théo Egal, 23 years old, engineer and business developer at Idealec
I am Théo EGAL, 23 years old, French engineer and I have been living in Copenhagen for a year now. I am working as a V.I.E. for a small French company called Idealec (part of Mersen Group since April 2018), who is specialized in designing and manufacturing high power electrical interconnection components, called laminated busbars.
I am sales and technical representative for Idealec brand in northern Europe, but also started some missions and the development of projects in eastern Europe. I am sitting at the Danish-French chamber of commerce in Copenhagen since my company does not have a permanent office here. This is a convenient solution, part of the support provided by Business France and its partners to settle in on a new market.
My main responsibilities are to identify potential customers, promote Idealec and its technologies, initiate new projects, submit technical and commercial offers, and make the link between our engineering team based in France and our customers in the Nordic countries.
The V.I.E. is part of the development strategy in the Nordic countries
We saw Copenhagen as a natural choice to enter the Nordic markets. As Idealec is a small company, the strategy was to place a V.I.E. in northern Europe, as the only representative of the company. This solution is offering proximity and responsiveness to our customers and business partners here, plus it is a real springboard and a great opportunity to start my career.
Long-term relationships seem to be important here, in business and in society. In such a context, it is crucial to have someone in the country in to prove that Idealec is interested in developing strong business relationships.
Regarding competences and the technical complexity of our sector, it was important to have someone with an engineering background to initiate contact and be able to develop projects with our potential customers. Once again, the V.I.E. was the best solution to put the right person in the right place.
The Nordic countries offer great business opportunities
Our sector is a very specific market and it is quite a challenge to estimate its global potential in Denmark. The fact is that we don’t have any direct competitors here, even though there are a few companies with very high potential.
We also noticed that there are a lot of interesting activities and big companies for our business in northern Europe, especially in the renewable energy industries, and some important R&D centers in power electronics. On a larger scale, there are also railway activities in Sweden, Oil & Gas industries in Norway, and some R&D centers in Finland.
What are your tips for approaching the Danish market?
I would say that no matter the sector, it is important to show that your company is ready to be patient and develop long term business relationships, based on trust and proven know-how. Speaking Danish is obviously an advantage, even though most of the Danes are fluent English speakers. It is highly appreciated to show some efforts in learning the language.
The organization in Danish and Scandinavian companies is quite different than in France, since the hierarchy is much flatter here. This must be taken into consideration when it comes to taking decisions and managing people.
My last advice is that you should never be late on a meeting. First it will be considered as disrespectful and second, you will have less time to present your product or service. Time is precious here and people have te be effective to prove themselves and to be convincing.
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