MeteoViva is a leading German tech company introducing innovative technologies into the sphere of building management software and achieving considerable growth. Seeing Paris as an international focal point that welcomes technological innovation, MeteoViva set out to create their own local team of talented engineers with cross-cultural knowledge. They told us about their rapid growth, shared some of their long-term perspectives and insights on how to successfully expand one’s business in Paris Region.
Please tell us a few words about METEOVIVA and its solution.
MeteoViva is a tech leader that has created the next generation of advanced building technology, where a predictive optimization proactively manages HVAC energy consumption in commercial buildings. The solution reduces energy costs and C02 emissions by up to 40% and cuts indirect management costs of those installations by 75%. The solution fully automates the HVAC control of a building. We are serving large Corporates, Facility Managers and Real Estate Funds in various environments such as offices, airports and production facilities. The solution is currently rolled out for our international client roster in Europe and the US.
What led you to decide to set-up in the Paris Region?
MeteoViva has significantly expanded its presence over the last 12 months. Some of our big global clients such as Deka, Generali and Allianz have approached us with French projects. Therefore, we needed to build a local team to ensure smooth project execution and great client support from local colleagues with appropriate language skills and cross-cultural knowledge. Paris is our French hub which we’re using to continue our growth in the French market.
How has the COVID19 outbreak impacted the different ecosystem you are working with in France?
Our clients are real estate owners and users of commercial buildings. COVID19 has had a global impact on the office space market, with the majority of employees not using their offices full-time during the crisis. All our clients are experiencing the shift to a new working environment where alternative forms of working in the office as well as from home are the new reality. Especially in these challenging times, clients very much appreciate the opportunity to work with a fully digital solution to operate building operations remotely. Nevertheless, our Service Operation team has been supporting our customers remotely around the clock during the COVID19 crisis. We are confident that the COVID19 crisis will increase the pace of improvements in smart building infrastructure. MeteoViva's technology marks a major step towards the digitalisation of building operations. As the deployment of our technology requires minimal touch points in the building, all projects could be delivered on time. Therefore, COVID19 has not created a major challenge for our growth.
In your opinion, what are the keys towards a company’s successful international expansion ?
We will be successful in our international expansion if we try to understand the local needs from our clients' point of view. The main factor for our success is the confidence of our customers in the reliability of the solution to work globally. We now have more than 4 million operating hours of experience with our installed project base. Combining this reliability with a local approach and a deep knowledge of market specifics (local technical regulations, local trade promotions, tax regulations, etc.) creates the right climate to grow in a new market. An absolute must for successful expansion is a great team that can operate in the local language.
How would you qualify the workforce/talents in the Paris Region? What are your recruitment plans in the next 3 years?
Paris is one of the most competitive regions for innovation and technology in Europe. The talent pool for engineers and technicians is huge, and once business returns to normal, we are looking to recruit more engineers for our project pipeline in France. Anyone with an engineering background who is willing to work for a high-tech company is invited to send me an application. I look forward to receiving many submissions from potential new colleagues.
Could you share a few words about Choose Paris Region’s support in your expansion?
I attended a one-day conference organised by Paris Region in 2018. Topics of the meeting were a market overview (legal, tax and commercial details) and useful contacts for market entry by the Paris Region team. The second part of the day consisted of several 1:1 meetings with large French companies to present the technology and understand customers' expectations for such a solution in France. This conference was the ideal starting point for our French presence, and the Paris Region team was very helpful in answering questions that have arisen since.
What is your advice to German Companies thinking of expanding to France?
The French market is a very demanding market, but it is open to technological innovation. To make a successful market entry, you have to offer a unique product that is already tried and tested and in use by many customers. French companies are very curious and interested in trying out German technology, as Germany still has a very good reputation for developing excellent products and technologies. However, besides an excellent product, you especially need to have a great local team on site that offers the best possible service to customers. It also makes sense to find out in advance from appropriate bodies (e.g. Paris Region), what framework conditions need to be observed and what the respective market looks like.
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Sevinç ArSmart City & Cleantech