Laurent Cousin started his career on the trading floor of Crédit Agricole in Paris. He then joined and worked in an agricultural cooperative, EMC2 Cooperative. An interesting challenge, closer to fields and the silos. In 1998, he was appointed Sales Manager at Roquette Groupe, to supply starch products in animal nutrition, in Europe.
After 6 years of development: implementation of grain silos in Bretagne, redevelopment of barges on the Lys, patented the concept of carrying in bulk Wheat Gluten by cargo ships, he then leaves for Russia to open a branch, which it's turnover trippled within 5 years. Thereafter, he takes over a redevelopment project with a new business strategy for the company by working the pricing of different products of Roquette Groupe and their correlation between different raw commodities, he was able to index those products into the financial market. In April 2014, the company decides to set up a new branch in Geneva which he will be heading and currently employs 47 people.
#1-What is the best moment you can remember in your career?
There are two main important moments. First, when I took over the business development and strategy of Russia and Switzerland. The importance of human workforce in the development of a new project is quite impressive. It’s fascinating how the speed and scale of the development of the project takes when adding more and more human competences. The result brings more intelligence and expertise.
The second moment, is when I realised how important were my different work experience and their strengths, during my career I have worked in three different business sectors:
Agriculture, industry and finance.
When I first started on the trading floor, in Paris, I was trading wheat, corn, rapeseed and soya but I had never been on the field at that time. I believe, by combining those experiences I had acquired, it contributed to a better global understanding and more constructive reflexion of the business like the indexed contract for the clients. It’s highly rewarding to see your ideas and concepts develop over time.
#2-If you had to give just one piece of advice to a junior starting his/her career, what would it be?
I would say curiosity is the way to succeed, then the humility and determination.
It’s important to trust in yourself, and learn to follow your instinct, do not always listen to what people say. In my experience, it’s rare to have a Manager who has the knowledge and the capacity to get the best of each individual.
Moreover, it’s important to be open and not to get stuck in the same field of activity for too long. Generally speaking, do not hesitate to change jobs and don’t be scared to grab any good opportunities that is offered to you.
In my opinion, human skills are more important than professional skills. Determination and hard-work are highly valued by companies today.
#3-Do you have a Motto/Lucky charm?
Be the decider of your own career, ability to learn and improve oneself.
#4-What do you enjoy the most in your day to day job?
The things that I enjoy the most in my day-to-day job are, business development, business strategy and the managing aspect of my work and seeing the result of that investment. I am more of a Front Office person. I like to be in contact with clients, the market and the risk side of the work, I would describe myself as someone who is extremely satisfied and challenged in this position. I enjoy the unknown and unexpected side of my work.
#5-If you had to do it again would you choose the same career path?
Exactly the same! Today, I have no regret and I would do it all over again if I have to.
#6-Where is your favourite place on earth and why?
Corsica! Limio village to be more accurated, located between Ile-Rousse and the city of Calvi. I absolutely love the peacefulness and relaxing feeling of this place.
#7-How could you qualify your relationship with Ampersand World?
Very good! Relationship based on trust, and I would like to thank all of them.
I like the human approach of Ampersand World, their willingness to understand the project and the culture of our company. There is a deep entrepreneurial approach and not only HR, that’s what makes a difference in my opinion.