« Je suis fière de toute l’équipe de Scandi Bureau »
Charlotte has lived in a Franco-Nordic environment since she was very young and feels “100% French and 100% Swedish”. She says she is a chameleon and adapts perfectly to each country and its culture. It was more than twenty years ago, in 1998, that she took over the management of Scandi Bureau. She talks to us about the Nordic business, tells us about the history of Scandi Bureau and gives us her view of its activities. Interview.
The story of Scandi Bureau
Scandi Bureau was founded in 1989 and I joined the company four years later, when I was studying international trade. I had this deep desire to work in a Franco-Nordic environment.
I realised at the time that many structures help companies to start up in France, but that very few support them afterwards. It is difficult for companies to maintain their presence on the French market because of the lack of commercial relations, trust and operational follow-up.
This is why in 1995 I proposed to add services, to pool customer service, sales administration and operational support in order to help small Nordic structures. We welcomed our first customers, Merivaara and AXIS Communications, and I bought Scandi Bureau in 1998.
We have grown from three employees when Scandi Bureau was founded to an average of 11 employees today, depending on projects and years.
The evolution of Scandi Bureau
I want to remain a small company, we are not in the race for profit. I cherish the direct relationship we have with our customers, which is what makes us successful. It is thanks to all this that we are flexible. My goal is to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction. This is achieved through our extreme versatility and our ability to challenge ourselves to be ever more efficient.
I must admit that our customers are our best ambassadors. In addition, Scandi Bureau works a lot with institutions, but also with embassies and chambers of commerce. I am also on the board of the French Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, the Finnish Chamber of Commerce in France and the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in France. At the same time, I am a French Foreign Trade Advisor in Sweden.
All these institutions are a relay and allow us to propose our services, when the need is felt for the companies.
I have set up a network of Swedish-speaking businesswomen in France and French-speaking businesswomen in Sweden, called Businet. It consists of women with experience, decision-making positions and a willingness to help each other. It is a very dynamic and solid network of private individuals, allowing us to work together and to recommend each other. We have exchanged in a friendly manner with many well-known speakers.
What qualities are needed to manage Scandi Bureau?
I would say motivation and a taste for the unknown, to begin with. But I need to see the qualities of my collaborators in order to work effectively with them, and this requires respect. I think that you also need to be loyal, which is a quality that Nordic people have and that they appreciate in their employees. For my part, I try to stimulate them and make them a little less modest, so that they are proud of their products.
I am proud of the whole Scandi Bureau team, which is full of qualities: reliable, rigorous and above all full of goodwill.
Your favorite saying?
«It is better to have regrets than remorse.»
That’s why by default my answer is always yes. By default, everything is positive. By default, everything is going to be fine and you always get there.