Entrepreneurs Forever 2015 | Version française

Nassir Goulamaly

He manages an atypical family group built upon innovation, industrial dynamics, and independence.

Nassir Goulamaly doesn't have time to take long holidays; he's too happy carrying out the project that has been in his head for ever. « I was one of the few students who absolutely knew what they were doing at EMLYON! I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur: to continue and develop our French family group in the Indian Ocean. »

Whilst he is really immersed in his family's Indian culture, since he still speaks fluent gujarati, he in fact spent his childhood on Reunion Island before going to Paris for Preparatory Classes. He completed his School diploma with a Masters in Finances at Sciences Po Paris and went to Indonesia for his VIE (International Volunteer in Enterprise). He stayed on three extra years, as Financial Manager for Alcatel. « That period was useful in two ways. I took my first professional steps in an environment where we had to prove everything. And especially, I understood when I was there that, to conquer a country, you really have to settle there for a long time. »

Our group is financially sound and debt-free: those are the conditions of my freedom.

Once he got back to France in 1998, he got married and redesigned Océinde using his family's industrial activities as a basis. « Our entire group has an industrial culture. I built my business around this hub, adding on dynamic SMIs, in accordance with our ‘’3I‘’ strategy: innovation, industrialisation and internationalisation. »

Nassir Goulamaly carried out several acquisitions, when the opportunity arose. « I don't have any structured approach; it's a question of intuition. I have the strong conviction that Reunion Island can become the French platform in the Indian Ocean, and that only private groups can innovate on limited markets which are far from Metropolitan France. »

He developed high performance decorative paint, produced in four plants in France, Reunion Island, and Rumania. At the same time, he diversified with products from the sea. He was already a long-term operator in the faraway French territories in Australasia and the Antarctic, with longliner fishing respectful of the environment. And then, he developed the first organic prawn farm in Mozambique, where he became the first French investor. « It's not risk-free. A virus had a terrible impact on the farm in 2011. We were only able to bounce back because of being really close to local teams, and to our clients all around the world, but also thanks to our financial independence and our long-term vision. »

In 2011, in advance as usual, he launched optical fibres on Reunion Island, which has since become a highly coveted sector!
Today Océinde consists of around fifteen companies, and 1,500 people. « We are growing at our own pace, auto-financing our growth. I am the agile and innovative outsider.  »

When you have a singular company, management is unconventional. « In a group which is so diverse, professionally and geographically, you have to rely on people of great quality, autonomous, hard-working, and loyal. My way of recruiting is very eclectic. I would love it if more young graduates applied! »

Océinde's objective is to continue its growth following the same principles of innovation and industrial excellence. « In France things are tough, but you need to stay ambitious and dynamic, think ahead, excel. Courage and responsibility are things you learn when you take risks. »
For this competition, Nassir Goulamaly trains just like a top athlete: squash, rowing, hiking… And three young children!

EM Lyon: Programme Grande Ecole 1993 / Msc in Management
Translation : Carole Bausor, ILTC
Date de parution : 01/06/15