CEO Interviews

“Today is good; tomorrow must be better” – Interview with Ewald Draaijer, SK FireSafety CEO

Securing human life and assets in the precious first minutes of an incident before firefighters arrive is vital to survival. It’s also a solid business with solid fundamentals, recurring revenues and a robust outlook. With the support of Apax Partners since 2014, SK FireSafety has been growing and playing a significant role in consolidating this market successfully in the Benelux and Sweden and now plans to become a major player in Europe. CEO Ewald Draaijer explains his modus operandi.

21.04.2020 CEO Interviews

Digital innovation for new growth drivers

Digital is radically changing time and space. It also modifies ecosystems and the spaces they occupy. Given the risk of new, more flexible entrants, digital innovation has one significant advantage: it provides significant growth drivers and opens the door to sustainable outlooks for development. Two Apax Partners investments, Marlink and Expereo, chose to follow this direction. What follows is a review of the keys to their success.

4MN 08.01.2020 CEO Interviews

Quality At Scale: How BIP Makes Digital Data Count for its Clients

BIP is a primary multinational consulting firm employing more than 2700 people worldwide (in Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, the United States, the Arab Emirates, Chile and Colombia). BIP’s professionals offer management consulting services and business integration services, helping companies in the research and adoption of disruptive technological innovation. Fabio Troiani, CEO and Co-founder of BIP explains the company’s differentiating approach to embracing a future driven by technological innovation.

08.01.2020 CEO Interviews

Sandaya’s digital transformation: a recipe for success

Few companies can boast of successfully growing the share of their digital revenue from 30% to 60% in less than two years. Yet by implementing an ambitious digital transformation plan, Sandaya has achieved just that. Two of Sandaya’s key figures, Jean-Yves Challies, Deputy CEO, and Vincent Dussud, Chief Information Officer, spoke about their winning strategy. 

07.01.2020 CEO Interviews

The wine industry innovates to rise to new challenges

In light of rising international demand, the growth of organic wine production and the recent climb in popularity of rosé, Eric Le Fur, an INSEEC professor and researcher in wine economics, deciphers the transformations taking place in the wine industry – a strategic sector for France’s economy.

3MN 23.09.2019 CEO Interviews

Digitalisation, internationalisation and external growth in AEB’s sights

AEB, world leader in ingredients and related services for the wine industry, has announced its objectives for the next few years: R&D investment, international expansion and digital transformation. Its ambitious growth strategy is both forward-looking and respectful of the age-old industry’s traditions. Mario Tomasoni, CEO of AEB group, explains.

3MN 05.09.2019 CEO Interviews

Leveraging private equity methods to invest in listed companies

What makes Comitium different? It combines the best of private equity and listed companies to offer small and medium-sized companies a unique and innovative form of support in the listed market. Caroline Gauthier and Laurent Ducoin, its founders, explain.

17.07.2019 CEO Interviews

Marlink has achieved all the ESG objectives set in 2018

Only a few short months after Apax Partners invested in the company, Marlink took ownership of the ESG project and implemented it throughout the enterprise. Erik Ceuppens, CEO, and Bertrand Pivin talk about the major initiatives carried out during the year, from social issues to governance to sharing common values.

3MN 08.04.2019 CEO Interviews

INSEEC U. implements ESG at all levels

Since 2014, the higher education group has involved all of its stakeholders in the implementation of responsible academic and environmental programmes. Catherine Lespine, CEO, and Bertrand Pivin, Partner at Apax Partners, examine this ambitious project, which has been successful both in France and abroad.

3MN 08.04.2019 CEO Interviews

THOM Group Europe’s earnest and resolute ESG programme

Responsible sourcing, human resources more involved in employees’ growth and development and safety in the workplace are central to THOM Group’s sustainability initiatives. Today, Europe’s leading jewellery seller would like to go even further and is aiming for excellence in ESG, as Romain Peninque, the group’s CEO, explains.

3MN 08.04.2019 CEO Interviews

Sandaya finds fertile ground on social media

To acquire and retain new customers, Sandaya has completed its digital transformation. The online experience has been improved and the social media strategy better integrated. François Georges, Chairman & CEO of Sandaya, explains how the premium campsite network achieved these two goals. 

3MN 21.02.2019 CEO Interviews

Melita used digital tools to overhaul its after-sales service and went from a -26 to a +50 NPS in just 18 months!

Since 2016, Melita has been using Net Promoter Score (NPS) and digital tools to transform its customer service. Harald Rösch, the cable operator’s CEO, explains how better use of data and targeted investments have significantly improved his company’s  customer satisfaction.

3MN 21.02.2019 CEO Interviews

AFFLELOU has its sights set on data

Now more than ever, skillful use of data is central to the AFFLELOU Group’s digital strategy. As the celebrated eyewear brand switches to Salesforce, its challenge is to include its franchisees in its internal revolution. Didier Pascual, Afflelou’s Chairman & CEO, helps us understand what it’s all about.

3MN 21.02.2019 CEO Interviews

Altran shows enterprises the way to new generation networks

To meet companies’ growing cloud-based demands, SD-WAN stands out as a solution of the future. Altran, the world leader in engineering and R&D services, is positioning itself as the preferred partner for enterprises, to help them acquire the most appropriate solutions for their business. Sylvain Allard, Head of Corporate Strategy and Marketing, elaborates.

3MN 04.02.2019 CEO Interviews

The next steps of Expereo's growth

Expereo is exploring the potential of new technologies and facilitating connectivity for companies all over the world. Irwin Fouwels, CEO, reveals the next stages of growth that will make the pioneer of the telecommunications industry a world leader.

3MN 04.02.2019 CEO Interviews

Eric Bompard wants to clothe Europe in the softness of cashmere

Eric Bompard has become a major, trusted brand in France over the last 30 years. Xavier Marie, the founder of Maisons du Monde (…)

3MN 05.11.2018 CEO Interviews

Altran's new goals on the world stage

The transformative acquisition of Aricent has made Altran the world leader in its industry. Altran CEO Dominique Cerutti explains how the two companies plan to win over new customers and gain market share.

3MN 18.06.2018 CEO Interviews

Italy is Apax Partners’ secret weapon

Apax Partners is starting a new stage in its European development, strengthening its presence in Italy, where the fund has been active since 2008. Here is a report on two of these Italian success stories with Marcel Patrignani, CEO of Altran Italy, and Bruno Musella, CEO of Telemar.

3MN 28.05.2018 CEO Interviews

Apax Partners supports Bip

Carlo Maria Capè, Nino Lo Bianco, Fabio Troiani, founders of the consulting firm Business Integration Partners (Bip), engage in a detailed discussion of their choice of Apax Partners as sparring partner to propel Bip into the bulge bracket.

3MN 28.05.2018 CEO Interviews

Digital, THOM Europe’s new showpiece

Since the 2013 launch of its e-commerce site, THOM Europe has been working double time to advance its digital transformation and implement digital initiatives throughout its value chain. CEO Romain Peninque elaborates.

3MN 07.02.2018 CEO Interviews

[VIDEO] Working with a French investment fund

What is it like to work with a French investment fund? What are the principal strengths of Apax Partners? How can a multi-year relationship be summed up in a few words? Listen to what Erik Ceuppens, CEO of Marlink, and Ewald Draaijer, CEO of SK FireSafety Group had to say.

3MN 31.01.2018 CEO Interviews

Catherine Lespine et Bertrand Pivin, invités de BFM Business

Invités de l’émission L’entreprise BFM, diffusée le 15 décembre 2017 sur BFM Business, Catherine Lespine, PDG d’INSEEC U. et Bertrand Pivin, Associé Apax Partners, reviennent sur la relation entreprise-investisseur, et dévoilent leur stratégie pour faire d’INSEEC U. le modèle de l’enseignement supérieur de demain.

3MN 05.01.2018 CEO Interviews

[VIDEO] INSEEC U. aims to make its campuses multi-disciplinary centres of excellence

To respond to the new expectations of students and companies, Groupe INSEEC Universitas aims to make its campuses multi-disciplinary centres of excellence and invent tomorrow’s education model. Catherine Lespine, the group’s CEO, explains.

3MN 29.11.2017 CEO Interviews

[VIDÉO] CIPRÉS Assurances is an insurance “game changer”

Suppression de la sélection médicale, nouveaux critères de tarification, CIPRÉS Assurances sait parler aux TPE et aux TNS français. Laurent Ouazana, Président du Directoire, et Sylvie Langlois, Directrice Générale, dévoilent les ambitions de ce disrupteur de l’assurance.

3MN 28.09.2017 CEO Interviews

[VIDEO] Gfi Informatique: analysis of a successful transformation

With more than €1 billion in sales and an international presence, Gfi Informatique has become a regional leader. CEO Vincent Rouaix talks about his company’s transformation and the future challenges it faces.

3MN 07.07.2017 CEO Interviews

[vidéo] Melita’s strategy for making its mark in 4P 

Melita met les bouchées doubles pour s'imposer dans les offres 4P. Harald Rösch, son PDG, nous dévoile sa stratégie.

3MN 06.07.2017 CEO Interviews

THOM Europe’s strategy: expand internationally by acquisition, while preserving local brands

In 10 years, THOM Group Europe has become the European jewellery leader. Romain Peninque, CEO, lifts the veil on his acquisition strategy.

3MN 25.04.2017 CEO Interviews

The AFFLELOU method for international growth

With 1,500 stores, 34 countries with a mix of retail and wholesale activities, and a new store every two days, the AFFLELOU Group knows his way around international markets. Frédéric Poux, CEO, spoke to us about the group's winning strategy.

3MN 25.04.2017 CEO Interviews

Sale of Unilabs: a wrap-up from CEO Jos Lamers

Après 10 ans d’accompagnement, Apax Partners cède sa participation dans Unilabs, leader européen du diagnostic médical. Jos Lamers, son PDG, revient sur une stratégie de conquête qui a porté ses fruits.

3MN 13.02.2017 CEO Interviews

At INSEEC, education goes hand in hand with digitalisation

The Group's new Chief Operating Officer José Peran plans to use digital technologies to further enhance the quality of education.

3MN 24.01.2017 CEO Interviews

Thuasne, a 170-year-old SME, embraces digital technologies

Created in 1847, Thuasne is the French and European leader in wearable medical devices. At its head, Elizabeth Ducottet considers digital transformation an ongoing necessit

3MN 24.01.2017 CEO Interviews

[video] Novastep/Amplitude : the 3 reasons a startup + SME is a winning combination

Olivier Jallabert, CEO of Amplitude, explains why Amplitude has invested in the startup Novastep.

3MN 15.12.2016 CEO Interviews

LDR Medical – from Troyes to New York, A French success story

Among the French medtechs that have been incredibly successful abroad, you will find LDR Medical. One of its founders, Christophe Lavigne, divulges the secrets of his company's dazzling success.

3MN 15.12.2016 CEO Interviews

Marlink sets sail with digital services

Erik Ceuppens, CEO of Marlink, talks to us about his digital services platform that forms the basis of his value creation strategy.

3MN 30.09.2016 CEO Interviews

TEXA’s winning BtoB strategy for insurers

In its four years with Apax Partners, TEXA has become the leader in loss adjustment and services for insurance companies. As TEXA exits Apax Partners’ portfolio, Christophe Arrebolle, CEO, talks to us about the company's successful BtoB strategy.

3MN 30.09.2016 CEO Interviews

BtoB, a new growth driver for INSEEC

INSEEC, a French leader in higher education, is entering a new market – professional training. Catherine Lespine, its CEO, tells us why.

3MN 30.09.2016 CEO Interviews

Customer service & innovation: Melita invests in big data

Malta's leading telecoms operator plans to invest in data to improve its services. Melita's new CEO, Harald Roesch, discusses his strategy.

3MN 11.07.2016 CEO Interviews

Data storage & processing – InfoVista cooks up a “big data” storm

InfoVista has been processing data for more than 10 years. InfoVista’s CEO, Philippe Ozanian, shares his observations surrounding big data.

3MN 11.07.2016 CEO Interviews

Tomorrow’s car will run on big data

Is big data set to be your next car’s engine? Pascal Brier, Vice-President of Altran presents the car of the future.

3MN 11.07.2016 CEO Interviews

Infopro Digital’s CEO looks back on the partnership with Apax Partners

After more than eight years with Apax Partners, Infopro Digital has been sold to TowerBrook.

3MN 04.07.2016 CEO Interviews

Marlink’s new roadmap

From Marlink’s head office, CEO Erik Ceuppens describes his roadmap

3MN 20.06.2016 CEO Interviews

Heading for the sun with Sandaya

La stratégie de Sandaya pour attirer les touristes de France et de Navarre.

3MN 03.06.2016 CEO Interviews

[video] Two key measures for making Altran into the world leader in engineering and R&D services

Dominique Cerruti, Chairman & CEO of Altran, has announced his intention to turn the French company into the worldwide leader in engineering and R&D services. His two key measures for getting there.

3MN 23.05.2016 CEO Interviews

Mannai to acquire Gfi Informatique

The Mannai consortium is to acquire a 51% stake in Gfi Informatique. How did the success of the French IT services company wow the Qatari investment fund?

3MN 23.05.2016 CEO Interviews

Leveraging its IPO, Amplitude is out to make a mark in the medical world

Amplitude is stepping up its international growth and development, thanks to an IPO supported by Apax Partners The backstory to an IPO that turned a lot of heads … and hips.

3MN 23.05.2016 CEO Interviews

Cabovisão, ONI and Melita: Apax Partners strengthens its TMT pole

Apax Partners and Fortino Capital have recently taken control of telecoms operators Cabovisão (Portugal), ONI (Portugal) and Melita (Malta)

3MN 23.05.2016 CEO Interviews

Miguel Veiga Martins will challenge Portuguese operators with Cabovisão-ONI

The new CEO of this Portuguese telecom group took over on 9 May. He has a disruptive plan to shake up an ultra-competitive market.

3MN 23.05.2016 CEO Interviews

Malta converts to 4.5G with Melita

Apax Partners and Fortino Capital have invested in Melita, the leading Maltese cable operator. Harald Roesch, the company’s new CEO, intends to give Malta the best telecoms infrastructure in Europe.

3MN 23.05.2016 CEO Interviews

Apax Partners invests in InfoVista

Apax Partners has finalised the acquisition of InfoVista, a worldwide provider of network performance software solutions. We asked Philippe Ozanian, CEO of InfoVista, two questions:

1MN 13.05.2016 CEO Interviews

200,000 visitors per month: the online success story of AfflelouStore

In less than a year, AfflelouStore has become Europe's most visited online optical retail store. Frédéric Poux, Chairman of the Alain Afflelou Board, does not intend to stop there.

3MN 26.04.2016 CEO Interviews

The key to retail success at Maisons du Monde

What are the retail strategies of Maisons du Monde? For company founder Xavier Marie, everything now depends on cross-channel selling and data management.

3MN 26.04.2016 CEO Interviews

Concept stores and the shift to digitalisation: the new retail concept of Histoire d’Or

How is France's top jeweller adapting to the new challenges in retailing? With store refits and a shift into digitalisation, Eric Belmonte, Chairman of THOM Europe (which also includes the TrésOr and Marc Orian chains) is preparing for the future.

3MN 26.04.2016 CEO Interviews

LBOs, initial public offering and sale to Capgemini: the Prosodie saga

Former Chairman and CEO of the Prosodie group following its IPO and an LBO arranged in less than a month, Georges Croix recently co-founded Digital Dimension with the Econocom group. He revisits the shareholder strategies that lie at the root of his success.

3MN 26.04.2015 CEO Interviews

Build-ups: TEXA buys new business lines

By acquiring Eurisk on 1 October, TEXA moved up a gear in the French market for insurance expertise and services. This transaction is confirmation of the diversification strategy begun by the Group in 2009. Pierre-Antoine Lagé, Chairman of the Board, talks to us about TEXA's external growth strategy.

3MN 26.04.2015 CEO Interviews

Media & Acquisitions: the rise of Infopro Digital

L'Usine Nouvelle, LSA, Red On Line, Le Moniteur: as head of Infopro Digital, Christophe Czajka, has led around 30 acquisitions in less than 15 years.

3MN 26.04.2015 CEO Interviews

7 build-ups in 24 months: the secrets of Amplitude's internationalisation

Brazil, Japan, USA: Amplitude is conquering the world. While it has only just carried out its IPO, the French leader in prostheses is thinking big, very big. Olivier Jallabert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Amplitude, talks to us about his international build-up strategy.

3MN 26.04.2015 CEO Interviews

Financial markets and the reference shareholder: Dominique Cerutti's strategy for transforming Altran

The new Chairman and CEO of Altran is going to radically transform the engineering and R&D businesses. In order to finance his strategy, he's relying on financial markets and

3MN 26.01.2015 CEO Interviews

A successful digital transformation for InfoPro Digital

Christophe Czajka is not a typical leader. As the founder and current CEO of InfoPro Digital, he reveals to Apax Talks how he is leading the digital transformation of his media group, which now numbers over 350 web developers and specialists, making it one of the largest French software development companies.

3MN 26.01.2015 CEO Interviews

TEXA is looking to digital services to build customer loyalty among insurers

In these lean budget times, many B2B service providers have had to do more for less money. The insurance sector is no exception to this rule. Rattled by newcomers who, like Google, aim to cut out the middleman in the sector, and by banks that are now incorporating insurance policies in their products, insurers are passing the pressure on to their suppliers.

3MN 26.01.2015 CEO Interviews

Singularity University: Ewald Draaijer's Californian immersion

What is the primary task of a leader during digital transformation? Assessing the scope of the new technologies in order to understand how they are likely to impact your business. Singularity University is famous throughout Silicon Valley for the programmes it offers to leaders and for making them aware of the revolutions that are underway.

3MN 26.01.2015 CEO Interviews

We have to be present in capital cities as they, rather than countries, are what determine students' choices

The CEO of the INSEEC Group, Catherine Lespine, welcomed us alongside her International Director Olivier Guillet to discuss the company's international growth.

3MN 26.11.2014 CEO Interviews

When we arrive in a new country, our big challenge lies in acquiring and obtaining value from our first customer

The Arc de Triomphe overlooks the Paris office of Anthony Dinis, who welcomes us to share his experience of international growth with Vocalcom, a software company he founded that specialises in customer relations.

3MN 26.11.2014 CEO Interviews

Amplitude's success abroad depends on its ability to offer alternatives to the American majors

For Olivier Jallabert, the founder and current CEO of orthopaedic implant specialist Amplitude, international growth is an opportunity to set his company apart from the major American laboratories.

3MN 26.11.2014 CEO Interviews

In a portfolio of more than 200 products, we identified a product range stacked chips that we believed to have true European potential

At 11 a.m. one Tuesday morning, barely off the plane from Madrid, Christophe Fenart - the charismatic CEO of Europe Snacks - talks to us about his experience of international growth.

3MN 26.11.2014 CEO Interviews
Apax Talks


Apax Talks is a digital magazine aimed at company managers. It presents growth levers for SMEs, with a focus on TMT, consumer, healthcare and services sectors.