Co-leader with Valerie Falala of the start-up Yapuka, Sandra The Great has seen a surge in the crisis of the coronavirus at the moment his business took off.
Serial entrepreneur (it was created in 2000 CanalCE, become Kalidea, sold to the group Up in 2016), Sandra Le Grand was co-founded by the end of 2017, with Valerie Falala, the start-up Yapuka, specializing in the training of young people in the oral contest and interviews. The crisis has hit at a time where their business would take off. No question to be put in "pause" mode. Explanations.
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Sandra Le Grand : This is the test of fire ! We had a nice dynamic growth, our turnover had doubled by 2019 compared to 2018, we already have 15 signed agreements with schools, we were on track to achieve the figure of 20, it is important not to break the momentum. Then we hang on to ! We owe it both to our teams and to the young people that we help : we prepare them for interviews to secure an internship, a job, or an apprenticeship in September 2020. The whole economy has not stopped : sectors such as health, energy, retail, continue their activity, trades are in high demand, particularly in the digital and social networks.
A part of your activity is to prepare youth for the oral competition, yet they are suspended, the recruitment in schools will be on a folder only...
S. L. G. : It is necessary to adapt very quickly. We have reined in spending at a maximum of : rescheduled with the bank the repayment of our debt, offset payments to the Urssaf, those who received a variable component of salary waived, and my co-founder and I have lowered our pay. It should also be imaginative, be creative to compensate for the loss of activity. We have put in place the last week a new offer, around the preparation of the dossier. We have also strengthened our offer on the interview preparation at a distance, either by Skype or Zoom, in the coming months, the formula is going to explode. To succeed in an interview via the internet, it is necessary to master the technology, prepare the environment, further support the posture, the voice, the look and work even better expression to have more impact because the relationship does not play the same way as they are in vis-à-vis.
Is it that you continue to do the exploration, to communicate ?
S. L. G. : This is essential ! It is necessary to prepare the after-crisis. The economy will resume, and on that day, it will need arms and brains. It is not necessary to cut the link with the customer, do not make false complex. It is necessary to put the forms, adjust the tone, refine the message, space out the raises but to stay present and continue to communicate. Nothing should be let go !
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a Lot of start-up of the Edtech have made their services available free of charge to the public. Is this the right solution ?
S. L. G. : of course it is important in a period like that to be generous, to participate in the collective effort. We have put several offers in free access on our website (personality test, training video, tips pro). But you can't just switch in for free, otherwise you die ! We have six payrolls in honour, a network of 130 business coaches to maintain, we need to continue to do business. It is necessary to keep a balance : to facilitate the accessibility through promotional pricing and free offers, and also continue to charge for our services that have a real value. The skid to the all free seems to me dangerous.