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To succeed in Quebec, you have to be patient

On the occasion of the Entretiens Jacques Cartier, which takes place from 4 to 6 November in Quebec, a French entrepreneur decrypts the business culture of la B

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To succeed in Quebec, you have to be patient

On the occasion of the Entretiens Jacques Cartier, which takes place from 4 to 6 November in Quebec, a French entrepreneur decrypts the business culture of la Belle Province.

Three days, thirty events, conferences, moments of networking and more than 5 000 experts and decision makers from both sides of the Atlantic : for their 32nd edition of the Entretiens Jacques Cartier have still seen great. This symposium franco-québécois, which takes place from 4 to 6 November in the Beautiful Province, is no exception to his ambitions : to foster dynamic exchanges, business links, the radiation and the attractiveness of the two regions (Rhône-Alpes region and Quebec) to the origin of these meetings, held alternately in France and in Canada.

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The menu of this appointment, which has the vocation to confront points of view and to reflect on the world of tomorrow ? Topics as diverse as health, digital, finance, or culture. A choice is also made to entrepreneurship : 4 November, business leaders quebecers and the French settled in the Beautiful Province are invited to share their perceptions and experiences of the "culture of business in Quebec". On 5 November, a forum unpublished, called "regards croisés sur le commerce France-Québec" (co-developed by the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal and the Centre Jacques Cartier, in collaboration with the City of Montreal) promises to "discover the secrets of a successful integration to the ecosystems in montreal and French and explore best business practices".

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As many subjects as Yves Delnatte knows well : in February 2018, the French, co-founder and ceo of Ineat - a company specialized in the digital transformation, founded in 2006 in the Hauts-de-France - took the plunge by opening an agency in Montreal. It now counts 35 employees (including a dozen after the repurchase, in December 2018, to a quebec company, Soluteo) and is the sixty employees in early 2021. An "incredible adventure" Yves Delnatte will testify to the Entretiens Jacques Cartier. Interview.

Is it easy to do business in Quebec ?

Yves Delnatte : first Of all, it is true that there's a lot of enthusiasm on the part of the people one encounters, one has the impression of having the most beautiful companies ! There are also a lot of networking events - the famous "5 to 7" - and we can easily meet vice-presidents of companies, as well as the important French network (Chamber of commerce and industry French in Canada, consulate, French Tech - what they call here Blue White Tech) can help each other fellow countrymen.

However, it is very difficult to be referenced by the québec companies, there are a lot of conditions to satisfy to get a place. It is necessary to wait its turn, be patient - it is a quality that I did not and I learn to grow here ! In France, we had a little fame and, in ten years, we have managed to be approached by the largest (Auchan, Axa, Leroy Merlin, etc). Here, he had to start over at zero. The redemption of Soluteo has even been an advantage in our development : we have been able to acquire references quebec (including two large accounts, Via Rail and Videotron) and this has allowed us to take a step ahead of the other French companies that have settled in Quebec around the same time as us.

This combination of teams has also been the opportunity to better define certain characteristics of the world of work in quebec...

Y. D. : today in the team of Ineat, 60% of employees are French, 30% are from quebec, and 10% other nationalities. It is very important for me to maintain a balance - this month, we welcome two French and two in Quebec - in order to understand our differences and learn from each other. It is this that is exciting ! French and Quebec do not have the same relation to the work : in the office, we like to discuss our weekend or holiday ; the inhabitants of Quebec, they can be put directly to the task. The midi, the French like to take their time, while Quebeckers eat their lunch very quickly. At Ineat, I believe that a compromise has been found between these two approaches.

you Have created this synergy also allows you to make progress : our French employees are not always comfortable in English, and English-speaking Quebecers are here to correct them. We also share our expressions to avoid misunderstandings ! We have in our premises a "wall" where we indicate the equivalence of meaning, because some of the formulas can lead to confusion... Latest example : I had invited several people to an event and I said to one of them : "I'm sorry, I missed in the invitation". He answered me : "If you'd missed, I would have come here". We do not understand because in Quebec, "miss" is a derivative of the English loop, and means "to put in the loop" ...

In the business community, are there any "codes" to know to avoid the odd and integrate more easily ?

Y. D. : Here, you can't seek whata directly for an appointment : it is necessary to have a first contact, either via LinkedIn or via an intermediary, either because it has retrieved the business card of the person at an event. When one picks up a maintenance, it is to be on time ! In Quebec, if one is late, one is quickly labelled as a French... be the Same if they rattle or if one shouts ! It is also necessary to prepare well for his business appointment to go to the essential, without stretch : in Quebec, the meetings are very upbeat, there is no time to lose.

I would also say that it is not necessary to believe that a contract is concluded as it is not signed... what is more, the confrontation is difficult for Quebecers : so, if they say no to a proposal, it is better to avoid the contact to try to understand, or even to negotiate, because they do not like too much this.

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What advice would you give to future immigrant entrepreneurs ?

Y. D. : Do not underestimate the issue of funding. Before you start Ineat Canada, I came eight times in the course of missions organized by Business France or the OFQJ ; I had cornered the market, studied the supply, demand. But, upon arriving, I was a nobody, especially for the banks ! When I wanted to take, lease, fifteen computers for the agency, no company, or almost no one wanted to accompany me because I fulfilled the necessary conditions, namely, two years minimum for the company and a credit history. So it is best to come up with matching funds, or create a bank account at a very early stage and start doing work his money to show that we exist.

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