Interview with Bertrand Dattas
A look back at the career path and passions of Bertrand Dattas, head of an IT company specialising in CRM (customer relationship management) solutions for finance-related companies.
1/ WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND BERTRAND DATTAS?
I did all my studies in Paris. I have always been interested in computers, and I knew from childhood that I wanted to pursue a career in this field. So I went straight to a BAC S after a general secondary school diploma. Once I had my diploma, I entered a computer science engineering school: EPITA in Paris. In parallel to this training, I also obtained a master’s degree in Economics & Business at Sciences Po Paris with the future aim of setting up my own company.
My professional career is therefore divided into two parts. First, I was an engineer in information systems before setting up my own company specialising in CRM solutions for finance-related companies.
3/ WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED TO BECOME AN EXPERIENCED COMPUTER SCIENTIST?
First of all, I would say that you need to be interested in the digital world and technological advances. Indeed, he/she must be particularly familiar with the different existing hardware and the latest innovations. Then, he or she must be able to anticipate the company’s strategy and therefore identify its needs. Lastly, because they work shifted or on-call hours, they must be available.
Of course, as in many other professions, the information systems engineer must also be rigorous and methodical in order to carry out complex projects and have good interpersonal skills in order to manage teams.
4/ HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA OF SETTING UP YOUR OWN COMPANY?
Since high school, I have always had an entrepreneurial streak and I always had the idea of setting up my own company in the IT field. Things accelerated when I went to university to become an engineer. While studying information systems and business software development, I realised that companies, especially those specialising in finance, had a high demand for CRM (customer relationship management) software.
After a few years as an information systems engineer, I decided it was time to realise my dream of setting up my own project. I gathered a small team of talented people and we started our adventure in the world of CRM software. Now, after a few years of hard work, we are more than 20 people and our customer portfolio is international.
5/ CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT SERVICES YOUR COMPANY OFFERS Mr. Dattas?
Our main product is a CRM software specially designed to meet the specific needs of financial companies (banks, insurance companies, etc.). It allows the management of contacts, tasks, files, reports, data sharing and a link with the company’s website.
To accompany our main offer, we propose, of course, support, data protection and confidentiality as well as backup and recovery. Finally, we also offer online demonstration so that our customers can get an idea before purchasing.
6/ CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR MOST MEMORABLE PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE?
It happened very recently. As our company expanded, we had several requests from clients in foreign countries, including a large Chinese financial group. The client was very demanding and wanted me to visit them directly in China. So I had to go to China for a while to try to demonstrate the qualities of our service.
It was a very enriching experience, especially from a cultural point of view. It was my first trip to China and I was able to discover a totally different culture, the opposite of ours. The business world is not codified in the same way and I had to adapt to it.
7/ WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE WHO WANT TO START THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
If I have to give some advice to young people who want to start their own business, I would say two things: don’t rush and think about defining your project well.
Setting up a business requires substantial financing. Even if there is financial aid, it is not enough and it is essential to be patient in order to raise the necessary funds.
Next, you must also define your project, i.e. the field of activity of your company and the services it will offer to your future clients.
8/ WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME TO RELAX?
It’s true that being a company director is not a relaxing job, but fortunately I can count on my two main passions to relieve the pressure.
When my free time allows it, I don’t hesitate to go running. As a city dweller because of my work, I like to recharge my batteries by going out into the countryside when I have the opportunity. Running is an outlet for me that allows me to decompress and have a free mind. I train daily and I particularly enjoy long-distance and ultra-deep races. I have participated in a few competitions such as cross-country, half-marathons, marathons and 24-hour races where the goal is to cover the greatest distance in one day.
After physical sports, I am also passionate about e-sports or esports. I think it’s a very interesting sector because it’s in the process of being built. Sponsors are coming in en masse, the media are getting more and more interested and the economy is growing. But I’m not just a spectator, I also play when I can in my free time. Of course, I am also interested in the video game industry as a whole. As a computer scientist by training, I admire the talented developers in this sector.
Thank you Bertrand Dattas.