Benoit, french expat in Singapore
Benoit has 10 years experience in digital: after specializing in information technologies and e-business for his master during his studies, he joined NetBooster Agency, an independent digital agency in Paris, where he spent 6 years learning and advising about performance digital marketing from Search Engine Optimization to social media, along with Google Adwords and media display ads. He then started an entrepreneurial life doing consulting on digitalization for different companies on different markets, guiding them through creation, acquisition and loyalty online. He also worked developing the retail branch of a second hand luxury company. In July 2016 he left France and joined Mindshare Regional team in Singapore as Digital Performance Lead where he runs media and digital for an international bank in 11 markets of APAC.
Hello Benoit, nice to see you today!
Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
Hi! Happy to be here.
I’m French, I come from Toulon, and I’m passionate about rugby. It’s not the first time I live in Asia as I spent 1 year in Japan in 2006-2007 as an exchange student. It’s actually where I started to develop interests in digital.
What about your professional background?
My first professional experience was with Netbooster agency that I joined as an intern in 2008. Then, I got proposed a position as consultant in search marketing. Later I became manager and created my own team of search specialists to address small and medium-sized enterprises’ digital challenges. With the rise of social networks, I built the social media business unit within Netbooster, widening the range of my skills to social media buying but also to project management of website and application creation and development on both desktop and mobile devices. Attracted by entrepreneurship, I left the company to create my own business as an external consultant and project manager. The main project I worked on was to develop a second hand luxury brand worldwide, by creating the retail branch of a wholesale distributor. After almost 3 years, I got contacted by Mindshare Singapore for a position as Digital Leader, to come and develop a digital performance hub around programmatic, search and social media.
Sounds exciting! And what made you want to come to Singapore?
Singapore was an opportunity, not a plan at first. I had not planned to move and live abroad but I got contacted for a position and loved the challenge I was offered, I did not really think about it too long, I jumped on the opportunity from a professional point of view, but of course with excitement of going back to Asia.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to face in your decision to move?
To be fair, there was no real strong obstacle. The biggest one would maybe be the fact of breaking the routine. My wife had to leave her job too so the obstacle there is for her to find a new job here. Apart from that, nothing very relevant.
How about the departure itself, how did you prepare? Did you get any advice from anyone?
I actually had close friends leaving here in Singapore already. And they already had developed a network locally of people I got to contact to get support. The French network is actually very strong here, with groups on social networks people can join and ask any questions around settling in Singapore.
How do you see your professional and personal future?
I have been here for only 1 year now, so even if of course I have objectives for my career, I don’t know what tomorrow will be. I’m probably going to focus on building a family on a personal note as Singapore is a very family friendly place.
What was the very first thing you did when you arrived in Singapore?
Opening a bank account and getting a local phone.
Name one thing to do and one not to when coming to Singapore
To do : enjoy all the “green” areas of the town, as it is rare to have such a big city with so many trees, vegetation, etc…
Not to do : break the law… sounds logic, but here more than anywhere else.
What’s your favorite suburb in Singapore?
I would talk more about neighborhoods than suburbs, in terms of neighborhood I really like downtown area and China town.
What’s your favorite place for drinks/dinner?
Any advice for anyone who wants to come to Singapore?
Take your time to find a place to live here as there are many options and hidden pearls you might miss !
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