Our unsung leaders
Provence is astonishingly rich in ‘unsung leaders’, audacious companies that are not often lauded, yet are successful all across the globe and well worth (re)discovering.
By Maurice Gouiran
Une réalisation de Blachère à Mexico.
Perhaps the region’s economic giants (Pernod-Ricard CMA-CGM, STMicroelectronics, Airbus Helicopters, etc.) are like big trees that prevent us from seeing the dense forest of lesser-known actors that are nonetheless extraordinarily successful in their fields. These leaders are so numerous that an entire issue of our magazine would not suffice to introduce them all! So we have chosen four gems to represent the rest.
Blachère Illumination, Apt
Above and beyond the impressive figures (400 employees across the world, 28 subsidiaries, 150 countries decorated, 1000 cities and 450 shopping malls lit up, 5000 customised items), there is the miracle of light that inspires wonder and tells a story. The company’s designers work hard to create decors that incorporate the traditions and culture of each country, the architecture of each city. For forty years now, Blachère Illumination’s projects have reflected its creativity and capacity to invent innovative solutions, as well as its environmental responsibility. Blachère was a leader in the move to LEDs; now the company is revolutionising the design of decorative structures with Bioprint, a biodegradable material made from GMO-free, biosourced sugarcane.
Jaguar Network, Marseille
Jaguar Network provides trusted sovereign services to support companies in their digital transformation. The group is well-known for its expertise in telecommunications, cloud services, IoT and managed services, and uses its own optical fibre network to interconnect its data centres. These centres, all located in France, meet the most stringent eco-design, operations, and security requirements. The company relies on a network of regional agencies to provide next-generation services to more than 1200 private customers, companies, and organisations.
Un des data centers de Jaguar Network.
France’s largest luxury cruise liner takes the art of ocean travel to an entirely new level, with its small ships and intimate, refined atmosphere. Whether you’re headed for the polar regions, tropics or subtropics, for Antarctica or Papua New Guinea, you will always be in close proximity to unspoilt natural settings and ancestral cultures. The Ponant flotilla is composed of 12 ships that are amongst the newest and most modern in the world, so environmental impact is reduced to a minimum, yet on-board services and equipment are top of the line. From the gourmet cuisine of talented chefs (Ponant works with Ducasse Conseil) to the spas and pools found on board, everything is perfect.
Une croisière en Antarctique avec Ponant.
La Compagnie fruitière, Marseille
This family enterprise established in Marseille in 1938 produces, transports, ripens, and distributes more than 900,000 tons of fruits and vegetables (including 750,000 tons of bananas) in Europe and around the world. A mastery of the entire sector, from production to distribution, gives the Compagnie fruitière complete control over the quality and taste of the products it distributes, and makes the company’s operations uniquely efficient. Not only that, but the Compagnie fruitière also applies organic farming and fair-trade principles, and is the world’s leading producer of fair-trade bananas, in terms of certified hectares.