Meet Florent-Aymeric Dubiez, International Retail Director at Montblanc. 12 years, 5 different roles, and 4 countries – that’s a few facts to summarize Florent’s experience in the Group. From Europe to America, his journey has been a crossover between, global and regional roles, between retail and marketing. His 360 view on the business and experiences across cultures has been enriching and rewarding.
My career journey
Right after graduating from ESCP Europe business school, I joined Montblanc as Assistant Product Manager for the French market, working on writing instruments and leather categories, as well as supporting the corporate gift business. 12 years later, I still remember the great team spirit I sensed while interviewing, as well as the incredibly rich heritage and dynamism of the brand. This is what I still experience every day. When interviewing candidates for my team, I always tell them that working for Montblanc is like joining a 114-year-old start-up!
Over the 12 years 5 assignments and 4 countries later, my career can be described as a cross-over between Retail and Marketing. I had the opportunity to work on key projects from launching the first CRM platform for the Maison in France to leading a global program around developing business with Chinese Travelers called “Red Boutiques”, which eventually became a focus project for the brand and the Group. The combination of both local and global roles gave me the opportunity to better understand the complexity and sophistication related to the multi-channel, multi-category and globalized business that is Montblanc. After France, Germany and the UK, I joined the New York office as Vice President of Marketing for the USA and Canada, adding digital sales to my responsibilities and competencies.
“The key to learning is that there is nothing like experience when it comes to understanding a new culture. Nobody awaits you with open arms, nor hands over a “cultural instruction book”. It all comes down to learning by doing, listening, observing…and making mistakes.”
My biggest learning
On the professional side, I have developed a unique understanding of Montblanc: having been exposed to several roles, markets, and teams. The greatest learning of all comes from stepping outside of the comfort zone and being thrown in the deep end when it comes to working and living in foreign countries. The key learning is that there is nothing like experience when it comes to understanding a new culture. Nobody awaits you with open arms, nor hands over a “cultural instruction book”. It all comes down to learning by doing, listening, observing…and making mistakes. It has been the richest and best part of my journey. I broadened my horizons and perspective: I am much more open-minded now than 12 years ago.
Funny story actually…when starting at Montblanc, I said to HR that I would never move to London or New York. Well, in the end, I lived in both places and I have learned so much about both! The important lesson here is that there is nothing except hands-on experience to learn how to work in a global environment.
Some final words
I am grateful for working for a sophisticated brand that is constantly on the move with new projects and daily challenges. Mastering the art of being out of my comfort zone and being forced to adapt constantly is an incredible way to stay professionally fit and to remain motivated. I am also grateful for the people from all cultural horizons that I have met along the way and who have all contributed to broaden my perspectives.