This article chronicles my experience as a V.I.E candidate in India from September 2018 to August 2019.
Part I – A Unique Professional Contract
The V.I.E contract is a win-win contract for all the main stakeholders:
- Business France, the international development agency of the French economy, is promoting the success of the V.I.E program. The more V.I.E candidates, the stronger Business France; the more talented the V.I.E candidates, the more credible Business France; the more countries the V.I.E choose, the higher the international presence of Business France.
- The France-based company is minimizing the risks and maximising the success of its international development. Indeed, the France-based parent company benefits from some financial incentives (such as tax reduction, international growth loan, export tax credit, special insurance, regional aids), human resource support (such as candidates short listing), local administrative support (such as visa issuance), a market entry advisory (such as a country guide published by Business France), as well as business services (such as networking events and business meetings with local corporates).
- The V.I.E candidate holds a special contract perfectly designed for a successful international experience at the beginning of a career. The V.I.E contract offers flexibility and safety. This package of advantages generally sets the right conditions to young graduates to perform in good time in their host country.
Part II – Multi-faceted Assignments
In theory, Business France states that the missions of the V.I.E candidates could be as diverse as market research, commercial prospecting, site monitoring, participation in the start-up of a local structure, animation of a distribution network, technical support, etc.
In reality, I can guarantee it is the case! As a consultant, my role is threefold. First, I am involved in consulting projects for Indian and French companies. My three domains of expertise are the following: Salesforce (CRM, Lead Management, Open Innovation, Smart Selling, etc.), Data Science (Customer Segmentation, Dynamic Pricing, Forecasting Demand, etc.) and Benchmarking (Market Analysis, Competition Analysis, etc.). Second, I support the management in handling internal activities such as human resources, administrative, accounting, public relations and marketing requirements. Last, I support the sales team to acquire new leads and win new data-driven projects.
As language barriers are often a source of misunderstanding, I am responsible for an effective communication between France and India. During our weekly call with the managers, we review all past activities and set up the goals of the next week. I am also in charge of the follow-up of the projects I am involved in in terms of quality delivery and deadline.
Part III – Unforgettable Experiences
Empowering Professional Experiences
I am particularly delighted to see our Salesforce team achievements. We started with one project and one vision. Today, we have two live projects, several ongoing prototypes and quite a few of innovative new projects in the pipeline. We have a team of four Salesforce hybrid consultants who support each other. Our strengths lie in the collaborative mindset and mix of competences such as client-facing, training and development skills.
Valuable Personal Experiences
A V.I.E experience is usually both professionally intense and full of local discoveries: people, cultures, languages, traditions, gastronomy, religions, functions, landscapes, etc.
The V.I.E program is an outstanding opportunity to start a career abroad for a young graduate. During this year in India, I have acquired technical and managerial skills, built an extensive network in India as well as in France and unlocked my open-mindedness.
Article published on June 4, 2019
Appendix 1: Government initiatives to boost and ease doing business in India
- Make in India
- Digital India
- Smart Cities
- India Innovation Growth Programme 2.0
- Invest in India
- Innovate India
- Skill India
- Startup India
- Transforming India
- GIFT (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City)
Appendix 2: What is a “VIE Program”?
The International Corporate Volunteering, in French “Volontariat International en Entreprise” (V.I.E), is a public status managed by Business France (a national agency at the service of the internationalization of the French economy).
The V.I.E is a solution for the international mobility of young professionals, which is the subject of tax benefits and financial assistance beneficial to companies.
The V.I.E. allows a company governed by French law to entrust a young man or woman, aged 18 to 28, with a professional assignment abroad lasting from 6 to 24 months, renewable once within this limit.
The company may entrust the V.I.E. deployed abroad with the following missions (non-exhaustive list):
- Study and prospecting of new international markets
- Reinforcement, technical or commercial, of local teams in place
- Support of a contract, a construction site
- Search for partners, agents or distributors
- Creation or implementation of local structures
The V.I.E. is generally assigned to only one country. However, the “Regional V.I.E.” allows companies to carry out prospecting or monitoring activities in several countries in a geographical area (maximum 8: the country of assignment plus 7 other countries).