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Thibaut Foulquier on founding French tech powerhouse L’Agence Télécom

Thibaut Foulquier believes the 90s were a defining decade for the world. It was the beginning of the technological revolution in a sense, where computers were becoming a household staples and phones needed to travel with you everywhere. For someone with an entrepreneurial mindset, it was a dream come true, as the opportunity to find the next revolutionary product or service was higher than ever. Foulquier found himself drawn toward the prospect of mobile phones and the internet and immersed himself in the world of telecom as the years progressed, wanting to know everything possible about this technology that brought users to new horizons in all fields, in all markets, for all companies.

Now, as the founder of one of the major Fortinet providers in France, Foulquier has gone from one interested in telecom to a true master. His company, L’Agence Télécom, is an international success. 

In 1999, Foulquier had created a jet set company, which specialized in large companies. After completing his Masters in Telecom, he decided to create the Telecom Agency to offer new technologies.

Created in 2006 in Foulquier’s hometown of Marseille, L’Agence Télécom was a pioneer in mobility technology consulting, specializing in the synthesis of telecom and IT. The business is designed to meet the needs of small and medium sized businesses that worked with France Telecom, the largest telecommunications company in France. L’Agence Telecom was the first company to partner with France Telecom to meet the needs of France Telecom’s smaller customers, utilizing a business model that combined consulting and mass sales. 

“In my work, I like to find new value markets like Telecom or Cyber Security. I like to create the whole organization, the processes, the strategy. I like recruiting teams and finding the best managers to do what I imagine on paper. I also really like to convince financiers to follow me to realize my projects,” says Foulquier.

Now, Foulquier’s main role with L’Agence Télécom is to find the best teams and convince them that they will succeed together. His employees must have confidence in his strategic decisions. He has a very strong recognition in all his businesses especially since he is known to build the most efficient commercial strategies and partnerships. This is exemplified by his decision to bring the group Altice SFR (€52 billion in turnover) into the capital of the L’Agence Télécom. This instinct has proved immensely fruitful for L’Agence Télécom. 

“It’s all about looking for the best of everything. The best financers, the best technology, with the best products, therefore the best operators and the best manufacturers. That is how you in turn become the best,” he says.

L’Agence Télécom is an SFR distributor. SFR is a French mobile communications company that serves millions of households in France. This year, L’Agence Télécom took home the award for the most efficient commercial strategy among all SFR distributors. There are over 300 SFR retailers, and Foulquier will only settle for being the top contender. 

“I am very proud to have received this award for all my teams. This shows that our organization, our processes, our desire to succeed is solid. This also proves that the technological choices like fiber or cyber security are the right ones,” he says.

One of L’Agence Télécom’s more recent power moves was partnering with the American company Fortinet, a leader in network security solutions. One year into this partnership, L’Agence Télécom became one of the major Fortinet providers in France. Being the biggest SFR distributor, many manufacturers aim to have L’Agence Télécom sell their products. However, Foulquier made the decision that Fortinet was the best option for his many customers, and their continued success has once again shown what strong business instincts he possesses. 

“L’Agence Télécom taught me a lot. When I started that company, we were distributors for Orange, but we quickly became the number one distributor. However, along the way, we started to want separate things from our partnership. It was risky, but in 2013 I made the decision to switch our partnership and we went from Orange to SFR. It looks easy on paper, but it is one of the most drastic changes one can operate in this field, where all the products and all the processes had to change. My employees needed to be reassured constantly, not to mention the financial hit right after the announcement. Within a few months, though, we became number one again, this time with SFR. In the history of telecom in France, that kind of success has never been witnessed. I am very proud that I was able to make the difficult decisions and even prouder that my instincts were correct,” he concluded.

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