Interview - Adrien, General manager, aquama Pacific
1. Hello Adrien Salmon. You are General Manager for aquama® Pacific, can you tell us about your role within aquama®?
Within aquama®, I am the Master Franchisee for the Pacific region.
I am therefore in charge of finding the right partners to develop aquama® in this part of the world. It’s a beautiful and ambitious project because it brings together 13 countries and just over 700 million people.
2. How did you find out about aquama®?
That is the fun part! In 2007 I went on an 18-month bicycle trip around the world with a friend whose brother lives in Switzerland in the same town as Willy the founder of aquama®. 18 months of traveling and sleeping in a tent brings you closer and so we naturally stayed in touch and it was during one of these exchanges that I heard about aquama® for the first time.
3. Why did you choose to join this ambitious project?
The two founding components of my professional career are entrepreneurship and the need to have an impact & meaning. Setting up the aquama® Master Franchise for the Pacific region combines these two components wonderfully well. Especially the impact because Southeast Asian countries need solutions like aquama® both to offer a healthy living environment to their population but also to reduce the impact of plastic pollution, which is disastrous, particularly for countries like the Philippines and Indonesia.
4. How was your integration within the aquama® group?
It’s still a bit early to have enough perspective and to fully answer this question. At this point I think that beyond the products and their potential for saving the planet, aquama® is a team of beautiful people driven by a common desire to change things, always approachable and humble. And that suits me very well so I have no doubt that integration will happen naturally.
5. Master franchisee, you opted for a partnership with aquama®, what was your vision?
aquama® is a revolution for the cleaning industry and like any disruptive product it requires a lot of education and adaptability, two components that are strongly linked to local cultures. The region I represent is a fascinating region with an intense diversity of cultures, peoples and their history. This requires being able to adapt to each of them in order to leverage aquama®’s strengths in the most relevant ways.
6. What are your everyday challenges?
Beyond all the usual challenges - and there are many - linked to setting up a new structure, the everyday challenges linked to aquama® are mainly those linked to the marketing of a disruptive product:
- it does not fit into the administrative boxes on the one hand: whether to list a product, import it or respond to calls for tenders, the box for the aquama® concept does not exist.
- It requires an educational process that takes a lot of time on the other hand: to adopt aquama®, it is necessary to change your habits, to challenge your beliefs, to have the energy to change things and not just the desire , etc.
These are the main challenges. Fortunately, the promise of aquama® is strong enough and in tune with the times, it makes it easier to overcome them.
7. What is your strategy for ensuring effective development and collaboration?
It is a strategy which may seem relatively simple, but which requires a lot of letting go:
- People, people, people: surround yourself with good people at all levels and trust them: financial support, employees, Franchises. People who are caring, competent and who have the energy to make a difference
- Find the “Early adopters”: disruptive products are not adopted by everyone. You have “the skeptics” who represent a vast majority of the market and who will then be “The followers”. The strategy is therefore to find those who take up the challenge of change, innovation and questioning. They are rare and very often those who say it loud and clear are not those who live it. To find them, you must look for weak signals, know how to seize opportunities that may seem improbable, be daring and of course also rely on Providence.
8. What was the reaction of your customers / partners after the implementation of aquama® solutions in the Pacific?
We are still at the very beginning, but the first returns are very conclusive. No one who tested aquama® was disappointed with the product and its results.
Beyond the efficiency part of the aquama® solution, it is also all the associated benefits that are highly appreciated, and they differ greatly from one industry to another.
In the hotel industry, for example, having one product instead of four to clean a room can reduce the room cleaning time and thus can increase the number of rooms cleaned per day. Also the fact of not having to rinse saves 50% of the time of cleaning common areas and restaurants.
In F&B it is especially the saving of storage space in restaurants which is appreciated. Every inch of storage counts in this industry where the number of tables is directly linked to profitability and aquama® saves a lot of space.
9. We are impressed by your ecological commitment. What are your motivations?
With what we are experiencing with covid-19, my motivation can be described in a terribly simple way:
When I go out on the street and look at my 5-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter wearing masks to protect themselves from an environment that we have created indirectly or directly for them, I am not proud.
10. Were you already personally involved in an ecological approach?
Not in an active approach but rather a natural or a common-sense approach: take the bike or public transport, practice sports respectful of nature, a deep desire to always work for projects and companies that have an impact.
11. In your opinion, what are the environmental challenges of tomorrow?
Honestly, I leave it to scientists who know more than I do to answer this question.
On the other hand, I think that today we have all experienced closely the consequences of these ecological challenges but there are tools now that would allow everyone to act concretely at each level, to be an actor of changes that are now essentials.
This is more and more empowering for each of us and that is good.
12. What can be improved, in order to allow you to better achieve your ecological objectives?
Localized production of aquama® machines and accessories. But it is only a matter of time as it is part of the DNA of aquama®.