IMHI Class of 2016-2017

IMHI Class of 2016-2017
Class of 2016-2017

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Being an entrepreneur at IMHI: Cocotte, la bière pensée par les femmes

By Marion Neveu, MBA in Hospitality Management, France, 2013-2015 2nd Year

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”- Vince Lombardi

Camille and Clara are two young women willing to launch their company. They decided to create a new beer, called Cocotte, the first French brand of beer entirely rethought by women. 

Hello Camille and Clara, I would like you to share your entrepreneurship experience with us. I am aware that you presented your concept for the first time in the Business Plan Construction Class in December with Professor Hamid Bouchiki:

First of all, can you please introduce yourself? 

We are lifelong friends and we’ve known each other since we were children. Clara, recently graduated from a Master’s degree in general private law, and finished her internship at Louis Vuitton as a jurist, while Camille is still a studying at ESSEC, finishing her 2nd year at IMHI (MBA in Hospitality Management).  We are both passionate about entrepreneurship and food.

Can you explain how this idea of a new beer came up?

It’s quite simple, we realized that in France today, beer is 'a man’s business'. The massive perception of drinking a beer is incredibly masculine, not only in terms of packaging, or communication but also recipes. 

So our idea was to rethink everything about beers, and create a brand with a unique style and personality: this is how COCOTTE was born.

Can you tell us in details what is your concept?

Our brand relies on three important aspects: Our unique recipes, the valorization of our product that it is 100% French and the personality of our brand, which is everything from our design, to our packaging but also our communication and distribution. But the heart of our concept is the idea of rethinking entirely a generally masculine perceived product such as the beer, and offer a new perception and a new way of consumption for this product. 

However, the fact that our beer is imagined by women does not necessarily mean that it’s reserved for them. We believe that a beer thought by women can be truly appreciated by men, and bring an added value to their consumption. After all, women bring a lot to men … so why not beers? (Laughs)

How is ESSEC providing you with the support you need to get your business up and running?

We’ve just started the incubator of ESSEC Ventures in January, which has provided us with an office on the campus with sessions of coaching and daily support. The second great asset that we have benefited from is the network: we’ve been meeting many entrepreneurs since the beginning of our project, and through that network we’ve also met our mentor: Viviane de Beaufort, pioneer and specialist in “woman entrepreneurship”

Camille, how has the knowledge and experience that you've gained at ESSEC helped you launch this business?    

The idea of this project started in our minds last summer, so when I came back on the campus in September, I decided to take courses which the project and myself could benefit from. For instance: the Business Plan construction course with M. Hamid Bouchikhi, was perfect for us: it gave us a structure, a support and timetable to realize our business plan in three months. 

Thank you for your time.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The French Luxury Palace Hotel Market

By Marion Neveu, MBA in Hospitality Management, France, 2013-2015 2nd Year

On February the 10th, the Real Estate Principles class run by Professor Nicolas Graf had the pleasure to welcome Gabriel Matar, a former ESSEC Student and the Managing Partner of Sentinel Hospitality, a boutique Hotel Advisor dedicated to luxury hotel owners. Prior to creating Sentinel Hospitality, Gabriel Matar has worked with Jones Lang LaSalle, KPMG, as well as Arthur Andersen Real Estate.
The topic of the presentation was the ‘French Luxury Palace Hotel Market’. Having worked on some of the recent transaction such as the Hotel de Crillon, the Ritz Hotel and the Peninsula, Gabriel Matar is the subject expert. This article aims to communicate the main ideas of the discussion.

1. “SHON is the key”

In France, the main criteria determining a Palace are the location (“the Golden Triangle”) and the habitable net surface area (SHON). In Paris, the average SHON is 75 sqm but the top end Palaces offer a minimum of 120 SHON per key.
The 7 Palaces in Paris offer the highest SHON per key, a 170 sqm per key in the Ritz Hotel.
In the coming years, the Parisian market will see an increase in supply (from 1520 rooms YTD to 1711 in 2017), resulting in lower occupancy rates (forecasted 64% on 2017) for the Palaces. It implies the creation of a price segmentation depending on three different success factors:

-          Hardware: Prime location and an exceptional product
-          Software: Memorable experience
-          Strategy: Pro-active

2. “If you sacrifice your ADR, you go out of the luxury market”

While RevPar is generally a key top-line metric for hotels, ADR is paramount when it comes to Palace.Therefore, the luxury segment will be divided into three categories:

-          The Palace hotel top tier (ADR ranging from €1000 to €1200)
-          The Palace hotels second tier (ADR ranging from €700 to €900)
-          The luxury hotels

3. “Prestige comes before an immediate return”

Palace hotels are long-term investments. Investors are first looking for the prestige of real estate before the financial aspect and are not subjected to financial crisis. Since Palace hotels are long-term investments, performance does not impact the value of the asset. For instance, the 130-key Hotel de Crillon was sold for 250 millions in 2010 while it was losing money. As another example, the total cost of the project amounted to 900 millions for the The Peninsula Paris. It is obvious that Qatar is making a statement of ownership.  
As students, we greatly appreciated M. Matar’s knowledge of the Palace market and his open-mindedness when we started posing questions.