The podcast invited Karine ALQUIER-CARO, the Vice President of Legrand Monde in South East Asia, to share her experience and insights into expanding in Asia. Karine has worked at Legrand for 22 years and held many leadership positions across different areas of the company including strategic sourcing, finance and operations. She recently took up the role to lead Legrand’s expansion into South East Asia, based in Singapore.Karine shared the challenges of relocating from France to Singapore, both professionally to adapt to different cultures and ways of working as well as personally in adjusting to the climate and environment. Some key factors that have enabled her success in leading teams across different countries include:- Focusing on common goals and projects to bring people together - Regular communication through meetings, events and sharing of best practices- Traveling frequently to meet with local teams in person and understand their needs- Measuring employee engagement and satisfaction regularly to address any issues.
Legrand emphasizes corporate social responsibility and diversity. Karine discussed the company’s philanthropic initiatives in the region to support communities as well as their focus on improved gender diversity, enabling people with disabilities and supporting the LGBT community.Karine sees significant opportunities for Legrand in the data center industry which is a fast growing segment for them, although the market is changing with data centers moving out of Singapore to other SEA countries and redesigning for higher power densities and energy efficiency. Legrand is also leveraging IoT and smart home technologies but has to adapt solutions to different markets in Asia which vary in maturity and preferences.To stay ahead of new technologies, Legrand has a dedicated future tech team researching trends, as well as strong R&D departments testing new innovations. Karine emphasized the need to accelerate product development to match faster cycles in Asia, especially China. She believes that diverse, collaborative teams that can tap into collective intelligence are key to driving innovation.Legrand aspires to continue gaining market share in Asia which presents complexity due to varied standards and cultures. However, Karine is up for the challenge to further expand their footprint in the region through local partnerships and teams.