Jean Mane, Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 – Mediterranean area

This award of “Entrepreneur of the Year” was created 19 years ago by Ernst & Young to reward the businessman of a French, major, independent, performing company. As a first step, it has been given to seven managers of seven big economic French areas. One of them will be awarded on October 20 on a national level.

Mane combines local expertise and global network. Located in the South of France, it is a family-owned company with a global turnover of 480 million € and 3000 employees worldwide. It is specialized in flavours and fragrances and mostly oriented towards international markets (France accounting for only 15 % of global turnover) with a 28 % growth in 2010 (far above average in this business activity) and good prospects for 2011.

“Have the right products at the right moment” is one of Jean Mane’s recipes. This 57-year-old chemical engineer is President & CEO of the group since 1995. He travels around the world 100 days per year to visit key customers and Mane’s 21 production facilities and 27 R&D centres.

“Our goal in ten years is to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the company and be independent” says Mane, who drums out his creed to potential buyers : “a local expertise, a global network and a non negotiable independence”. Saying that and working hard towards that, the President remains faithful to the will of the family and of the founder of V. Mane Fils in 1871, Victor Mane, his great grand-father. “It is a security and stability factor for all our employees in the world” he believes.

Innovation is a pillar of the company growth with 9 % of turnover dedicated to the R&D. It allows Mane to gain market shares and to propose new, innovative products. The group also bets on green chemistry and biotechnologies and has an offensive investment policy : 90 million € in 2011 and 2012 for the French production facilities but also for developments in Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the US, Indonesia, China and Ghana.

Consolidated turnover of 480 million € for 2010 ranks Mane among the 6 biggest companies of its industry.