Since January 1st, Nicolas Bronchart is the new CEO of JEMA SA. With mechanical and aerospace engineer degrees, a specialization in fluid dynamic and a MBA, Nicolas started his career as Aeronautic Design Engineer. He then had various roles and responsibilities: Business development, Operations Manager, President of a Business Unit and finally VP in Research & Development. He even participated in the European selection to become an astronaut and finished in the last 20-25 candidates (among 13,000). Who is this man with an atypical professional path?
One thing I like is that, as a small company, we all know each other, talk with each other every day, and we can easily have discussion about the on-going projects. I think it brings energy and team spirit. Because of my engineer background, I also appreciate the highly technical aspects of JEMA’s core business.
There are several reasons. The first one is that I felt mature enough thanks to my previous experiences to take the challenge of becoming a CEO. I had jobs with responsibilities in the past, but I never had to manage an entire company. I thought it was the next step for me and the good time to do it. I wanted to work in a human-sized company, especially since it’s not my technical area. Moreover, I had regular contact with Jean Crahay in my previous job at IBA so I already knew the company.
Since the company is in a very good place, my first objective is to keep going, continue what has been launched before my arrival at JEMA and push it further. To do so, the biggest challenge will be the resources. We need talented and skilled people and that’s not easy to find. In addition, in the coming years, people who have worked at JEMA sometimes for more than 30 years will retire. Hence, we have to anticipate the transition in order to be sure that we have the right people to take over. With these resources and all the potential development paths we have, there will be a lot of opportunities we will be able to achieve, and this will enable JEMA to keep growing and diversify, which is another challenge.
I enjoy music a lot: I play, I compose, and I sing in several groups. I’m a private pilot but I don’t fly a lot right now since my license is valid in the USA but not in Europe. I also appreciate outdoor sports such as skiing, hiking and running. During my free time, I like to spend time with my kids and play board games with them. I also read quite a bit.
I really like rock music and my favorite band is U2 but I don’t identify myself with them. I feel rather closer to Adam Duritz, singer of Counting Crows, because he doesn’t wish to be put in the limelight and so do I.
Forest Gump. I like the idea of this guy who goes through many situations and has each time a small influence without necessarily taking advantage of it, without stopping there. He just keeps going in his life, to his next steps.
There are two quotes I use a lot in my private and professional life. The first one is a quote Barak Obama and his wife Michelle used at the end of their duties as President and first lady of the US: “When they go low, we go high, always and without exceptions”. This means you don’t have to put yourself at the same level as people who do things you don’t accept. The second one is linked to the first one and is “Assume good intentions”. We have to make the assumption that someone does something because he is convinced it is a right thing to do. It may seem naïve and optimistic, but it works for me and saves me a lot of energy. I don’t have to fight what could be wrong perceptions on my side, just assume the best.