Who are we ?

“Classis, classem” (in Latin) means the crew. We chose this name to emphasise we are a cohesive, grounded team. In Africa, canoe crews are often the primary links and generators of economic development within and between societies.

classM is a crew of canoeists navigating towards the same goal, serving its clients needs.

Our vision: industrial projects are sustainable and profitable only if they are based on a thorough understanding of local context. The solutions we develop for our clients are based on this reality: “what is profitable is sustainable”.

Our know-how: inclusive approach (working with locals) and sharing the value created. The solutions that we develop for our clients are embedded into local contexts. We avoid implementing ready-made solutions and aim for co-constructing adapted, and therefore sustainable, solutions.

In all the sectors in which we operate, our work is based on an in-depth analysis of the value chains. This enables us to identify the opportunities for value creation.

We offer support throughout the project cycle: needs assessment, market analysis, feasibility studies, in-the-field implementation, technical support, etc.

Our hands-on approach and in-depth knowledge of Africa allow us to better understand the challenges facing our clients. Our team promotes an entrepreneurial approach, where African populations’ needs and international groups’ objectives meet.

Experts in the field

Our team

François-Xavier d’ORNELLAS

François-Xavier d’ORNELLAS

Founder

François-Xavier is an entrepreneur with in-depth experience of business development in Africa. In 2011, he created classM.  François-Xavier also manages two local subsidiaries in Gabon and Cameroon.
He has started his career in the catering sector and has rapidly developed in-depth proficiency in decentralized management of multicultural teams in France, Brazil, and Africa in major companies like Sodexo or CIS.
François-Xavier is a graduate from ESCP EUROPE (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris, 1997). He is fluent in French, Portuguese and English and has a good command of Spanish.

Jérémie MALBRANCKE

Jérémie MALBRANCKE

Founder
Co-founder of classM, Jérémie has an engineering MSc degree from l’Ecole Centrale in Paris. He has a more than 15 year experience in project management, having both designed major infrastructure projects throughout the world, and developed and managed SMEs in Africa. Jérémie has developed a strong vision of economic development and shared value creation on the ground, and supports the team in bearing the vision of classM in all of its operations.

Adis TIGNOKPA

Adis TIGNOKPA

Adis is a senior consultant in the Ivory Coast’s office and works on project designing, operations monitoring and business development in the west African region.

Before joining classM, Adis had 12 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, first as Project Engineer for Technip FMC (10 years) and then as a senior consultant in project management for SETEC IPMC (2 years).

Adis graduated from the University Paris XII and the University of Nantes. She holds a MA Executive in project management from the Ecole Centrale Paris. In addition to her native French, she is fluent in English.

Vincent ABEILLE

Vincent ABEILLE

Project Manager

Vincent is a consultant, with a strong experience in structuring, advising and implementing projects in developing countries. He has built a strong track-record in market sizing, value chain analysis, financial modelling and due diligence.

The focus of his recent work has been on agricultural value chains (cocoa, rubber, subsistence farming, cash and food crops), energy (on-grid and decentralized generation, BtoB energy services, mini-grids, solar home systems) and other large infrastructure projects (water and sanitation, health, transport), primarily in Africa.

He has conducted numerous consultancy assignments for energy sector companies (Engie, EDF, Total, etc.), international development banks (AFD, EIB, GIZ, Proparco, EBRD, etc.), and industrial companies (Endeavour Mining, Sudcam, etc.).

After an internship at Proparco (Development Finance Institution), Vincent Abeille worked for BearingPoint (Consultant, Energy and Utilities Team), Agence Française de Développement in Mayotte (Financial analyst) and Groupe SOS (Advisor to the CEO).

Vincent holds a MA in Corporate Finance and Strategy from Sciences Po Paris and a MA in International Affairs and Governance from the University of Sankt Gallen.

Besides his native French, he speaks fluent English and has a good command of German and Spanish.

Aurélie ETTE ASKIA

Aurélie ETTE ASKIA

Aurélie is a consultant in the Ivory Coast’s office and works on market analysis, feasibility and financial studies on several sectors (agriculture, CSR).

She has 8 years of strong experience in investment banking and development finance, first as Analyst Risk Officer for Crédit Agricole-CIB (4 years) and then as an Investment Officer for Proparco (4 years) for which she developed the portfolio of Agro-industry and Services projects of the West African regional office.

She holds a MA in Corporate Finance and Strategy from Toulouse Business School. In addition to her native French, she is fluent in English.

Clara REVEL

Clara REVEL

AGRONOMIST

Clara worked for 5 years for CIRAD (French agricultural research and international cooperation organization) and one of its local subsidiaries. She was first a project manager for the European Commission and then in charge of a portfolio of agricultural and biotechnological innovations(Technology Transfer Unit).
She has succesfully carried out assignements in Colombia, India, Malaysia, Lebanon and several African countries.
Over the past 4 years at classM, she has conducted studies related to the agribusiness sector and is the head agronomist on numerous agricultural projects (Angola, Madagascar, Gabon, Mali, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Ivory Coast).
Clara graduated from AgroParisTech (Management of innovation in life sciences) and from ISTOM (Tropical Agriculture in developing countries). She is French, fluent in Spanish and English, and has a good command of Portuguese.

Hélène DEJEAN de La BÂTIE

Hélène DEJEAN de La BÂTIE

Business developer

Helene is Sales Director and coordinates classM’s customer portfolio throughout Africa.
Helene has 10 years of experience in business development on the continent (more than 30 countries) in various sectors.
Before joining classM, Hélène was based in Senegal during 6 years where she worked for major french groups. At Gemalto, she was responsible for deploying mobile solutions to major Telco companies (Orange, MTN, Vodafone, etc.) in West and Central Africa. At Idemia, she successively held the positions of sales manager for the company’s telecom and then governmental activities in West, North and Central Africa. She has contributed to the deployment of telecom digital security services and biometric identification solutions in many african countries.
Helene holds a MA in Business Administration with an international finance specialization from Neoma Business School. Besides her native French, she speaks fluent English and has a good command of German

Hugo CAPDEVIELLE

Hugo CAPDEVIELLE

PROJECT MANAGER

Hugo is a consultant and business developer, directing the Ivory Coast’s office to develop operational projects in West Africa.

The focus of his recent work has been on agricultural value chains (cocoa, plant extract, subsistence farming), and other investment projects (feedlot, infrastructure, transport), primarily in Africa.

Before joining classM, Hugo worked for Cobasa, an investment advisory firm based in Johannesburg and Paris. He was in charge of setting up an agri investment vehicle for French cooperatives and DFIs towards Southern African countries.

Hugo holds a MA in Business Administration with an entrepreneurship specialization from Neoma Business School and a MA in International Affairs from the University of TEC de Monterrey in Mexico.

Besides his native French, he speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Théophile DURIEZ

Théophile DURIEZ

Working at classM since January 2021 as a consultant, Théophile DURIEZ conducts market analysis, feasibility and financial studies on several sectors (energy, agriculture, CSR).

Théophile graduated from Sciences Po Bordeaux in 2017 and started his career as Junior Economist in the economic institute Xerfi. He then joined the French Embassy in Yaoundé as an economist and advised French companies on their development in Central Africa such as identifying opportunities, information about markets, financial solutions. He continued to advise French companies on their international development in the Chamber of Commerce of Paris until he joined classM.

Théophile has followed a french-german master program and in addition to his native French, he is fluent in German and English.

Charlotte ZATTARA

Charlotte ZATTARA

Graduated in 2019 from the agribusiness and agricultural engineering school of PURPAN in Toulouse, Charlotte specialized in Export and International Management in her last year of study.

She worked on feasibility studies combining social insertion and market gardening. She was also involved in the technical and financial aspects of this agricultural project.

In 2020, Charlotte worked in the cocoa sector of Malaysia and assisted traders like OLAM, TOUTON and BARRY CALLEBAUT in the claiming process for damaged cargo.

Based in Marseille from February 2021, Charlotte has since joined classM and is in charge of agronomy missions. She is working with companies in Africa through implementing their agricultural and agribusiness projects on the ground.

Gautier de WARENGHIEN

Gautier de WARENGHIEN

General Manager in Gabon

Gautier  is the General Manager of La Clé des Champs, classM’s fruits and vegetables subsidiary in Gabon. He has a 10 year-experience in Africa. His previous work experiences span across different sectors, including tourism, new technologies, construction and agri-business.
During his career, he worked for numerous private-sector groups operating in Africa (EIFFAGE, COLAS, SOGEA SATOM, SEMAFO, MOOV, TOGOTELECOM, AREVA, PEFACO, ERAMET, PERENCO, SODEXO, NEWREST, etc.) and public institutions (UEMOA, UNHCR, MINUSCA,  etc.)
He has participated in more than 50 call for tenders in the fields of new information and communication technologies and in the field of modular infrastructures in West and Central Africa.
For 4 years, he has been managing La Clé des Champs, classM’s subsidiary distributing fruits and vegetables in Central Africa. With a hundred employees, four profit centers, an annual turnover of 3 million euros and more than 4,000 tons of local fruits and vegetables sold per year, La Clé des Champs is a key player in the agricultural sector in the region.

Cédric JUDAS

Cédric JUDAS

GENERAL MANAGER IN CAMEROON

Cédric Judas is General Manager of ASL/La Clé des Champs, classM’s fruits and vegetables subsidiary in Cameroon. He has a strong African experience and significant knowledge of tropical fruits and vegetable sectors.

With over 25 years in Africa (Ivory Coast, Congo, Ghana, Gabon and South Africa), he feels that as he belongs to the African continent.

He worked for more than 5 years in the packaging of fruits and vegetables in France (POM AZUR, L’ACCENT). The products he repackaged were shipped all over the world with high-quality control.

 

Bobby JJUUKO

Bobby JJUUKO

Bobby Jjuuko Kimbuggwe is the Chief Executive Officer of Pure Grow Africa Ltd, classM’s fruits and vegetables subsidiary in Uganda.  He founded the company in 2015 with a goal of finding lasting solutions for farmer’s major problems and lifting standards of foods.

A graduate from Aarhus University in Danemark, he is very passionate about Agri-business and is in charge of product line development for local and international clients of Pure Grow Africa Ltd.

Before starting Pure Grow Africa Ltd, Bobby had gained a lot of international experience with local and international companies in the agribusiness sector especially in cross border trade of dry rations like Grains, Beans, Maize Floor Rice and Sugar while managing Kisumi Trading Company for 7 years.

In the formative years of Pure Grow Africa, he was a big advocate for organic farming in Uganda and was among the success stories that contributed to the current awareness that farmers have on organic inputs, which he achieved through regular farmer trainings under the Farmers Pride Initiative that was a brainchild of Pure Grow Africa Team.

He after embarked on a journey to provide safe, quality foods to Hotels, catering Services, Supermarkets, Schools and other large consumers of fresh Foods, Fruits and Vegetables as a way to solve the problem of lack of markets to the farmers.

Fabrice BORDES

Fabrice BORDES

Chief Financial Officer in Uganda

Working at classM since 2016 as a consultant, Fabrice has been carrying out market surveys and conducting studies in numerous sectors (energy, agribusiness, CSR) for greenfield and brownfield projects in Africa.

He has been advising several companies (Endeavour Mining, Bolloré Logistics, SPIE, Perenco etc.) for the concrete implementation and the organisational development of new activities, particularly in the structure of « local content » strategies.

At the end of 2020, his career path led him to join Pure Grow Africa (www.puregrowafrica.com), the Ugandan classM’s fresh food subsidiary in Uganda. As Chief Financial Officer, he manages the development and the profitability of all operations, promoting quality innovations and new markets expansion.

Fabrice graduated from Ecole Centrale Marseille (Organisation, Management and Data processing for the service sector). In addition to his native French, he is fluent in English and has a good command of German.

 

Arthur PORTE

Arthur PORTE

PROJECT MANAGER

Arthur holds an International Management master’s degree from EMD – Business School (Marseille, France).
He started working for classM as an apprentice and is now working as a financial controller. He oversees administrative and accounting operations and implements new procedures and tools.
Arthur has a strong experience of the African continent, where he lived for 18 years (14 years in Congo, 4 in the Ivory Coast).

Nathalie SCHMIDT

Nathalie SCHMIDT

AGRONOMIST

Nathalie is an Agronomic Manager at ASL in Cameroon (classM subsidiary) and a graduate of the University of Haute Alsace.
She first worked for three years on her own farm in Gabon before joining ASL. She is now in charge of supervising agricultural projects and accompanying partner farmers.

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