Never one to shy away from hard work, Stéphane Bigorre is a firm believer in persistence and perseverance. While some people appear to be in a rush to achieve success as quickly as possible, Stéphane prefers to take the slow and steady approach.
“Hard work always pays off sooner or later,” he says. “You should be perseverant in all your undertakings and never take anything for granted. This is what I heard multiple times from my father, who has always been hardworking and successful.”
This advice has proved invaluable throughout Stéphane’s life and career. Born and raised in France, Stéphane got his first real taste of South-East Asia when he spent six months travelling through the region after graduating from civil engineering studies in 1993. But six months was not enough; he wanted more.
“You should be perseverant in all your undertakings and never take anything for granted.”
“I returned home to France with only one idea in mind; I had to find a way to go back over there to start my career,” Stéphane recalls.
The enterprising young man headed to Vietnam in 1994, where he quickly picked up work and spent the next two decades working in a diverse range of project management positions within the construction industry.
Just as Stéphane was preparing to celebrate 20 years living in Ho Chi Minh City, he decided it was time for a change. “One month before that key milestone, I decided to relocate to Cambodia to start something new,” he says.
In 2014, Stéphane joined LBL International as Contract and Technical Manager. The Cambodian construction company had been operating since 1991, but Stéphane believes this was a turning point for the business given it coincided with Cambodia’s construction boom.
“I brought my contractual expertise and experience at the right time,” he notes. “The nature of the projects was changing and investors were more prone to hiring international consultants to oversee the construction of their projects, which makes it more complicated and requires more resources.”
Stéphane soon became integral to LBL International’s operations and became Partner and Managing Director in 2016. “This new status and the associated responsibilities just boosted my eagerness to do better and more for the company,” Stéphane enthuses.
“I have always worked very hard and have done my best for all the companies I have worked for in the past, as if they were my own, which was a good approach and training for my position today.”
One of Stéphane’s biggest challenges after becoming Managing Director was restructuring the business together with the whole management team.
“Despite all the opportunities we faced in this booming market, we wanted to remain humble and not try to expand too rapidly. We preferred to focus more on structuring the company first, building stronger and firmer foundations, so as to be able to grow better and in a controlled manner.”
“Despite all the opportunities we faced in this booming market, we wanted to remain humble and not try to expand too rapidly.”
Operating in the high end of Cambodia’s construction market, LBL International specialises in the implementation and realisation of prestigious projects such as luxury hotels, villas, embassies, offices and residential buildings.
The company has expanded its services to include infrastructure, public and industrial works, technical constructions, and specialised works such as airports, schools and hospitals.
With a reputation for quality and professionalism, Stéphane says what sets LBL International apart from its competitors is its longevity, good understanding of the local market and its proven track record.
The company works closely with its suppliers and subcontractors to ensure it delivers high-quality services to its clients. “From our position and exposure in the market, we can provide interesting prospects to our partners. In return, having them by our side enlarges our capacity and possibilities,” Stéphane says.
“Developing close links with mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors, for instance, can help us to provide fully integrated solutions to our clients.”
Stéphane points to LBL International’s partnership with Lotus Green Team as an example. “Sharing the same values and common objectives, we have developed with them a fair and sustainable business relationship on a win–win basis.”
Looking to the future, Stéphane concedes LBL International might not be the biggest in the market, however, it will always strive to be the best.
“We want our name to come to mind when a client is seeking reliability, timely delivery and high-end results. We will, therefore, continue to steadily improve the structure of the company and implement new management systems to better analyse and monitor every aspect of the business,” he says.
When it comes to his own motivation, Stéphane says he only needs to look at LBL International’s huge portfolio of impressive work. “The tangible nature of what we are doing is very rewarding. Our finished projects remain the proof, visible to all for many years, of our hard work and the quality of our services.”
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