The Business Podcast in Luxembourg

People from Luxembourg are quite familiar with the country’s discreet approach when it comes to blowing its own trumpet at the global scale. Despite its relatively small geographic print, the Grand Duchy punches well above its weight on the world stage! This podcast is here to shed light on Luxembourg’s global influence from the perspective of two Luxembourgers living in London.

The Business Podcast in Luxembourg


You can listen episodes under the area!

Thierry and Adrien welcome Rolf Sorg, Founder and CEO at PM International, to the show. An entrepreneur running a multi-billion dollar revenue business across the globe, Rolf discusses the genesis of his direct sales company in the early 90's after dropping out of university in Germany. He then explains why nutritional supplement products, PM International's flagship product suite, were less popular more than 20 years ago, and how the market pivoted towards a healthier lifexstyle, especially during the pandemic. They further dive into the international success that Rolf's business has achieved thanks to the Luxembourg ecosystem. Finally, Rolf extensively enumerates the benefits of choosing the Grand Duchy for personal and, of course, professional reasons.

Adrien welcomes Fernand Ernster, CEO at Librairie Ernster, to the show. A very acute entrepreneur running an established bookstore brand in Luxembourg, Fernand walks Adrien through the family business history and how it's grown over generations for more than 100 years. Adrien then enquires about the secret ingredients for a brick and mortar bookseller to stay competitive at times when digital marketplaces, such as Amazon, gain a bigger market share in the bookselling business. Before talking about the importance of language diversity in a multilingual country like Luxembourg, Fernand discusses the concept of anchor stores and how businesses like his have turned into an essential frequency bringer in shopping malls. As a key representative of the local economy, Fernand finally provides his views on how he would change Luxembourg if he was given the opportunity to do so.

Thierry welcomes Malik Zeniti, Director at the Cluster for Logistics in Luxembourg (C4L), to the show. Dubbed "Mr Logistics of Luxembourg", Malik walks Thierry through his time at DuPont, a global US chemicals company, and how this enriching experience laid the foundation for his passion in logistics. They then discuss the C4L's mission and how the whole supply chain ecosystem operates in a landlocked country with great ambitions. Subsequently, Malik emphasises on one of Luxembourg's biggest assets, namely Cargolux, a leading air cargo company which services all the continents with its important Boeing 747 fleet. Finally, they discuss the environmental impact of the logistics sector and how C4L members have been actively reducing their carbon footprint thanks to initiatives such as the Lean & Green programme.

Adrien welcomes Enrique Sacau, CEO at Kneip, to the show. They discuss Kneip's role in the Luxembourg ecosystem and how it has been discreetly acting behind the scenes whilst servicing asset managers globally. Enrique then walks Adrien through the importance of being deliberate in the workplace in the context of diversity and inclusion, which goes beyond practices many businesses have adopted so far. Having recently started influencing the company culture, Enrique further dives into the intricacies of such an initiative and how all the stakeholders can contribute to this.

Thierry welcomes Rachel Kent, Partner at Hogan Lovells in London, and Pierre Reuter, Managing Partner at Hogan Lovells Luxembourg, to LuxUnplugged. At a time when a lot of businesses are re-evaluating their strategy when it comes to operating from the UK, Thierry enquires about the decision of Hogan Lovells, a global law firm, to open a new office in Dublin. Then, Rachel and Pierre debate the key advantages of their respective jurisdictions from a regulatory standpoint and how, in a Brexit context, they see London and Luxembourg cementing their links whilst Europe competes for more business leaving the UK. Named as one of the most influential women in European finance, Rachel then walks them through the key innovation initiatives that she's championing in the UK FinTech space in order to retain its global competitive edge (e.g. Kalifa review). Finally, Pierre and Rachel discuss the hot topic of talent acquisition in a world where working from cheaper locations is now widely accepted after the pandemic outbreak.

Adrien welcomes Alberto Dalmasso, CEO and co-founder of Satispay, to the show. They discuss the genesis of Satispay, an Italian electronic money institution, and how Alberto and his co-founders came up with an idea aimed at solving the high transactional cost problems for merchants to process small payments, whilst encouraging end consumers to use their phones to facilitate transactions as opposed to cash. A highly driven entrepreneur, Alberto also walks Adrien through the company's ambitions to disrupt payment systems in other Eurozone countries as they exhibit the same cash payment patterns as Italy. Then, they dive into the whole thought process that led Satispay to choose Luxembourg as their gateway to Europe, most notably due to the country's highly multicultural attributes and the regulator's pragmatic approach towards accommodating the needs of tech companies. Finally, Alberto extensively analyses the positive effects that the covid-19 pandemic has brought to Satispay and how the brick and mortar merchant ecosystem has adapted in order to service their clientele during lockdowns.

Thierry and Adrien welcome back Steve Collar, CEO at SES, to the show. In this timely follow-up conversation, Steve discusses the huge importance of connectivity in a world where a great number of people have been separated from their loved ones due to Covid-19. Also, he talks about the increase in demand for linear broadcasting (i.e. continuous content streaming) from public broadcasters, especially in Europe, and its root causes. Finally, they touch on SES' longer term innovation projects and the overall outlook for the space industry in Luxembourg.

Thierry and Adrien welcome Luc Provost, CEO at B Medical Systems, to the show. After discussing the recent history of his company following the management buyout, Luc dives into the enormous success he's recently experienced since the first Covid-19 vaccine announcement. He discusses the importance of having an optimised cold chain distribution in light of the disruption that the pandemic has caused for more than a year. They also talk about the different government response across Europe, and how Luxembourg has distinguished itself by handling the situation very early on. Finally, Luc tells them why Europe needs to bring back manufacturing closer to home and reduce its reliance on the Far East.

Adrien welcomes back Jacques Pütz, CEO of LUXHUB, to the show. In this follow-up conversation, they briefly discuss the exponential growth that LUXHUB has enjoyed over the last year as banks consuming its services are slowly embracing the benefits of cost mutualisation. In the same vein, Jacques also talks about the strategic partnership established with SIX, the Swiss financial infrastructure provider, and what it entails for the company and its European ambitions. And then, Jacques looks back at Luxembourg's efforts to make the local ecosystem attractive to Fintech companies and, more importantly, how it could further enhance it in a constructive and productive way.

Thierry and Adrien welcome Joe Hoffmann, COO at 4Elements Esports and President of the Luxembourg Esports Federation, to the show. A highly driven esports practitioner, Joe explains how the fastest growing online industry has evolved over the last few years in a global context. Then, he walks them through the launch of Forward with his brother to accelerate the promotion of esports in Luxembourg where the government is still reluctant to recognise this industry as a sports discipline in its own right. After highlighting the differences between a regular gamer and an esports athlete, Joe passionately emphasises on the commercial benefits that prospective companies can derive from partnering with esports organisations. Finally, he lays out the outlook for 2021 and his plans for 4Elements Esports in the future.