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Loïc GUICHAOUA (TBS 2015) - Creator of Papa Outang

28 December 2021 Portraits / Podcasts

After spending 3 years in M&A between France and China, he gives it all up to launch Papa Outang : the spread that will help save the tropical forest 

My name is Loïc and I will soon be 30 years old. I studied at TBS and Ecole 42. I spent 3 years between China and France working on mergers and acquisitions before creating “Sensei Family” in 2019 with my business partner, Thibaut. Our goal is to create mass market products that support associations out in the field. 

Why did you choose TBS for your studies?
For ESCadrille ! After my entrance exams, I hesitated between TBS and another school. It was the junior entreprise and its super track record that clenched it in the end.

Do you have any stories from your year to share with us? 
Between the first two mad years with the junior entreprise, a year out in China, and master's degree in Finance that was fascinating, a great term in Barcelona and a final year traineeship in finance in Paris which was a great learning experience, etc. I had a fabulous time! 

What are you doing today and who did you get to this stage in your professional career? 
I was working in mergers and acquisitions between France and China when I decided to stop it all in 2019.

For a person who spent much time talking about the environment over the years, I suddenly realized that I didn't "portray in any way the changes I wanted to see happen in the world”.

Almost overnight, I became a vegan with zero-waste and minimalist habits and I started to search for a business partner with whom I could "make changes happen". 

That was a year ago, and since then we have launched our first product called “Papa Outang”, the spread without palm oil which saves (it really does) the tropical forests. 

The crowdfunding was a massive success with over 2500 orders and 11000€ collected for Kalaweit, the association with whom we are in a partnership. This money means we can buy back 120000m2 of forest that was under threat from the palm oil industry, with the purpose of turning it into a nature reserve. 

Our goal is to make Papa Outang and all our future brands (we are aiming for 4 new brands per year) into a sustainable source of revenue for the associations out in the field, like Kalaweit.

What advice would you give to TBS Alumni, students or graduates, who would like to embark on the same path as yours? 

  1. Blunt but true : put some savings away to give yourself a “runway” so to speak, so that you can spend your entire time on your project for at least one or two years. 
  2. If possible, create a business partnership with someone. That way, at least one of you will be optimistic in times of difficulty and you will achieve three times more if your skills are complementary. 
  3. Don't wait to get started (projects with too much preparation tend to end up burried) and start small with clear objectives, even if you work at the same time in order to save up.

Did the Alumni network support you?
Yes, a great deal. I was surprised to see how much my year were present "everywhere" in the French economy. We are spread about amongst many different businesses and you can always find someone who is prepared to help. 

Do you agree to let Alumni contact you directly, students and graduates? 
Yes of course, even more so if your building a project with impact and you want to work in this area.

You need to be logged in as a fully paid-up member to contact Loïc Guichaoua.


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