AT THE CHAMBE R – FR ANCO - BR ITI SH CONFE R E NCE 2 016
If you really want to compete, you have to adapt and change your culture and organisation equally valuable was hearing real-life examples.
He said that what disruptors need to do is offer a product
The next group of speakers – from HSBC, AXA Group's
that is both better and cheaper so that incumbents cannot afford
incubator Kamet, Sushi Venture Partners, What3Words and Clic
to replicate it, while there is strong demand from customers.
and Walk – offered a mixture of case studies and insight.
Stéphane Guinet, Founder of Kamet, the InsurTech start-
HSBC’s Group Head of Innovation, Christophe Chazot, made
up studio funded by AXA Group, agreed that it is extremely
a point that disrupting the finance industry is difficult, as it is
difficult to disrupt large, regulated industries. This is why AXA
such an established and regulated sector. HSBC itself has tried
has invested in Kamet while still offering it independence.
numerous tries to take the lead in disrupting the industry, for
‘Kamet works with entrepreneurs to imagine, incubate, build
example with the launch of its telephone-only bank First Direct,
and scale start-ups in the insurance and protection space,’ he
which launched in 1989.
explained. ‘But for us to achieve this and disrupt, we must be
‘At the time that First Direct launched, it was extremely
completely independent from AXA. This allows us to extend and
innovative, as it did not have any retail presence – it was
create new services and products that do not exist today – but
telephone-only,’ Chazot explained. ‘And since its creation, it has
which may be complementary to AXA in the future.’
consistently been rated as offering the best customer service
The topic of regulation was also addressed, as disruption
of all of the UK banks. 20 years later, it is still rated highly, but it
inherently changes the rules.
still only has 3 per cent of the banking market share. It takes a
What is the Government’s role?
long, long time to disrupt this industry. Who has the capacity to
Axelle Lemaire, the French Minister of State for Innovation
sustain efforts for long enough?’
K EY N OT E S PEA K E RS
wo of the most popular speakers of
networks have disrupted the print
the conference were AccorHotels
media industry; and my own industry
Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin
has been grappling with disruption
and Arnaud de Puyfontaine, the CEO
since the turn of the century. We
of Vivendi, who told their own stories
saw Napster in 2000, iTunes in 2001,
YouTube in 2005 and more.
The two leaders operate in two
very different industries – Vivendi is
industries have been more exposed
in the entertainment space, while
than any other to disruption because
AccorHotels is in the capital-intensive
they are mainstream, global, largely
hotels industry – but Puyfontaine and
unregulated and comprise a product
Bazin have much in common, having
that is higly-desirable and consumable,
which users of new technologies can
their companies’ response to digital disruption. Since
easily distribute.’ Sébastien
focused on how he led the drastic
entertainment and leisure spaces
transformation of AccorHotels from
have been totally transformed by
being a very large incumbent to being
digital disruption, which meant that
an agile, reactive group – which,
large established groups such as
when you own 4,100 hotels across 94
AccorHotels and Vivendi came under
countries, is no mean feat. He wowed
the audience with his stories.
Top: Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels Bottom: Arnaud de Puyfontaine, CEO, Vivendi
‘Disruption is the new normal for
‘If you really want to compete, you
the world economy,’ said Puyfontaine.
have to adapt and change your culture
‘Every business is being disrupted:
‘The key to our future in a disruptive
Airbnb has disrupted hospitality; Uber
‘Otherwise you will never be able to
market has been to do everything we
has disrupted the taxi industry; social
compete with the disruptors. But to
can to retain our customers.’
modify your company’s culture takes time and courage.
- january / february 2017 - 73