Taiwan Commercial Times – 2009, January 8th
An interview with Michel Depeyrot, Executive Chairman of Dolphin Integration (France)
Q: Is this your first visit in Taiwan?
A: Not at all, my first visit was ten years ago. At that time I came alone and I rented a car to be on my won, as I wanted to visit the country in addition to the professional meetings. The infrastructure has been quite improved in the meantime. As I was greatly impressed by Hsin-Chu, its potential and the energy and friendliness of its enterprises, I came back several times, but above all, I decided to hire Taiwanese coordinators to manage our relationship proactively from France.
Q: Since your company is located in France, why do you target your buisness to Asian market? and when did you start?
A: We started in 1985 as a team, and the two other founders have also come to Taiwan, but we started by aiming at the European market: we did not want a “me-too” strategy and we witnessed the decline of all local competitors and partners who were too conservative. We were fortunately located in a City which is quite open internationally, and we witnessed the shift across the Pacific of the Vortex of microelectronics which is no longer between Austin and Santa Clara (the Silicon Valley !) but rather between Hsin-Chu
and Shanghai now. When you look from afar, I like to say that we are located at mid-distance between these two high-tech poles.
Q: How many employees at Dolphin Integration? How many staff with Asian ethnical background? specifically from Taiwan?
A. The Dolphin group is mostly in Grenoble, France, with 170 people there, plus a team of 7 engineers in Montreal, Quebec and a team of 5 in Duisburg, Germany. But we have had a female engineer from Beijing for almost 20 years, and now the Asian employees reach a total of 10 of whom we are so satisfied with their motivation and competency. As a matter of fact, we have three sales coordinators for Taiwan (they are not the classical salespeople as they have to represent the special needs of their territories in the eyes of our developers) plus one Field Application Engineer.
Q: What percentage does Taiwan market demonstrate in overall Dolphin company?
A. We have one declining third of our sales turnover coming from local delegation of consultants, which helps us stay abreast of technological innovations. As for product sales, Taiwan is our first target, and the percentage is 20%, Next comes mainland China, then the USA.
Q: Does the worldwide economic downturn bring any negative effects on your business? What does this mean for the Silicon IP business?
A: We suffered last year from the decline of the US$, but we adjusted and now we are more concerned with its instability. The downturn is a call for arms to the developers of solutions for low-cost and low-power consumption
who will make the recovery. We expect to contribute to the surge in mid-2009 of the most entrepreneurial companies in Taiwan.
As our company has been in activity for a fourth of a century, we have endured and survived a number of down turns, and while we understand that inventories have to be kept low, it is a time when managers, developers,
marketers and sales coordinators have to work just the more energetically, and with optimism.
Q: How did it come to this kind of business in the first place?
A: We came to the Silicon IP business spontaneously when we felt the local European Fabs were not investing properly to survive the competition from foundries, and we did not want to sink with the locals. We also develop
complete but custom SoCs for some strategic partners, the best known being Airbus whom we supply with a number of Ics, in particular all the sensor converters for the celebrated A-380, a symbol of quality and reliability of our offering.