Gilles Ragey, head of Mobility's Intelligent Traffic System business unit, tells us about his experience and the world of management. For him, the transfer of skills is at the heart of his role as a manager.
Tell us about your university studies
Having completed a certificate of professional competence (CAP) as a mechanical engineering draughtsman, and a professional diploma in electrotechnical studies, I obtained a technical diploma (DUT) in electrical engineering and then a Bachelor's degree in telecommunications.
Based on these qualifications, which enabled me to work each summer and learn about the in-the-field constraints of our sector, I went on to study at Polytech Clermont-Ferrand school of engineering.
I carried out my end-of-degree work placement at a Nestlé factory at which Cegelec was installing the information system. Following this placement, Cegelec offered me a job in its IT design office.
Tell us about your career path to date.
For ten years, as a design office project leader, I developed supervision systems for customers in very different sectors of activity. Then, from 1994 to 2005, I occupied the role of project manager. Since 2005, I have been Business Unit Manager for Mobility's Intelligent Traffic System.
What can you tell us about your managerial role?
My career path taught me about the four cardinal points of our business: technical aspects, human resources management, project management and commercial development.
Today, as a business leader, I aim to convey to project leaders the need to find a balance between these four crucial aspects, and to constantly seek to improve the practices stemming from them.
It is essential, for example, to ensure the loyalty of our customers, as they are our primary sales representatives! I therefore aim to ensure that my staff are proficient in the necessary commercial skills.
As a manager, I am less involved in the technical aspects, but I am still very interested in this side of things. I therefore keep abreast of technological advancements and I still sometimes set aside time to understand or analyse new IT solutions.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Succeeding in convincing prospective or new customers that the solution that we are offering, both in technical and management terms, will guarantee the success of their project. My aim is to always be one step ahead, to think about how the sector will be tomorrow. Being ahead of our competitors gives us a distinctive advantage.
To what extent does the Mobility Intelligent Traffic System business unit operate internationally?
Our customers are primarily in France and Switzerland. And also in Russia, where we are developing the traffic management platform for the motorway that will link Moscow and Saint Petersburg. We have international contacts through our Vinci partners, and our solution can be incorporated into major projects. Indeed, we designed our @way solution to serve as an open basis on which we can build specific solutions to suit the needs of our customers.
And what do you do when you’re not at work?
Travel and sports! These are essential for me in order to maintain a balance and gain perspective. I enjoy mountain biking and, just recently, I have been testing out an electric mountain bike that will enable me to tackle new and more mountainous routes.