Interview with Christopher Lorho, Co-Founder & Managing Director
How would you describe the core activity of Easy Skill?
Easy Skill is an engineering and recruiting company specialised in the oil and gas, mining, and civil construction sectors. From project design to production and maintenance stages, Easy Skill provides tailored engineering, recruitment and training solutions. 70% of our activity is dedicated to finding the best engineering human resources and technical manpower for our customers. The profiles we seek and provide are very diverse: Project managers and Planners, Mechanical or Electrical Engineers, Contract Managers, Procurement people, Package Engineers and Managers, Mechanical or Welding Supervision, Rigging or Lifting Supervision, Geologists, Mechanics, Drafting people, Boiler Makers etc. We recruit worldwide and take care of all the logistics, from visas to training, to provide ready-to-go staff on site. We currently have 21 Easy Skill consultants under contract for periods going from 3 months to 4 years. Our talents are spread all over the world, including in Australia, France, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Denmark, Vietnam, Cameroon, Angola and Mexico.
Another 15% of our activity is dedicated to recruitment for companies wanting to hire team members for the long haul. Easy Skill Engineering, with its partner GLBE (25 technicians) also provides design services, which represent 15% of our activity. Our team is particularly strong in structural design, mechanical, piping, E&I, ground improvements, deep foundation and maritime works. Finally, we provide our pool of consultant for customised training on request from the client.
Can you describe your personal background and the history of Easy Skill?
I studied at ENSAM, the prestigious National School of the ‘Arts & Metiers’ in Paris, and graduated with a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering. However, after an MBA in Business Administration and Management from the Bond University on the Gold Coast, I quickly specialised in the mining and oil & gas sectors. As a Project Engineer, I got involved in numerous various projects across Australia over 7 years, including the Karara Mining Terminal or the Wheatstone Projects in WA, the APLNG Project in Gladstone or the NCIG Project in Newcastle, which is the biggest coal terminal in the world. In this position, I have had to train and recruit many engineers. In the mist of the mining boom, I helped lots of my fellow engineers from France keen to relocate to Australia. This is how the idea to start Easy Skill was born.
I founded Easy Skill in France in 2013, with my friend and fellow graduate Pierre Bussy, who had been staffing at Manpower, MCA & PwC for 8 years and was sharing the same vision. Soon after, in 2014 and 2015, we created our Australian and New Caledonian subsidiaries. Recently, we opened our Papua New Guinea (PNG) subsidiary to assist Total on the Papua LNG project. Based on the Gold Coast and in New Caledonia, I am managing and covering South-East Asia and the Pacific, while Pierre, based in Lyon, is in charge of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Russia. In the first year, our turnover totalled $350,000 and $1.4 M in the second year. Our strength is our high mobility, our ability to take on whole projects as well as the GADZARTS network which gathers 28,000 alumni members around the world. Our team has now grown with the arrival of two support staff based in France, one staff in Australia, one staff in New Caledonia and our business partner in PNG.
How do you envisage the future of your company and how can FACCI help you achieve your objectives?
Now in our third year of activity we aim to go from 21 to 40 consultants on site and reach a turnover of $2.5 M by the end of the fiscal year. However, with an energy sector in crisis, we are looking at diversifying our activities, in particular with engineering studies, spreading our activities across new countries (PNG, Kurdistan) and building strategic partnerships. We are also looking forward to developing our activities in PNG where massive investments are currently being made.
The French-Australian Chamber of Commerce offers networking opportunities, introductions and referrals which can save months of business development. We are looking forward to its Energy, Utilities and Resources Industry Series in 2016.
For more information, please consult Easy Skill’s website: www.easy-skill.com.
Interview conducted by Claire Dupré and Camille Barbe on the 16 November 2015.
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