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MND develops mountains & cities
Newsroom 10 · 11 · 2021

MND develops mountains & cities

Industrial group based in Savoie, France, MND specializes in Ropeways mobility, Snowmaking systems, mountain Safety and Leisure infrastructures. Thanks to 10 local sites, the group has been operating worldwide since 2004 and offers adapted, innovative and sustainable solutions to its customers.

Interview with Xavier Gallot-Lavallée, Chairman and CEO of MND.

Can you say a few words about MND ?

MND (Montagne et Neige et Développement) is an industrial group based in Savoie, in the French Alps. Listed on the stock exchange since 2013, it offers a global and unique offer for the development of mountain sites. Through its four dedicated business lines:

  • Ropeways mobility (MND Ropeways)
  • Snowmaking systems (MND Snow)
  • Mountain Safety (MND Safety)
  • Leisure infrastructures (MND Leisure)

Originally, we were recognized all over the world for our expertise in securing ski areas and in the overall management of avalanche risks. Thanks to the integration of companies that are all pioneers in their sector, we penetrated new markets – from the mountains to the city, adapting our services to this new environment and its specificities.

So in 20 years, MND has been able to broaden its offer to remain one of the leaders in the sector?

Yes, if our core business is intact, we have been able to develop our offer to always continue to respond to the new challenges of safety, leisure and mobility of the territories while respecting their environment, urban or natural. Even if our first customers remain the mountain resorts operators in France and abroad, our approach is to offer a global offer to address new needs – in four-season tourism or in urban transport, for example.

Among our achievements in cable transport, there is the renovation of the famous Montmartre funicular in Paris, the construction of the 2nd line of the urban cable car network of Saint-Denis in Reunion Island or the development of a new high speed and autonomous system for which we have received support from ADEME (French Environment Agency). Regarding leisure activities, we have created a real diversified offer within the Canton Tower itself, in China, with three acrobatic courses and a Skywalk over 300 meters above the ground to boost its attractiveness. This is a unique achievement in the world for a site that receives 2 million visitors each year.

What are your employees doing to support your customers all over the world?

From our production workshops in France to on-site commissioning, including studies, engineers in one of our 10 sites or after-sales services: our 300 employees are the strength of the Group to support our customers from A to Z, all over the world. In 2020, we wanted to improve the visibility of the group with our customers. We have renamed our four business units so that they all bear the MND brand.

SUFAG, No. 2 world leader in snowmaking systems, became MND Snow for example. We then reorganized our teams. There is a sales area director and an operations manager, affiliated to one of the 7 regions: Asia, CIS area, North America, Europe (France, Scandinavian area, Germanic and Italy). Our customers benefit from a single point of contact, who accompanies them from the sales phase to the completion of their project, including service.

Can you tell us more about your “Succeed Together 2024” strategic plan?

Last year we implemented a 4 year strategic plan. It is a real business project that involves all of the Group’s employees because it centers around 4 major pillars that affect all of our businesses. First, the customer experience, as we have just mentioned. Then, operational excellence, with our industrial capacities. Then, committed employees, with the enhancement of their expertise. Finally, controlled and profitable growth, to be built over the long term internally and externally.

So innovation plays an important role in this strategic plan. How does it work in practice?

Internally, we have invested in R&D, which represents 4 to 7% of our turnover. We have registered over twenty operating patents. In particular that of our remote avalanche triggering system, without explosives. MND SAFETY is the only one in the world able to offer this environmentally friendly device.

As a strong advocate of Made in France, we have also relocated all of our production sites and our other industrial and administrative activities in France, in order to optimize logistics deadlines, strengthen monitoring and performance of our projects. Our commitment to Made in France and our long-term presence at the heart of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region are among our priorities.

What are MND’s next objectives in the years to come?

The main objective is to keep up our commitments made through our “Succeed Together 2024” strategic plan. Particularly in the context of innovation and diversification on which we are counting to continue to support our clients and their new challenges. To also support them on the challenges linked to climate change in which we are all actors. All our safety, transport and ropeways systems by cables are soft, carbon-free and therefore respectful of the environment. Our values ​​and our local presence also guide concrete actions, with the National Forestry Office of France, to restore forests and raise awareness on global warming.

Thus, MND reaffirms its ambition to be a responsible, globalized industrial player, with a long-term vision.

Translated from Forbes.fr

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