Present in France, Belgium and Tunisia, Aymax is a Digital Services Company (DSC) expert in the development of digital applications and the integration of SAP solutions. Founded by Maxime Cariou and Aymen Daknou, Aymax is part of the 4.0 industry wave and aims to achieve a turnover of €10 million in 2019. An exponential growth that can be explained by a top-of-the-range service quality, a group dynamic and a local management based on respect and recognition.
During our interview in their company’s offices in Tunis, a ceremony was organized to welcome 17 new employees to this company, whose driving force is the training and recruitment of the best skills.
Meeting with two outsiders passionate about SAP technology
Maxime Cariou and Aymen Daknou (31 and 36 years old) met in 2014 when they were both employees in the same company. Passionate about new technologies, these two experts in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software decided by mutual agreement to resign from this company that they considered “too traditional“. They then created Aymax, the result of the abbreviation of their two first names.
“It was very fast because we were aware of our added value and the objectives to be achieved. We started with two customers and have grown to 40 today,” said Ayman Daknou about Aymax’s early days. For Maxime Cariou, the motivation was based on the idea that in France “the ecosystem of DSCs is aging and that for 20 or 30 years we have been realizing that this environment was compartmentalized even if, for a few years, access has become more democratic“.
Aymax, a company at the service of the competitiveness of other companies
Aymax’s mission is to support all companies that wish to review their business processes and benefit from innovative solutions at the cutting edge of technology to optimize their growth. Its customers include, for example, the French company Saint-Gobain, the luxury giant LVMH, Heineken, Allianz, Total, Alstom, Bouygues Telecom, Sephora and Picard.
Aymax, which achieved a turnover of €5.1 million in 2018, is at the heart of the industrial and digital transformation of companies. As such, the company is referenced in the French program Projet Industries du Futur & Factory 4.0, a French national project in favour of the massive digitalization of French companies.
The company offers two solutions: the SAP offer from which Aymax, with its partner TopSolid, is making inroads into the French market and the digital offer which allows customer companies to have adequate solutions for new digital uses. Aymax supports its customers in the technical development, configuration and functional customization of their connected platforms to obtain more flexibility, agility and innovation.
“What sets us apart from other service companies is that at Aymax, we are surrounded by arrows. This is the result of the quality of our recruitment, management and work methodology that we have put in place. At first, we focus much more on communication and soft skills than on the pure and hard technicality of our employees, which we then develop,” explained Aymen Daknou.
Tunisia and its human capital as a starting point
Maxime Cariou and Aymen Daknou created Aymax simultaneously in Tunisia and France. The idea was to develop their model between these two countries and it is for this reason that their collaborators work by commuting between these two destinations. As Maxime Cariou stated, “Either we place our experts with a client for a particular project or mission in a managed mode, or we work in a fixed price mode by taking charge of the entire project to install the management solution within a client’s company“.
To do this, Aymax trains young IT engineers throughout their careers with a view to their future employability within the company. It is in this line that the Université Internationale de Tunis (ITU) group and Aymax signed a partnership agreement in April 2018 to develop the teaching of new information technologies and create an innovation centre focused on SAP technologies (SAP Next-Gen Program).
In early 2019, Aymax created specific partnerships with other universities such as Sup’Com, Esprit, ENIT and IHEC to recruit and build a vast ecosystem around Digital and SAP ERP technologies. The company recruits mainly by co-option but also selects unsolicited applications. Having participated in the European student exchange programme, Erasmus, Maxime Cariou has set up a new collaboration with an Irish university where he himself studied to train his engineers. A future Spanish partnership will also be created.
Aymax and the placement of Tunisian skills abroad
The company represents a gateway to the international market and a springboard for Tunisian skills since they can request their transfer to Aymax’s offices in France but also, in the long term, return to Tunisia. Once in France, the company accompanies and supervises young Tunisians in their integration and familiarises them with the level of customer requirements.
“Aymax is a collective adventure in which trust is constantly renewed with our employees, partners and customers. This is good for business. We advocate horizontal management and collaborative work as a vector of entrepreneurship and innovation,” Maxime Cariou and Aymen Daknou said, adding that the know-how of Aymax teams is recognized and supervised by ISO 9001 and soon ISO 27001 certification.
Committed to six essential values: excellence, people, growth, quality, listening and respect, Aymax reflects the corporate culture and mindset of its two founders, whose ambition is to be a key player in the digital services industry.
The Benelux, a new market coveted by Aymax
The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg are a major market for Aymax to reach. By accessing it, the two entrepreneurs intend to recruit new English-speaking profiles and extend their reach to capture more calls for tenders. It is also about supporting some of their customers active in this area and allowing intra-group mobility within the company. By the end of 2019, Aymax also plans to open new offices in Canada and Morocco.
Maxime Cariou & Aymen Daknou also mentioned the introduction of a new financial investor into Aymax, while recalling that in 2016 “it was the Banque publique d’investissement, BPIFrance, and BNP Paribas that supported the company by injecting an amount of €500,000“. In 2018, the same investor and BNP Paribas injected €700,000 in loans, knowing that further financing is expected.