François Mark has over 15 years of experience in the world of new technologies. He has been involved in the web world since his early days in the professional world and has never stopped, to the point of founding his own company, IGFX, specializing in virtual reality. He explains his journey and shares with us his vision as an entrepreneur in Mauritius.
François, can you introduce yourself in a few lines?
My name is François Mark, and I am 39 years old. I started in the Internet field in the 90’s: I was then part of a French company specialized in games, multimedia and web design, while I was finishing my high school studies. I also knew what preceded Google and Facebook and, at that time, websites were created from a simple text editor (notepad and simple Text).
The company that employed me encouraged us to be versatile: graphic design, code, video editing, 3D, web server installation were all techniques and technologies that I learned to master. Imagine working with Photoshop, but without layers… I must say we were very lucky to have all the technologies before they were even available on the market. All this knowledge has served me well in the future.
During my journey, I have also met people who have guided me and taught me to make the right decisions. I will always be grateful to them. Today, I am an entrepreneur: I run the company IGFX.
What is your company’s specialty?
IGFX was founded for the creation of websites and multimedia. But as trends and needs changed, we moved into mobile application development and now offer virtual reality services.
How did you get started in the world of entrepreneurship?
In 2010, the company I was working for changed its strategy. I then decided to start my own adventure by founding IGFX.
What is your vision of entrepreneurship? Do you think that this is a field where rest is not tolerated or, on the contrary, do you rather adopt the thought of Confucius: “Choose a profession that you love and you will not have to work a single day in your life”?
I would say that I am a supporter of Confucian thought. You have to work with passion, and if the contractor is serious, his work will pay off. Of course, the life of an entrepreneur is not always rosy, but will and passion are the great allies of success.
Being an entrepreneur also allows you to create jobs, and to help the economy and society progress. It’s opening doors for yourself and others afterwards. Very often, the key is hanging around our neck but we don’t see it! Opportunities must be seized.
How easy is it to network in your field and find local partners?
I must admit that I do, because we constantly approach the public and partners with the idea and ambition of sharing and growing together. This is how IGFX came to the attention of Google VR USA. We even had video conferences with the decision makers. Today, the company is Google VR certified. More recently, I was able to visit a Silicon Valley startup for the development of virtual reality in our region.
How do you get yourself and a company like yours known in the field of new technologies?
One-to-one meetings are very important, for sure. But social networks are also effective when used correctly.
Beyond your passion for your job and your company, do you have other hobbies?
Gardening is my hobby. It’s a way to meditate, these moments allow me to disconnect from the virtual world and find new ideas. I also love spirituality because it transcends race, color and religion. We are all connected in one way or another. For 2017, my ambition is to see how I can improve the lives of others through… technology.
Your opinion on entrepreneurship in Mauritius in one sentence?
Entrepreneurship is booming in Mauritius, but we could do better if all entrepreneurs worked together.
The final word?
Institutions make a lot of effort to encourage entrepreneurship but often the proposals are not adapted to our needs, which are constantly changing and evolving. New technologies offer a lot of possibilities. If structures for reflection are put in place, new jobs can be created quickly.