Marcio Benjamin is the Managing Director of Marc Stern Parfum. Brazilian, he is in Switzerland since 2018.
The canton of Neuchâtel in three words?
A sense of security: both personally and professionally. The legal framework for companies is reliable and rigorous.
Quality of life: in Neuchâtel, I enjoy a healthy balance between my personal and professional life.
Welcoming: thanks to the canton’s accessible size, I really feel like I belong to a family compared to my experiences in the United States or Brazil.
What led you to choose Neuchâtel for your company?
Initially, I considered setting the company up in the United States, then in France. But the good reputation of the “Swiss Made” label convinced me to establish my company in Switzerland. I chose Neuchâtel for its physical proximity to the watchmaking network and its subcontractors. Their skills in precision work and their approach based on high added value were indispensable for the design of our new bottle, the “Sternie”. And today, as if to prove the point, we work with five companies and research institutes in the region.
What challenges did you encounter when setting up?
As I’m originally from another country, I had to garner a lot of information in order to find a fiduciary, open a bank account, recruit staff and find offices. The support I received from the Service of the Economy was fundamental; it was both responsive and tailored to the project. I particularly appreciated the efforts staff at the Service made to bring their network into play. They even helped me find a flat! That was important because it meant that I very quickly felt at home, despite changing countries and cultures.
What do you think of the industrial and economic dynamism of the Neuchâtel region?
From an administrative point of view, it is easier to set up in Switzerland than Brazil. On the other hand, Brazil’s size provides more opportunities. In the USA, the entrepreneurial culture is certainly more established than in Switzerland. Neuchâtel’s economic dynamism could be improved, particularly through greater risk taking. It is essential to work with agility because the world is changing fast. However, I must admit that I appreciate the stability of the region and of the country as a whole.
How do you imagine Neuchâtel in 10 years’ time?
I think that Neuchâtel has a buoyant economy, and that the region’s highly specialised skills should see greater recognition in years to come. If its economic stakeholders manage to keep an open mind and remain attentive to what is happening elsewhere, I am very confident of the canton’s future. In my opinion, Neuchâtel’s qualities (precision, high added value, reliability) should be fostered while foreign assets that can be imported to improve competitiveness should be identified.