Harold Parisot is the founder of the Chinese Business Club, a very private business networking club that brings together prestigious guests every month. Harold Parisot explains to us how he became this mediator with such a diversified address book.
LuxusPlus : What has been your career path? Were there any key moments that contributed to your current success, and if so, how did you manage these opportunities?
Harold Parisot : After graduating from Essec Business School, I started my professional career with a period of employment interrupted by a trigger for entrepreneurship. I negotiated a contractual termination with my employer and decided to embark on the great adventure of the Chinese Business Club, which has now lasted for a little over ten years. The Club’s impetus was given when I managed to welcome the current President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, as guest of honor in 2015. A real spotlight on the Club that facilitates its premium positioning. I am convinced that opportunities arise when you know how to create the conditions for them to happen. I didn’t have any particular network to put me in touch with Emmanuel Macron, but I tried to make a phone call to the switchboard of his Ministry and thus opened a door. I think it is important to mention three essential principles in entrepreneurship: to remain open to seize opportunities at the right time, to accept to undertake and take risks without being sure of the result and, finally, to accept to make mistakes in order to learn from them.
LP : How did you build your professional network and how did it help you reach your goals?
H.P : I never stopped maintaining relationships with my former classmates I met in business school. And I applied this approach with my former work colleagues. I quickly became aware of the importance of a “sustainable” network because it is very easy to develop one’s address book but the key is to know how to maintain it. Building a professional network over time requires a few personal qualities such as empathy, which allows you to show a sincere interest in others and their interests, and above all patience, because building a network is a long and continuous process. This address book is an enormous time saver in the business world because it facilitates very direct exchanges with decision makers. It is a real business gas pedal because it can be multiplied infinitely if you devote the necessary time and energy. I like to “network” and it is well known that our successes are closely linked to the pleasure we get from doing our job.
LP : What is the most important professional advice you have received?
H.P : The best advice I have been given and which I gladly share is the ability to make your own luck. I am now convinced that luck is created through sustained and regular work. The equation between work time and success is almost mathematical. Other advice has also been very useful to me in running this Club and keeping it successful: consider every day that success is not necessarily a given, the need to stay in direct contact with realities and, most importantly, the maintenance of a true respect for others in all circumstances, pretension never being a good advisor in business. The two pieces of advice I can give is, on the one hand, the importance of staying focused on your business and your objectives because it is very easy to lose focus and this can be a danger of drifting and, on the other hand, trusting your common sense to stay true to your profitability imperatives and your business model.
LP : How did you come to found the Chinese Business Club?
H.P : The Chinese Business Club was founded in 2012 in Paris thanks to Chinese people who were looking for a “space” to meet French business leaders. I found this idea interesting because it met a real need. I carried out this project alone because my entourage did not believe in it at all. I must admit that the first three years were difficult. Now, since 2015, the Chinese Business Club has a real visibility and it works well as shown by the high level of satisfaction of its members who remain very loyal year after year. Nine out of ten companies renew their membership every year. Regarding the profile of members, until the Covid period, the Club was Franco-Chinese. Since 2020, the Chinese Business Club is 90% Franco-French with an ever increasing number of start-ups in recent years.
LP: What are the most important values for you as an entrepreneur, and how do you put them into practice in your daily work?
H.P : The transmission of know-how is an essential value, especially for young people. Moreover, I give a very concrete dimension to this by opening more and more the Chinese Business Club to young entrepreneurs and business leaders. My objective is to open up, as soon as possible, to the new generation, a powerful network made up of business angels, investors, ambassadors, senators, deputies, professional sportsmen, managers and journalists. This address book, composed of decision-makers, is a real gold mine that must be developed to gain in productivity. Once again, the network must be seen as a business gas pedal.
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