Message from Martin Bouygues
Speech by Martin Bouygues 11th intake of the Francis Bouygues Foundation
Welcome to the headquarters of the Bouygues group. I am very happy today to welcome the 60 students who make up the Francis Bouygues Foundation’s 11th intake.
Seeing so many of you here tonight, I am sure that Francis Bouygues would be very proud to have his name associated with this wonderful initiative. The idea came to me a little over ten years ago. I wanted Bouygues, as a good corporate citizen, to give back to society some of what it had received, and hence to share its success.
And I wanted you young people to be the beneficiaries because you are the future of the world!
That is why we are keen to offer you talented and courageous young people financial support, because you passed your baccalaureate with merit or distinction and would otherwise find it difficult for material reasons to continue your studies.
What we want is to help you become who you are – which doesn’t necessarily mean construction engineers! For this Foundation was not created in order to train our future executives: it is not a form of recruitment in disguise. All we want is for you to make the most yourselves. You could be doctors, archaeologists, notaries, journalists, etc. the list of possible professions is long. The world is a big place and there is no shortage of opportunities.
So broaden your horizons, be ambitious and make your dreams come true!
We expect you to seek excellence, for that is the quest which has driven us ever since the Group was first created.
It is demanding, but you will be able to share your doubts and concerns with your mentors, who either employees of Bouygues, former employees who have retired or former grant-holders. All of them are willing to spare some of their time in order to listen to you and give you advice and encouragement.
They are entirely on your side, so make use of them! I should like to take this opportunity to thank them most warmly for their selfless commitment. I should also like to thank Philippe Montagner, the Foundation’s Chairman, Christel Navarro, the Corporate Secretary, and all the board members for their time and their support.
At Bouygues, we put people first, whether our employees, our customers or our stakeholders.
From the outset, Francis Bouygues reckoned that the skills and merits of the people who worked for him were more important than their background or qualifications. He ensured that everyone could move ahead, drawing on their talents and their determination to invent their own career path.
That is an attitude we share. As I said in June, when Altice was trying to get its hands on Bouygues Telecom, not everything is for sale. A business is not just another commodity. There are human beings involved and that is paramount.
Now it is your turn to invent yourselves, and I wish you the best of luck! I wish you every success, first at university and then in your career. We will be happy to have been able to help you along the way.
Martin Bouygues, Chairman & CEO of Bouygues
(Updated: January 2016)