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How a French Policeman became a successful e-commerce entrepreneur in Dubai

After joining Le Wagon in 2015, Michael started working as a developer for different Tech projects. He launched his own e-commerce stores and it gave him the freedom to travel around the world working from his laptop! He now lives in Dubai where he launched a new e-Commerce group that builds and scale global brands online. Read about his successful story!

Why did you join Le Wagon ?

Back in 2015, I decided it was time for me to change careers. At that time I was a Police officer in France and I had no specific skills having studied general subjects at school. My aim was to switch careers to find a Digital job so I needed to learn Business or add Tech skills to my profile. However, I didn’t want to go back to being a student for three to four years. I wished to learn fast so I could go back on the job market as soon as possible. That’s why joining a bootcamp was the best option for me as I wanted to learn technical skills in a short period of time. I was also already thinking about launching a project, finding a co-founder or working a tech job straight away. I believed that Le Wagon bootcamp would allow me to reach those goals. That’s how I joined Batch #17 at Le Wagon in 2015 and how my Tech journey started.

What have you been up to since you did Le Wagon 6 years ago?

I started looking for jobs very early during week 2 or 3 of Le Wagon bootcamp. I was doing some research with one criteria in mind that was finding a company with the best team. In fact I didn’t care about the company but only about the people. After some research I found Kactus, a company which was listing venues for weddings. Even though I was not particularly interested in weddings, the CTO was from Polytechnique - one of the best engineering schools in France - and also an alumni of the American incubator Y combinator which I hoped I could enter as an entrepreneur one day. I also asked to talk with the employees and showed that I was concerned about being a good fit for the company.

How was your first experience as a junior full-stack developer?

When I joined Kactus I was a junior developer with small experience. I had set a personal goal for myself to code for the next 2 to 3 years of my life. I was absolutely passionate about coding. Being only two in the team, I learned very fast. I was coding 7 days a week with the help of the CTO who became my mentor. I also really liked his mindset: to build fast with basic programming languages such as Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS and JavaScript so that the business could keep moving on. That's where Le Wagon helped me greatly because I learned all those skills during the bootcamp. At the same time I decided to fast-tracked my learning process by working for a second company as a freelancer.

How was working as a freelancer and a full-time developer at the same time ?

First, working on a freelance job two days a week allowed me to secure a second revenue. I was working for Cohome, a booking platform for freelancers to find day to day working spaces. The fact I was also working full-time at Kactus allowed me to convince the team at Cohome to work as lead developer on the project. In fact even though I only had a four-months experience, they knew I was coding everyday with the help of a mentor who could give me support at any time. 
Later on, one of my friends from my team at Le Wagon Brussels contacted me. He told me he wanted to launch the project we created during the last two weeks of the bootcamp back in 2015. The idea was a web app for tenants of the same building to interact with each other just like Slack is for employees of the same company. It was the first time I built a chat app so I added a new skill to my portfolio. We successfully launched Staircase to investigate the market potential and it worked! We reached 2000 users interacting with daily messages. This experiences as developers lasted one year in total and I moved on to entrepreneurship.

When did you start your entrepreneurial journey? And how was it?

By early 2017, the project Staircase was fully operational so I started investigating a new business path in dropshipping. I discovered many tools to sell products online such as Shopify or Facebook Ads and only two months later I started earning more selling online than with my current jobs. I chose to focus entirely on my dropshipping business : I quit my job, left my apartment, took a backpack and started traveling around the world while working on my laptop.

How did Le Wagon bootcamp help you develop your e-commerce business?

I realized that having multiple shops was the best way to generate revenues. But to do so, I created my own platform which was automating tasks. My business became so efficient that I came to the point where I had 400 different online stores. I could detect which products were working poorly or on the contrary, which products were a success. Even some of my friends asked me to use my platform for their own projects.
I then decided to move to branded products. I was looking to offer better quality products, higher standards of customer service and to build something with long-term value. I founded MTK Digital in Dubai, an e-commerce company which sells branded projects. It has its own customer-experience, logistics and marketing teams. I also hired a Le Wagon alumni to work on the software as a Developer.
My next challenge is growing the company by building more brands and acquiring brands to scale them using our expertise and tools. 

MTK Digital is looking for new talents!
Have a look at their
website or you can directly reach Michael at michael@mtkdigital.io

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