Sophie Pinsard Khalef

Category manager

Internal mobility is a key driver of employee development and is deeply rooted in the Manutan Group’s DNA. Sophie Pinsard Khalef, category manager at Pichon, talks about her transfer from the Manutan group headquarters to the subsidiary Papeteries Pichon, which specialises in the distribution of school supplies and educational equipment in France.

What has your journey at Manutan been like?

I joined Manutan at the Gonesse headquarters as Group product manager for absorbents and PPE (personal protective equipment) in 2015. In particular, I developed the product range for Ikasorb, our own brand of absorbents, in synergy with Ikaros, our subsidiary that specialises in environmental protection products in Sweden and Finland. I then moved into the role of category manager for the ‘Safety’ product family.

In 2020, I wanted to be closer to the Lyon region for personal reasons, but I wasn’t prepared to leave Manutan! When a category manager position opened at Papeteries Pichon, one of the Group’s subsidiaries located in Veauche (a town neighbouring Lyon), I seized my opportunity. Today, I’m in charge of the ‘Creative leisure’ product family and I also work on cross-functional projects concerning the inclusive school and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

What do you like in the work environment?

I’ve found the same goodwill and friendliness at Pichon as at the Group headquarters. Here’s a short anecdote: for a year and a half, I only saw my new colleagues online or while wearing a mask, because of the pandemic. Today, we’re delighted to be able to organise regular activities to get to know each other better. For example, every Monday morning, we hold a team meeting on site then we go out to eat together. We organise teleworking days bearing these weekly get-togethers in mind. 

Which values are particularly important to you?

Customers and Entrepreneurship because I’m very customer-focused in how I work and the decisions I make. This is a category manager’s purpose. At Papeteries Pichon, we have three main customers: children, teaching representatives, and town halls. I always have these three stakeholders in mind to select the best products! 

What advice would you give to an applicant on how to find fulfilment at Manutan?

Be yourself! At Manutan, you find people from all backgrounds, with very different profiles, and that’s our strength. At the end of the day, open-mindedness and keen entrepreneurship bring us closer together. 

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