Usually, when 5 college students meet after class, they’ll maybe toss back a few drinks, crash a party, dance away the stresses of university life.
But, not the trailblazers of this story. Years ago, they sat ruminating on something big. So big, it broke through the boundaries of their small hometown. So big, that after more than 2 decades, the building blocks they laid continue to break business boundaries all over the world.
And, so began the story of the Pentalog Empire at its headquarters – Pentalog Orléans.
This article is the fourth installment in a series of articles recounting my visits to all Pentalog centers. You can read the first 3 installments here (…and don’t forget to stay tuned for the next!):
- Pentalog Cluj: the Untold Story of the Kitchen Groupies
- Pentalog Chișinău: a World Full of Bucuria
- Pentalog Brașov: Born to Ride!
1. First Impressions
Stepping into Pentalog headquarters, at first glance, you might find yourself visually frozen in time – as I was. But, against the backdrop of a 15th century architectural masterpiece is a group of minds working diligently to help forge their own chunk of technology’s future.
It’s this juxtaposition of history and hereafter that makes Pentalog Orléans special.
Before the wave of sprightly steps and warm greetings washed over the agency, I got to take it all in – the Château des Hauts, in all its morning glory. Ready to start my first day of remote work, I sat my coffee mug on a surely hundreds of years old stone chimney, with over a dozen thoughts colliding with one another in my head.
Where’s the elevator? Castles don’t have elevators?
Is that a fireplace in that office? And, it’s marble!
Is that a forest in the backyard? Are those tomatoes and cabbage and pumpkins growing there?
How can one building have THAT many doors?! Should I check them all at night?
2. From Dorm Rooms to UNESCO Sites
Pentalog’s humble beginnings date back over 25 years before the story of this article. Our 5 founders, living out their days in dorm rooms, dared to dream up a different kind of tech company – despite the roadblocks that might have sprung from their lack of overall business experience in an already very-well-operated industry.
None of that mattered. Soon enough, they built a small, but solid customer database and an outsourcing strategy that allowed them to open a handful of IT delivery centers. First in Romania, then Moldova – and later in Asia and Latin America. And, this is only the beginning.
Years went by, business blossomed, and soon Pentalog’s founders were faced with taking the next step any successful company would on their 20th anniversary – buying a castle on the Loire Valley, of course.
Yes, you read that right. A château.
Just in case you’re curious about this particular kind of purchase, you can Google it like I did. It looks more common these days to buy a railway …or even a rainforest than a castle.
I tried to picture Pentalog’s CEO, Frédéric, explaining this purchase – an entire castle – in a similar way to a certain popular Matt Damon film.
You bought a zoo???
Well, actually I bought a house, but it came with a zoo.
The Pentalog version:
You bought a castle?!
Well, actually I bought some offices, but they came with a castle.
This purchase was, by no means, happenstance. But, rather a strategic, thought-out investment for the company’s present and future. Buying a 15th century castle, going through the blood, sweat & tears involved in its restoration, making it the emblem of the Pentalog empire. This was all to build a special work environment for the minds who spin the wheels of this machine. (And, maybe dazzle some clients on the way.)
The success of the company nucleus, continuous engagement of employees and collaborators proves that this acquisition, as random as Google thinks it is – was a top dog move.
3. Life among the Orléanaise
Spending my work days at Pentalog Orléans was more than just walking the halls of the story I’m writing now. The Château des Hauts is home to where it all started.
I was prepared to be hard-pressed to find someone who could lend me, the all-too-eager observer/interviewer a few minutes of their time. After all, I saw for myself what their jam-packed schedules looked like. But, I was lucky enough to share chats over coffee and meals with these minds.
Experts, who could seamlessly switch from a heated debate about the superiority of Angular over React for their current project – to how much more they prefer the fruitful acidity of their own region’s Chinon wine over anything you can find in Bordeaux.
They covered me in warm conversation, smiles, joie de vivre, and kisses – myriads of kisses on one cheek then the other, on one cheek and the other.
Pentalog Orléans has an amazing story to share, and I was more than happy to play messenger. When you draw the line, it’s not about the castle or the investments or humblebrags. It’s about talented people – connected by a vision who’ve been working together for 10, 15, 20 years now and still share similar goals – even in this dynamic industry. No money can beat that.
So – yes, Honey. We really bought a castle and we’re proud of it.
But, the real treasure was not to be found in old towers, hidden rooms or passages.
WE bring it – the awesome people of Pentalog Orléans!