Rémi, creator of French Toast in Singapore

Rémi Malachin is the creator of French Toast, a young singaporean company specialized in the teaching of French language. Rémi arrived in Singapore in 2008 to work as an architect. Since then, he has sucessfully converted himself in a new profession. Portrait of an entrepreneur full of ideas, engaged in promoting French and turning it's learning into a pleasure.

Rémi Malachin was in no way predestined to open a French learning school. When he arrived in Singapore, in January 2008, it was to work as an architect, a logical move after his studies in this field in Nancy. But in Singapore, his career path has switched rapidly: He met his wife, founded a family and eventually stepped back from a field of expertise where he didn't find enough perspectives. He once contemplated the idea of creating is own architect firm, but such a project was far from being family compatible. While realizing freelance missions as a designer, he started to give French private courses. He soon found it very attractive and his teacher schedule filled in rapidly. In 2010, he decided to make the big jump and created French Toast, a Training center exclusively dedicated to French Language.

Learning French must be fun

For Rémi, it is essential that people learning French do consider it a pleasure: « 90% of our students are studying French for themselves, sometimes because they are interested by French Culture, sometimes because they are preparing a trip or planning to study in France, sometimes because they have french speaking friends or they have fallen in love for a french speaking person». The name of the school, French Toast, and it's logo, a toast painted with the 3 colours of the French flag, are representative of the very environment Rémi Malachin strives to create: « a comfortable and convivial environment that is also a place to have discussions and talk about French life; Interactive teaching methods that are spurring the envy to learn and practice.»

The students are apparently appreciating the concept. Their number is increasing sharply. When the school opened, in January 2011, there was just 1 group of 11 students. In August 2011, the number of groups had jumped to 15, with more than 200 students of 25 nationalities. As the original premises had rapidly become too small, French Toast has recently relocated in a new space.

What is the link between architecture and French teaching ?

"As curious as it may seem, I have the feeling that, in some way, my studies in Architecture did prepare me adequately to switch from one way to be creative to another, and become an entrepreneur. If you exclude the contents which were specifically linked to architecture, the training I received was focused on project management and the multiple ways to change perspective, a must when you are designing interior maps. Those skills have been very helpful to run a company».« the creation of a school, represents a lot of work; I have done everything from A to Z, from the early selection of the best teaching methods to the development of an integrated management tool, the recruitment of french teachers and the interior decoration of the building ».

Extending to Asia

Rémi never runs short of new projects and ideas. He is currently working on a fidelity card that would provide his students with a bunch of services and products from a restricted number of partners, and an additional way to envisage France. He is also exploring new channels of communication to promote French Toast, for example using Groupon. For the future, he is thinking of new openings in Singapore and maybe of further developments in the region through franchising.

 

► FrenchToast website:

 

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