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Prolival chooses Villeneuve d'Ascq for its first regional site

Prolival, a digital services company, has been based in Villeneuve d’Ascq since July 2023. Boosted by its growing ambitions, the company plans to significantly expand its team, with over 80 recruitments planned over 3 years, helping to reinforce Lille’s status as a major digital hub in France!

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For three decades, Prolival has stood out in the digital sector thanks to a diversified range of services, encompassing the design, operation, hosting and security of IT infrastructures for numerous companies.

This portfolio of offerings has enabled the company to post sales of over €32 million in 2022, marking a 14% growth rate and doubling in size in ten years.

In addition to its economic performance, Prolival is firmly committed to a sustainable approach. This commitment is reflected in the company’s Ecovadis certification, which testifies to its ongoing commitment to its customers and employees.

Based in Colombes (92) with a workforce of 340 employees, 90% of whom are on permanent contracts, the company was previously organized between its main service center and its customers’ sites.

The challenges of this new site

Prolival’s corporate culture is characterized by a focus on nurturing talent. This strategic orientation prioritizes the identification, acquisition and promotion of young graduates, guiding them towards roles of high responsibility.

While the Paris region, the company’s historical birthplace, offers a substantial reservoir of opportunities, it also poses major challenges, particularly in terms of quality of life for its employees. Indeed, high real estate costs and long commuting times take their toll. “Our employees are happy to be at Prolival, but some find it difficult to continue with us, and understandably so! When you’re commuting up to 3 hours each way a day, it can be hard to keep up even with a few days of telecommuting. The challenge was therefore to “perpetuate our employment model for young graduates by providing a concrete response to the difficulties associated with working in the Paris region”, says Pascal Combe, Associate Director of Prolival.

Added to this is the fierce competition for IT profiles in the Paris region, and the quest to optimize costs, particularly real estate costs, which are very high in the Ile-de-France region.

This combination of factors is a powerful incentive for Prolival to explore new horizons, in a resolutely forward-looking approach.

The Lille metropolitan area is the unanimous choice

At the end of 2022, Prolival set up a working group made up of representatives from all areas of the company to study together the best option for this new location. This collective reflection is based on various key criteria such as :

  • Geographical proximity to Paris, to facilitate inter-team exchanges.
  • The presence of top-quality higher education establishments, training highly qualified profiles.
  • Regional business development opportunities.
  • Support for location by local structures

Several possible locations were studied, including Rouen, Orléans, Reims and Lille. The capital of Flanders quickly stood out for its proximity to Paris and the quality of its higher education.

In addition, analysis of the local market revealed an interesting business development opportunity, with the presence of numerous regional ETIs and family-owned groups ready to collaborate with local service providers.

Last but not least, the Lille metropolis, with rents far more affordable than in the Paris region, appears to be an appropriate response to the issue of life balance for young graduates.

A fast-growing ESN

After narrowing down its selection to Lille and Rouen, Prolival finally opted for Lille, thanks to the decisive support of the Hello Lille and Nord France Invest agencies. The warm welcome and interest shown in the Lille ecosystem were decisive factors for the company.

The Hello Lille and Nord France Invest teams set up fruitful collaborations with local employment agencies such as Pôle Emploi, APEC and local missions.

At the same time, the Invest team guided Prolival in the selection of suitable premises and the preparation of grant applications. This support enabled Prolival to open its new center on July 24, 2023, thus meeting its ambitious timetable.

Villeneuve d'Ascq site

Located at the entrance to the Parc de la Haute Borne, Prolival’s new service center marks an important milestone in its development. The location was chosen taking into account various crucial factors such as security, easy access at all hours and proximity to public transport, making life easier for the teams who operate 24/7, 365 days a year.

The new center covers an area of 1,000 m², with a clear vision of progressive growth: 30 employees by the end of 2023, 50 by the end of 2024 and a target of 80 within three years.

The Hello Lille touch 

The Invest team was able to help Prolival introduce itself to the local ecosystem, assist with the property search and prepare grant applications.