Carl Viel: Endeavoring to Empower QUEBEC City’s Economic Development with QUEBEC International

A visionary leader focused on producing realistic goals, creating ways to efficiently achieve and often exceed those goals, and producing results, Carl Viel leads Québec International in the key position of President and CEO.

Passionate, innovative, growth-focused and result oriented business leader, Carl Viel has navigated through a two-decade journey in the private sector, holding managerial positions in various companies and then in various economic organizations, including as vice-president of Montreal International and general manager of Montreal InVivo, prior to joining Québec International as CEO in 2008. In parallel with his work at Quebec International, Mr Viel is involved with various committees and charitable organizations.

The Laval University and MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) alumnus is passionate and determined at accomplishing the work with excellence and having a long-sighted vision. Originally from Quebec City, Carl Viel received his bachelor’s degree in economics and a corporate governance certificate besides, he also completed training programs in entrepreneurship (MIT), leadership (NTL Institute) and coaching (Niagara Institute).

A GLIMPSE OF QUÉBEC INTERNATIONAL

The Economic Development Agency was founded in 2003. It is devoted to helping companies in the Quebec City metropolitan region develop and maintain a competitive edge on international markets.

In September 2010, the journey took a new turn when Fernand Labrie, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Carl Viel, President and CEO unveiled the new identity of the economic development agency for the metropolitan region of Quebec in attendance the Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Capitale- Nationale region, Mr Sam Hamad. Thus, PÔLE Québec Chaudière-Appalaches became Québec International. This change marks a major step for the organization, which is strengthening its mission on the international scene with the aim of promoting regional know-how and attracting talents and investments.

Speaking of Québec International’s success, Carl Viel apprises, “our mission is to support the Québec City region’s economic development and national and international standing. Our team works every day with many partners and stakeholders from around the world to support entrepreneurs, professionals and investors.
We are used to removing obstacles and providing guidance for growth, every step of the way! The vision of the organization is to unify the Québec City region’s economic development, facilitate business growth and accelerate business successes in Quebec, Canada and abroad.”

To achieve their vision and mission, the agency focuses its priorities and actions around a few main axes that also define their mandates:

  • Attracting and retaining international workers and students
  • Attracting foreign investments and international entrepreneurs
  • Supporting exports, commercialization and innovation
  • Fostering high-tech entrepreneurship
  • Fostering the development of key clusters
  • Fostering the development of key clusters

Québec International can count on the support of early partners including Quebec City and the governments of Quebec and Canada. In addition, the organization also enters into agreements with private partners and international organizations.

Every business journey has hurdles, Québec International wasn’t an exception. When he took office, the CEO of the Agency also faced several challenges on his road to success. Initially, Carl focused on three important elements, retention of the workforce, as the organization had high staff turnover, there was work to be done on branding and awareness of the Agency (a confusion related to the name), and above all, it was necessary to ensure the financing of the organization.

SERVICE PORTFOLIO

Québec International is committed to providing entrepreneurs and professionals with unmatched agility, reliability and networking. With their innovative services, the team enables them to identify the right course of action, find the right partners and access precise and relevant business information. It’s a simple way to avoid unnecessary steps, minimize risk and seize new opportunities.

The company provides a variety of services to give you all the help you need, regardless of what project you have in mind. Take advantage of the Québec International edge.

Consulting services and support

Do you have specific questions? Are you looking for a financial, technological or business partner? The team has the information and the contacts you need. Let the proficient business advisors and network of experts support you.

International missions

Would you like to establish business partnerships, meet potential clients or recruit workers elsewhere in the world? Québec’s trade and recruitment missions will help you accomplish your goals. Training, conferences and exchange circles: Do you want to develop your skills? Looking to be inspired by best practices or your peers? Participate in Québec’s activities to learn, exchange and understand. Because your know-how is your most valuable asset.

Networking activities

Are you looking for a technological partner, employee, supplier or customer? Participate in the networking activities that involve local businesses, research centres, foreign delegations, outsourcers and other professionals.

THE SECRET OF PHENOMENAL SUCCESS- AIMING THE RIGHT OPPORTUNITY

QI’s strategic planning is a tool that aims to guide the actions of the agency over the years in order to make it even more relevant, unifying and effective, while building on its strengths. For example, in the context of the last strategic planning, in addition to a comparative study with local and international actors and an analysis of partners’ priorities, internal and external consultations were carried out. In total, 140 people from the public and private sectors met to share their visions, goals and needs to ensure the success of the region. Taking into account the issues raised by companies, as well as the current strengths and weaknesses of the agency, Québec International has strengthened its mission and adopted a renewed vision.

Likewise, four major strategic axes have been determined in order to achieve this mission and vision of Québec International:

Attract and retain : Talents: Increase our ability to attract talent that meets business needs
Foreign investments: Attract more investments helping to strengthen the region’s
business ecosystem.

Guide: Support entrepreneurs, managers and their teams in the start-up, growth and transformation of their business and the success of their business project.

Shine: Highlight the economic dynamism of the region, the achievements of its companies and the extent of our service offer.

Support excellence: Set up initiatives promoting collaboration, performance and well-being at work.

It is these orientations that will guide the actions of Québec International over the next years in order to improve its service offering, and to continue its work for the economic development of the region. Based on a three-year strategic plan, the business plan includes business line goals.

CARL’S THOUGHTS ON ESTABLISHING A MORE BALANCED AND EQUAL INDUSTRY

There is always room for improvement. It is important to surround yourself well and to be able to count on your employees. Respect and trust, ethics and transparency, fairness, etc. are elements that the entrepreneur cannot ignore. The last year has taught several business leaders that teleworking is productive and beneficial for the quality of life of staff. You have to be at the forefront and not hesitate to stay ahead of trends. Going from idea to action and innovating is easier when we work together. Having a good network to support us is essential.

A DAY IN CARL’S LIFE & HIS HOBBIES

While talking about his daily routine, Mr Viel shared, “I start my day with a walk and end it in the same and complete ten to fifteen kilometers per day. It allows me to relax but also to reflect on various current projects. Afterwards I take an interest in the news of the day by doing a tour of the main media. During the day I participate in various meetings and activities with partners, companies, government representatives, and the QI team, etc. which are part of our mission. I end my day by reading and following up on emails. I like to travel, discover good wines, horticulture, and cycle.”

THE QUÉBEC CITY

In Québec City, you’ll find a culture of cooperation like nowhere else. It is a tightly knit community bound together by a strong network of social and economic ties. Driven by a strong sense of pride and a thirst for innovations that will further add to its wealth of achievements, Québec is a city where people work together. Strength is not always in numbers. Here, it is by joining forces and fully embracing our shared goals that we succeed in rising above the fray.

Carl Viel and his team have succeeded in industrializing knowledge. Using the numerous research laboratories at Université Laval and the government, researchers were encouraged to develop innovative and dynamic businesses.

MILESTONES & ACHIEVEMENTS

For the 14th year in a row, Québec International was once again listed as one of the top Canadian economic development groups by American magazine Site Selection as part of its annual Canada’s Best Locations 2020 list. It is the only Canadian agency to make the list for such a long uninterrupted period. In 2020, the Agency received 5 awards and distinctions in recognition of the quality of our business environment By decree of the President of the French Republic dated September 23, 2020, Mr Viel was appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the National Order of Merit of the French Republic.

FAVOURITE BOOKS

  • Startup Communities by Brad Feld
  • The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time by Verne Harnish and the editors of Fortune Foreword by Jim Collins

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