NatéoSanté is not your average business: it is above all a human adventure at the crossroads of two societal issues: environmental preservation and health for all. The story of our director’s approach and that of each team member makes it clear that the sincerity of social commitment can go hand in hand with the economic equilibrium of a company. The dream of imagining a new kind of company.
Contributing to indoor air quality since 2009 and located in Saint Hilaire de Chaléons, between Nantes and Pornic, we believe that everyone, in their homes, their businesses and their cities, should be able to breathe air as pure as the ocean breeze for a better life! Let’s take a look back through our company’s history.
Tuning in to the invisible…
NatéoSanté’s story began with one man. In 2007, Thierry Ricci suffered from chronic allergies and had difficulty breathing. The medicines offered to ease his discomfort did not agree with him, being aggressive and rife with side effects. Dissatisfied with this, Thierry Ricci visited the United States and China for inspiration. With the discovery of the existence of air purifiers, he realised that his health reflected the quality of the air he was breathing. This invisible but essential element was at the root of his health problems. By acting on the air pollution around him, he would cure not only his own respiratory ailments but perhaps those of other sensitive people as well.
With this new inspiration, Thierry Ricci designed his first air purifier in 2009, drawing on his skills as an electronics engineer. “There were already machines advertised as air purifiers, but they used chemicals to clean the air. It’s nonsensical, and I didn’t want to repeat it”, the director explains. The objective was to look at the topic of air quality from a different angle. An air purifier often responds to the discomfort of a person who is suffering. It was obvious to Thierry Ricci that beyond providing a technical solution, the important thing was to be able to provide a performance guarantee to the person who entrusted him with their health. What a responsibility! An air purifier that doesn’t pollute and ensures healthy air instead of just improving air quality—this was the challenge. After several months of research and development, the entrepreneur launched the company’s very first website, then called “Habitat Confort Santé” (Home Health Comfort), to offer the first indoor air purifiers guaranteeing total harmlessness, a revolution on the market. In the first year, the enthusiasm generated confirmed Thierry Ricci’s belief. His product was the answer to real suffering and air quality was a health issue that needed to be more fully considered.
From the heart of the home to the heart of the company
As applications continued to flow in and the first employees joined the company, a phone call from the East heralded a new stage of growth in 2013. In China, expatriates working for a French car manufacturer in the Shanghai region were worried about their family’s health and had heard about Habitat Confort Santé’s indoor air purifiers. After privately ordering their air purifiers, the company’s Occupational Health Department then caught wind of the health benefits. The shift from private individuals to professionals—from B2C to B2B—began.
The other competing French car manufacturer was also interested in air purifiers and placed a large order. “In order to convince the Global Purchasing Director to choose us over a historic player in air pollution control, I personally committed to ensuring that the employees were satisfied. I visited the teams on site to meet them and measure the performance of our purifiers myself”, says Thierry Ricci.
Listening to concerns, overcoming uncertainty
Working for professionals requires a phenomenal change of scale. The teams had to be strengthened due to the scope of the challenge. The name of the company was changed to ‘NatéoSanté’. ‘Nat‘ stands for “Nature”, as we want to produce our air purifiers in the most eco-friendly manner. Then, ‘éo‘ stands for “Aeolus”, the divine keeper of the winds in ancient Greek mythology. ‘Santé‘ means health in English. Health is understandably a cause for concern. The promise that has to be kept is to provide quality air purification, with performances that can be measured by clear and quantified results—an innovation on the market. “Each user must be able to ensure, at home or at work, that the environment is healthy and its occupants are protected”, explains Thierry Ricci.
The fierce conviction to design a product with social value brought together key skills, got partners involved in the project and removed technological barriers. And so, the Eolis Air Manager adventure began! Every aspect of the product had to be consistent with the company’s values: design, eco-design, French manufacturing, performance, etc. At the same time, from 2017 to 2018, new professional concerns were taken into account by the teams as they discovered a new professional environment each month. The business specifics did not easily translate into industrial logic!
Close ranks, play as a team and aim high
In 2019, the B2B switch-over occurred and ambitions were combined internationally in Romania, Senegal, India and beyond. Internally, all NatéoSanté employees are driven by the same conviction to act for the health of everyone and to change the status quo. “You don’t come looking for a job, you come to join a mission”. Each team member is imbued with this commitment and the sincerity of the NatéoSanté approach.