Sebastien Breteau was born in 1971 in Bordeaux.
After graduating from HEC Paris in 1997, Sebastien moved to Asia and started his career in the Safran group (formerly Sagem) in Hong Kong, where he developed his experience with the Asian markets and supply chains. He quickly started his entrepreneurial journey by setting the first operation to import Tamagotchi to France. He then created a company specializing in the design and export of promotional products and packaging, servicing large FMCG companies in Europe. The company expanded and opened offices in France, China, Bangladesh, the United Kingdom and Denmark and developed an internal need for supply chain quality control and supplier compliance.
Sebastien decided to focus on this new activity and launch it as a separate business entity – AsiaInspection – selling his initial company in 2006.
While working in the early 2000’s in the trade sector between Asia and Europe, Sebastien observed a number of specific challenges that Western companies, especially SMEs, face when trying to secure third-party audit services, with responsiveness and ease of access to service being the biggest issues. To address that gap in the market, Sebastien Breteau founded AsiaInspection in 2005 with the core concept of taking quality control online. Putting digital technology at the heart of the business model, with a web and mobile platform allowing clients from anywhere in the world to easily book, receive and manage inspections, supplier audits and lab testing reports came as a breakthrough in the industry.
AsiaInspection's innovation did not go unnoticed, as the company received the Best SME award from Christine Lagarde on behalf of the French Chamber of Commerce in 2006, and the 'E-Business of the Year' award from Alibaba in 2008.
In 2018, AsiaInspection became QIMA to better reflect the global coverage and the tech-enabled services the company provides.
Over the years, Sebastien has led QIMA through a number of successful joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, including a joint venture with Silliker, a Mérieux NutriScience company, to perform food inspections in Asia, and the acquisition of over 15 companies since 2015. Most recently, QIMA expanded its service offering, capabilities and footprint by acquiring NYCE, the leader in certification and testing to Mexican standards; Hansecontrol, a leading German consumer product testing provider; IBD, leading organic food certification auditing firm in Brazil; and Newtone, a French imagery technologies provider complementing the group’s Life Sciences division’s services.
In 2020, QIMA launched QIMAone, it SaaS platform for traceability and quality management in global supply chains.
Today, QIMA employs over 4,000 employees, including expert inspectors, auditors and laboratory engineers, and provides product inspections, supplier audits, laboratory tests and certification services in more than 85 countries. As the CEO, Sebastien strives to keep QIMA on the forefront of innovation with his bold vision and hands-on management attitude.
Sebastien Breteau is the founder of his own charity foundation, the Breteau Foundation, which aims to promote education in developing countries by providing digital education tools to underprivileged children worldwide. The Breteau Foundation operates in fifty schools in 7 countries (South Africa, Colombia, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Myanmar). As of 2021, its programs have served to empowered over 38,000 children.
Sebastien also established Rayoverde in 2019, as the largest European avocado farm in Andalusia, leveraging the latest organic farming and water saving technologies.
He is also an active investor and has invested in over 50 start-ups across all continents.
Sebastien Breteau regularly appears in the global media as an expert on global trade, manufacturing and quality control in consumer goods supply chains and economic issues in China.
QIMA Founder & CEO