Michel Rikir : Celebrating 40 years of success at Orthodyne

The remarkable journey of Michel Rikir at Orthodyne


Today, we put Michel Rikir on the spotlight, our Technical Director and R&D Manager and a true self-made man: A 40-year career at Orthodyne, which proves that technical curiosity, passion, and expertise can lead to a remarkable professional journey! Discover the recipe for his professional success, which has played a significant role in bringing Orthodyne to a leadership position in its industry…

We hope that he inspires all current and future colleagues at Orthodyne who will carry on the legacy. Congratulations, Michel Rikir!

1982: A journey that began when cell phones, the Internet and credit cards didn’t exist…

Michel Rikir : “In 1982, I started working at SPA MONOPOLE as a night maintenance technician. Eight months later, I joined VALFIL (Cockerill Group) as an electronic maintenance technician. However, I soon realized that large structures weren’t for me because of their complex and cumbersome hierarchies.

In 1983, when VALFIL was relocated to China, I decided to look for a job in a small company where I could contribute my ideas. So I joined Orthodyne, a small structure that had worked as a subcontractor for VALFIL. I started out as an electronic wiring technician. It wasn’t long before I was commissioning analyzers, first at Orthodyne, then around the world. Back in the day, cellphones, the Internet and bank cards didn’t exist, which made our trips real adventures! We’d often leave without knowing exactly when we’d be back.

Then I gradually climbed the ranks, holding various positions : Production Director, Sales Director and Technical and R&D Manager. After 20 years as Sales Director, I was appointed Vice-President of Orthodyne when the company was acquired by a Chinese shareholder. Fate had come full circle : I joined Orthodyne in 1983 when VALFIL was relocated to China and now I’m working for a Chinese shareholder!”

Orthodyne in a few words…

Michel Rikir : “It’s a human-sized company where you can develop both socially and technically. It’s also at the cutting edge of technology. Here, you can acquire and develop your knowledge, travel and turn your projects into reality. Every day is a new challenge, full of surprise and satisfaction! It’s also a family-oriented company where work-life balance is paramount. To be honest, my 40-year career has gone by very quickly!”

Evolving at Orthodyne is much more than a technical degree, it’s a state of mind…

Michel Rikir : “In my opinion, you have to remain constantly alert to technical developments. That means keeping abreast of new technologies, reading up on them regularly and not being afraid to learn new things. Keeping an open mind and regularly exchanging ideas with engineers from other technological sectors are also essential to stay at the cutting edge of your field.”

Michel Rikir is now Vice-President, thanks to…

Michel Rikir : “I believe it’s my ability to adapt to any situation, whether technical, financial, administrative or managerial. I think I’m lucky enough to be a versatile person, who listens, analyzes and decides when necessary for the good of the company. What’s more, I’m a fighter who always looks towards the future and tries to take the positive out of every experience, whether good or bad.”

Not only an analytical and technological vision that has enabled Orthodyne to become what it is…but also values passed on to its children and a family pride…

Michel Rikir : “My greatest source of pride is on a family level. I’ve been able to show my children that the education my wife and I gave them was right, that when you work hard and put your heart and soul into something, your efforts will eventually be rewarded. This often means going through pleasant times, but also more challenging ones.

But you always have to believe in yourself and your ideas.

On the other hand, one of my proudest achievements is to have been able to show that my analytical and technological visions have allowed the company to grow and develop. Now, it does occupy one of the most important positions in the industrial analysis market thanks to gas chromatography.

Nothing can be taken for granted, and we must constantly reassess ourselves :  Every day is a new adventure.”

Moving forward isn’t always a smooth ride, but we must find ways to overcome our own challenges…

Michel Rikir : “Every step of my career has required a huge investment of time and energy to meet their demands. It has been an ongoing challenge to balance family and work life during which I traveled frequently around the world.

This challenge would never have been possible without the support of my wife and children. They are also the ones to whom I owe my professional success. I’ve never stopped questioning my choices and ideas to adapt to a world that is constantly moving and changing.”

A fulfilling job from a technological perspective, amazing human connections, and still the same joy for Michel Rikir after 40 years at Orthodyne…

Michel Rikir : “I’m lucky enough to have an exciting job, both on a technical level and on a managerial level. I also get to meet a lot of people from different cultures during my travels. My work is very enriching and diverse, which is why, after 40 years, I still come to work every morning in a good mood and with pleasure!”

Orthodyne will soon be a century old, and yet it’s still at the forefront of innovation, with expertise recognized all over the world, what’s its secret ?

Michel Rikir : “Orthodyne’s strength lies in the fact that, all over these years, we’ve acquired an experience that few companies have. How did we achieve this ? It’s thanks to the staff who remain loyal to Orthodyne and pass down their values, knowledge and the company’s philosophy to the next generations. I acquired mine thanks to the Orthodyne elders who have shared their knowledge and their wise. And today, I’m doing exactly the same with the new engineers who will eventually succeed me. It’s this philosophy that allows Orthodyne to celebrate its 100th anniversary and to look forward to many more years to come!”

According to Michel Rikir, Orthodyne tomorrow is…?

Michel Rikir : “Orthodyne tomorrow is a company that is expert, innovative, professional and, above all, customer-centric, with a business philosophy based on customer satisfaction.”

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