Meeting | When Dominique Busso, CEO of Forbes France, offers Flavien Neyertz, inventor of e-surfing, CEO of Cobalt, winner of 30 under 30, awarded by Forbes in 2021, to be one of our three ambassadors for the new Range Rover for this partnership, he immediately accepted the challenge. Interview
The challenges, Flavia knows them well. Extreme sports have been loved since childhood, he is also passionate about mechanics. As we walk around this impressive and beautiful SUV, it reveals a little more about him and his passions.
Flavien Neyertz: I am based in the Côte d’Azur, closest to the Mediterranean. My youth was divided between sports and studies. It is this combination that made me want to create my own business. The idea came to me while I was sailing on the boats of the family business’s customers and saw that I could offer the owners occupations related to the sea. That’s how I got the idea for the first motorized surfing, in 2010, while I was still taking my lessons. If the idea was interesting, it was much harder to put it into practice. Complicated logistics and after-sales service … It was not until 2018, by acquiring a technology company, that I was able to produce my own products. Cobalt was born, based in Monaco. E-surfs, fully electric, arrived in stiff arm. Pleasure and ease of use, respect for the environment, these non-polluting electric surfboards immediately found their customers.
You have also participated in competitions.
UN : I was actually twice world champion, in 2013 and 2014. It was first and foremost a “small” championship, with only 56 registered, out of the 180 who had adopted this discipline. It was very important for me to be a user of my products in competition, it could only strengthen my business.
Tell us why you agreed to test this new Range Rover and become an ambassador for this partnership?
UN : I have to admit I’m a big fan of the brand. When I did my first market research, I was looking for a vehicle that could both carry my rather large e-surfers and allow me to drive safely. My choice fell very quickly on the Range Rover, which combines all these qualities. It is also, and above all, a vehicle with a history, and which has been able to maintain its DNA, from one model to another for four generations and half a century of reign.
Flavia, how much beauty and elegance do you put into the choice of a vehicle, and how would you describe the design of the new model?
UN : Elegance, experienced quality, brand image, these values have driven my choices for a long time. For my part, I developed a partnership with Sébastien Jondeau, designer at Karl Lagerfeld, for limited editions of our surfboards. The first look at the product is important. As for the L460 model, it’s clear that everything in this latest Range Rover model is made to conquer the most demanding, starting with me! (laughs)
Passion is at the heart of my choices as an entrepreneur. It also lies in my life choices. And then in my car. That is what makes it possible to overcome barriers, no business without this value. To the word passion I will attach the word pleasure. For the “vision” side, I have my own motto: “Say for the best, be ready to receive the worst!” »
What appealed to you immediately when you first discovered it?
UN : This duality between the beautiful and the “solid”. A luxury adventurer to express my first impression. Already its appearance, its stature, its volumes, its design, the harmony of its proportions. With its 5,052 m (short chassis) it does not just be impressive, it is beautiful. We are already guessing that we will be comfortable in this room, and above all that we will be safe there.
What details are you most aware of when driving?
UN : Everything counts. There is, of course, the quality of the cabin. In this respect, the manufacturer’s choices are optimal, ranging from the standard version and even more to the SV finish. The multifunction steering wheel is heated, it’s great!
When you drive or e-surf, what are the sensations you are primarily looking for, and why?
UN : There are both many differences and many common features. The difference is mainly due to the freedom at sea. Of course it is necessary to respect others, but there is only the horizon as a limit and maybe also the autonomy of my e-surfers. In either case, once you have mastered your machine, you can draw parallels: the pleasure of driving, even of piloting, the attraction of power with its limits.
As an entrepreneur, what are, in order, the essential values that you retain in the choice of your vehicle, and how does this new Range Rover model respond to them?
UN : It’s a combination of all the benefits! However, I do not forget that it is the transported volume associated with its comfort that takes precedence over my business. Clearly, the embedded technology, active or passive, contributes to my choices. Especially in the area with respect for the environment, which is high on my mind. Therefore, the plug-in hybrid versions with their modernity and of course their reliability are likely to convince me.
You are a young entrepreneur when you are told passion, vision, behavior, what images emerge?
UN : Passion is at the heart of my choices as an entrepreneur. It also lies in my life choices. And then in my car. That is what makes it possible to overcome barriers, no business without this value. To the word passion I will attach the word pleasure. For the “vision” side, I have my own motto: “Say for the best, be ready to receive the worst!” It is very important not to be afraid of failure. “Driving” is similar to piloting for me. Take responsibility for your track, adapt to all situations … I make a clear difference between driving and being a driver. But above all, we are not alone on board!
To conclude, if you were to recommend this Range Rover to a friend, in what words could you then convince him?
UN : I wanted to tell him that with this vehicle he could travel to the end of the world, in peace, have fun and have the feeling that the world belongs to him, without borders, while respecting the environment. And we could even go out together! (laughs)
Thank you Flavien and good luck in your business … In a Range Rover, of course!
If you, like Flavien, want to test this new Range Rover model, go to the website www.landrover.fr
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