It is time to discover a new member of the Horse Pilot Team. Today, it is Charles’ turn, International Digital Manager at Horse Pilot, to answer our questions.
Hello, I’m Charles, still in my forties, I’m married and father of 2 children (a little girl of 2 and a big boy of 7). From Nantes, I have been living in the beautiful city of Marseille for 4 years. But before arriving here, I lived many years abroad, in Morocco (Casablanca & Rabat) and in Canada (Toronto/Ontario). I come from the world of Architecture, in which I quickly developed an interest in 3D modeling. I had my first email address in 1995 in the very first “cybercafé” in Nantes (!) But it’s around the end of the 90’s that I turned completely to digital, we felt that Internet was going to revolutionize our way of life, but how? My curiosity was at its peak. No specific training existed at that time, so I first learned by myself and then I trained with the best by working in multinationals like Microsoft as well as in other consulting structures for large accounts and very nice start-ups.
Your professional experiences
My most significant professional experiences have always been the result of human interactions. And this, whatever the scale of the company in which I worked. It is the foundation of successful companies. Whether it is the Microsoft team with which I have always had a lot of affinity, I have always kept excellent relationships with the companies where I have worked. Some experiences were particularly striking, such as those within the Moroccan Government Ministries where we had to carry out a quality audit on the entire ministerial portfolio (the new Prime Minister at the time had asked himself the question: what is the quality of the ministerial sites? So we audited 68 sites, met all the teams, attacked their servers and trained more than 450 people to accompany them in the mutualization of their online services). Or even under the aegis of USAID to accompany the Ministry of Industry, Trade, Investment and Digital Economy in its e-commerce projects. On another note, designing and developing SEO visibility for several start-ups such as Wondereur, which promoted contemporary artists in the heart of the Toronto ISC, was an unforgettable experience. But what naturally led me to join Horse Pilot, it is my connection to the horses: I had the chance to bathe in the world of the horse since always. This passion was passed on by my father who was interested in a large panel of equestrian practices: in ballade, during horse shows, in hunting but also by the driving; so we can say that this world is really part of my culture. For my part, it is especially in the equestrian vaulting that I could evolve until being classified champion of France by team in 1984. My experience as a rider allows me to better seize the subtleties of the public/customers targeted by Horse Pilot.
Your role at Horse Pilot
As Digital Manager, I write and support the company’s growth online, and this, in an international perspective. My responsibilities cover the entire digital sphere: from infrastructure performance to the quality of website hosting, from understanding our users’ data to the webmarketing aspect in order to give visibility to our products on new markets and to improve the user experience. An important part of my job is to consolidate the brand in our main markets, but also to bring it to territories where it is still not well known, to develop our acquisition. And there we are on a two number growth that would make other brands pale in comparison… I also coordinate the technical development of all our tools for publication to make the Horse Pilot website more attractive, pleasant, practical and functional for our clients. This, in order to make your customer experience the most successful possible, from the research to the purchase of your favorite products! My scope of work is very broad! And I love it every day… By the way, if you are a front & back web developer and if the challenges motivate you, please contact our HR board, we are looking for candidates!
Your relationship to horseback riding
I grew up in this world full of the smell of straw, hay, dung, the “Sapo” with which we maintain the hides and the sound of grains like barley or oats at the bottom of the bucket. Horses have always been present in my family. Since my great-uncle Marcel who founded the horse clubs of the Salantine and the Gourmette in Nantes ; my father put us very early in the stirrup and I thank him infinitely because this is not forgotten! “Good horse judges its rider”. And I practiced this sport with all types of horses: from shetlands, to double ponies, through French saddles, to ‘trottous’ and Norman cobs as well as Connemaras. They are always present in my mind: Ultra-chic, Moses, Mangalore, Nord-Eclair, Marguerite, Jimmy… naming them brings back so many good memories. Like Luron and Laridon, two pottoks that we had very young before their how to break in ; (a sport in its own right…) one remained completely wild, while the other one became French champion of jumping!
Your passion for sports
I did a lot of sports when I was a young: horseback riding of course, but acrobatics took up a lot of my time: three training sessions a week plus performances on weekends. But also skiing, tennis, fencing, diving, parachute jumping and a bit of boating with friends. Now, I have put horseback riding aside and focus on swimming which I practice once or twice a week. I will certainly come back to it with my little kids.
Your favorite Horse Pilot outfit
Among my favorite Horse Pilot products, there is the Integral jacket because it has a technical cut adapted to riders and the length protects well the thighs. It is a clothes that has a real personality, with a typical horseman style because of its shape, and that adapts perfectly to the practice of motorcycle because of the similar posture. Then, my second favorite is the light down jacket Softlight: it is also optimal for 2 wheels rides, because I can put it on top of my motorcycle protection jacket without being bothered by the back protection, elbow pads and shoulder pads. I also love the super light and ventilated Storm jacket for the mid-season (a must-have for skiing!).
Your inspiring quote
I have so many in my head that it is hard to choose just one “equestrian quote”. “Learn to listen to what your horse whispers in your ear” or “Riding is the only individual sport where you have to be two and be one” but if I had to pick one it would be this one: “the only reason for an obstacle to exist is to be overcome”.
Your favorite sounds
Music is very present in my daily life. Aficionado of the radio FIP or radio Grenouille, I can also recharge my batteries and escape thanks to jazz and groovy keyboard music: I “piano” and have a blast on Fender Rhodes / Hammond keyboards… fonky!
My selection on the Horse Pilot Spotify account:
- Osez Joséphine – Alain Bashung
- Praise You – Fat boy Slim
- Nightcall – Kavinsky
- L’hôtel particulier “Melody Nelson” – Serge Gainsbourg
- Get lucky – Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams & Nile Rogers
Many thanks to Charles for this interview. A new presentation is coming soon. 😊