Interview Valentin Surrel – Brasserie Marlentin

September 12, 2016

Tell us about yourself Valentin!

It's been 11 years now that I have entered the professional world, after finishing my studies at "l'INSA", in Rouen. I worked 3 years for Renault, before being hired by Wizzgo, a project I had always found awesome but that unfortunately only lasted 1 year. It is at this very moment that, with Martin Ottenwaelter and Jean-Daniel Guyot, we started to work on the basic headlines of what Captain Train was going to be. This crazy project, where we were basically a "Voyages-SNCF" competitor, kept us busy until lately, and Martin et myself recently left with Captain Train being sold to a British group, The Trainline.

What exactly is La Brasserie Marlentin

It's our brand new project (Martin & I). We wanted to let the numeric world behind us, and as for me, I personally desired to go back to the provinces. The idea took shape randomly, but grew faster and faster afterwards : we want to produce our own ecological beer, in the mountains. So we went on a training and began to seek a place to establish our business.  Our heart set on  la Chapelle-en-Vercors, a small village in the mountains, located right in the middle of the regional Park of Vercors. We bought a piece of land and filed a building licence; the works should start in a couple of weeks.

Martin Ottenwaelter

Valentin Surrel

What have you learned through your different projects?

A lot! And on a lot of subjects! If I had to select one of the things I've learned, I would chose that : don't be afraid. After our Captain Train adventure, we're trying a brand new market, almost without thinking, because Martin and I have never ever brewed beer. We just take our decision from the observation that if someone or another can make it, why not us? Wait and see, as they say!

How do you use Social Medias?

It's a primordial way of communicating between a company and its clients. We've always wanted, from our first day at Captain Train, to offer a perfect customer care management. This is possible through simple, quick and most importantly human exchanges. It needs to be written in the company's culture, and not just some "Social Washing". Being on Facebook for a business is not enough in order to be successful in customer care. You need to work on the tone and the responsiveness needed while working with these medias. In exchange, the company builds un strong trust relationship with the clients and benefits from them : it allows the company to always be able to question itself and to see if some improvements on the products/services provided are needed and are coherent.

Tell us about your counter! How do you know it and how do you use it?

I learned about the counter when its name was still "the Fliike". I afterwards saw it once in a bar in Paris. I find the concept really interesting, the counter being a link between two worlds : the digital world and the physical world. Its "SNCF looking" flaps stroke my heart! For our Brasserie Marlentin project, we wanted to spread the word about it locally. A simple panneau on the piece of land we bough would not be efficient enough, so we had the idea to make it more interactive. We tinkered the counter into the panel we were using. But without electricity, we needed to find on a solar panel, a regulator and a battery.  Talking about connection between the numeric world and the real one : you're now able to find a connected counter right in country, in the middle of nowhere! And that's a success, the whole south of Vercors  has heard about this solar panel counter...

Thanks for reading this article dealing with the adventure of Valentin & Martin !

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