LIFESTYLE - MONEY

My money

Jourdan Serderidis: “Starting from scratch”



Arhs Group founder Jourdan Serderidis is an accomplished rally driver, including being crowned World Champion in the WRC Trophy category in 2017. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

Arhs Group founder Jourdan Serderidis is an accomplished rally driver, including being crowned World Champion in the WRC Trophy category in 2017. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

Between driving his rally cars and his IT consultancy company Arhs Group, Jourdan Serderidis keeps the competitive spirit in mind.

Catherine Kurzawa: Do you have a principle about money?

Jourdan SerderidisJourdan Serderidis: It’s always good to have it, but it shouldn’t be a goal in itself.

What should be a goal in itself?

Being happy, having fun and feeling good about yourself.

In 2003 you invested in setting up your own company. Was it a good deal?

Financially speaking, it was the best possible idea. I invested almost all the money I had received from the sale of my shares in Cronos Technologies [editor’s note: a company created in 1999 and sold in 2002] and I don’t even know the current multiplier ratio. But it was really the right plan.

What is your worst investment?

I took over a football club in my region, in Yvoir [near Namur], for a while and it was a failure. It was the worst idea I ever had. Sometimes you learn more from defeats than from successes.

What did you learn?

That some people only work for money [laughs] and that respect and recognition are not natural for everyone. The football world is very volatile and extremely shallow.

Do you have any expensive passions?

Rallying: I got into it in 2012, when I met Sébastien Loeb a bit by chance, in Sweden. It’s not especially the expensive aspect that is interesting, but the sporting challenge and the complexity of discovering the world of this sport, which is very particular.

What makes it so special?

Rallying calls for various skills of reflexes, pure techniques, endurance, concentration and intelligence. It is a very complete sport and, when you discover it very late like me--I was 48--it requires you to give your best and to surpass yourself. You have the impression of living intensely, which is always good.

So you have rally cars?

Yes, I have a team with five cars, which are also available for hire. Sometimes I use them. Sometimes they are rented to other drivers.

Jourdan Serderidis, head of the Arhs Group, based in Belval, poses in front of his rally car. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

Jourdan Serderidis, head of the Arhs Group, based in Belval, poses in front of his rally car. Photo: Romain Gamba/Maison Moderne

In your view, to become rich, you have to...

I don’t think you have to think about it. Never in my life have I said to myself, ‘I’m going to be rich’. I started from scratch, even from negative. In college, I used to hitchhike home on Fridays. I remember painting the basement of a bar so I could pay my tab. But the recipe, I think, is to always give it your best shot. And, really, after that it just comes. I never looked at the salary I was getting as an employee. I never asked for a raise when I was an employee. Often it came by itself.

What can’t money buy?

"Charisma, fun and love. If you don’t have charisma, money won’t give you charisma. You either have fun or you don’t. And love is even more complicated.

You were awarded the World Rally Champion title in 2017, in the WRC Trophy category. Do you consider life to be a competition?

Life is not a competition, but I love competition. I feel that if there is no challenge, I fall asleep and die a bit. In business, I’m extremely competitive--maybe that’s also one of the reasons for success. I don’t compete to make money. I played football for a long time, I made money, but I wasn’t interested in that. What interested me was the beauty of competition: to excel.

Originally published in French by Paperjam and translated for Delano