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Here, we interview our new CEO, Ludovic Troyes – who has recently joined the company, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the automotive industry.

Where did you work prior to joining Opteven?

I have spent my whole professional life in the automotive industry, in many different roles for the Renault Group. I started out in 1992, as a graduate in Warsaw. There I helped to build a new national sales company for Renault before moving to the South of France to sell used cars in a dealership.

Since then, I have had the opportunity to work in a dozen different sales and marketing roles for Renault in France, South Korea and Poland. In 2019 I had the opportunity to move to the UK as Managing Director of Renault Retail Group, where I was responsible for 17 branches and 900 colleagues.

How did you become CEO and what made you want to join Opteven?

It was pure chance. I unexpectedly met Jean Matthieu Biseau, the CEO of Opteven, and he was looking for someone that had experience of the UK retail market and an understanding of both the French and English cultures, to take over in the role. It seemed the perfect fit for me. The company’s ambitious growth strategy and its dedicated team made the decision a no brainer as far as I was concerned.

What was your first goal when you joined the company?

I wanted to really absorb myself in the company and its culture. That meant time with the teams in Thame and Birchwood, as well as visiting the company headquarters in Lyon. Since then, it’s been all about gaining a full understanding of the three different business areas that make up Opteven UK: the retail sales of mechanical breakdown warranties, the corporate sales through our partnership with Volkswagen Group, and the roadside assistance aspect with the RAC, Green Flag and others.

What new innovations in the automotive industry excite you most??

Without a doubt it would be the widespread electrification taking place across the industry. I’ve driven EVs for the last three years whilst living in London and in that kind of environment they make so much sense. I’m excited to see how emerging manufacturers, the role of battery recycling, new mobility schemes and all the other challenges of this new technology will shape the industry, as well as how EVs will shape the geopolitical challenges faced by the world in the coming years.

What do you see as Opteven’s biggest strength?

I think Opteven has two primary strengths. The first is the high quality of service we offer. This is thanks to the skillset of our staff and the excellent organisation of the claims management process.

The second is the level of support we get from being part of a pan-European company, which takes learnings from different countries and invests heavily in R&D to improve and streamline our services and processes.

What are you most looking forward to developing at Opteven?

We are currently working on a project that aims to integrate the front end of our offering with our Carflex system, an integral part of our claims management process that keeps a clear list of each element of a vehicle and whether it is covered by a warranty product. This integration will bring much more flexibility than any of our previous offerings, allowing our customers to create a bespoke warranty package to suit their needs.

What is the biggest challenge the company faces at the moment?

All retail businesses are currently being affected by global financial instability and a very competitive market. As a result, we have chosen to build on our existing sales team, prioritising people with an affinity for Opteven’s values over those with explicit experience in the warranty industry. This takes time but it is a crucial aspect of preparation for the next phase of Opteven’s growth in the UK.

Do you have a hobby that you feel prepares you for the challenges of being a leader?

For me sport plays an important role in refreshing my mind and body, but it also cultivates the necessary determination required to make you a successful leader. I ran the 2022 Paris Marathon and I think that the mental and physical discipline this takes is really beneficial for someone in a leadership role.

Plus, I have to say that having children – although not strictly speaking my hobby – has also prepared me very well for leadership. Being a parent teaches you empathy, patience and, perhaps above all, negotiation skills.

What was your first car and what do you drive now?

When I turned 18 my parents bought me a Fiat Uno. For thirty years after that I drove only Renault, Dacia and Alpine company cars but last week I picked up a brand-new Audi A6 – it’s the first car I have ever bought for myself!

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