EMmanuel BekaeRT: the man behind the ceo
Do you have certain rituals in your daily life?
Emmanuel: "I take the kids to school every morning. I have a 4-year-old daughter Elisèle and a plus 8-year-old daughter Satine. That moment during the week is our quality time of the day. In the car, we put on music together and daddy also sings along. Elisèle likes to choose the music herself on Spotify. We know K3's songs by heart by now (laughs).
Every Friday evening, I meet up with friends to have a beer and kick off the weekend together. Those friends are also entrepreneurs which combines networking and relaxation. We're in a Whatsapp group together, from 2pm onwards, the group comes alive and we agree on a location. We don't have a regular regular pub so we can meet new people too. At 17h, the working week ends for me and I make time for relaxation, I feel I need it.
I also have a moment like that on Sundays. Strictly timed from 11.30 to 12.55, though. If I get home later, I find my lunch in the bin (laughs). This is also with some fellow entrepreneurs at a local café. The proprietress is a 94-year-old woman; we have become very much at home there by now. Also good for the wallet because the pints there still cost €1.20."
What do you like to do in your spare time/what interests do you have?
Emmanuel: "On Saturdays, I like to go shopping with my daughter. I spend at least 2-3 hours out and about, having a chat in between. We really make an outing of it. Elisèle enjoys going along because she can always get a little extra from daddy (laughs).
Besides, I am a real film lover. In my spare time, you can often find me on the sofa with a film or Netflix on TV. History, autobiographies and true crime especially appeal to me. For example, I followed the biography of Ronaldo and Neymar or history films about the Romans. When I am at home in the evening, I always try to catch a film.
Of course also quality time with my wife, we like to go to restaurants together. I also like to invite people to my home. Especially barbecuing is one of my favourite things to do in summer. I could do that for a whole day for 8h at a stretch, then I can really clear my head."
What makes you happy?
Emmanuel: "Seeing my own child laughing and playing. I can sometimes watch Elisèle play outside for 15 minutes. When your 4-year-old daughter spontaneously comes and says "daddy i love you", that makes you instantly happy.
On a business level: achieving targets. Achieving certain targets makes me feel good. The same with starting businesses and taking on new challenges."
What motivates you?
Emmanuel: "My entrepreneurial spirit and conviction. If someone comes up with a new idea that I believe in 100% it gives me the motivation to get something off the ground together. If I am not convinced or if I don't believe in it I don't go along with it."
"I would love to do a tour of Africa and America with the family. A parachute jump I would also dare to do."
-Emmanuel Bekaert, ceo
What is the most beautiful place you have been?
Emmanuel: "With Sophie, I have been on many beautiful trips. We share a passion for discovering the world, new cultures and countries. Of all the trips, Seychelles still stands out."
What is still on your bucket list?
Emmanuel: "Seeing the world, specifically touring Africa and the Americas. I would love to do this with the family later on when the kids are a bit older and have enough awareness. A parachute jump I would also dare to do. Not a bungee jump because I don't have enough confidence in the rope. Business wise with AM Group turn 100 million euro turnover."
What can we wake you up for at night?
Emmanuel: "My best friends can always wake me up in distress. They are among my favourites in my phone list so their call still comes through even in sleep mode.
A real Spanish paella also always goes in with a glass of good red wine. I would even open the door for that at night. I am a real lover of wine, mainly red. That is also one of my passions. I follow the principle "life is too short to drink bad wine". Over the years, I have invested in a small collection and every now and then one of the better bottles opens."
What is your life motto?
Emmanuel: "Dream with ambition and lead with conviction."
Do you have a guilty pleasure? If so, which one?
Emmanuel: "I love Flemish comedy series. Moneywolves, for example, we recently watched. Also M&Ms with nuts, that bag never stays full for long (laughs). "
What music do you like to listen to?
Emmanuel: "The Age of Love remix by Charlotte De Witte is currently on repeat. I myself stayed awake until 1am at night to be the first to listen to the release on Spotify. I also have the LP of the original version in my collection. In general, I mostly listen to (deep) house, dance and lounge music. For example, I follow some DJs from Ibiza who play in beach bars. If I were to go to a gig, my preference would be U2 or Coldplay. If I hear a song by them on the radio, the volume may go up a bit. For a best of concert, they can definitely invite me."
Are you a fan of anyone specifically?
Emmanuel: "Then I think primarily of entrepreneurs like Elon Musk of Tesla and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. I also watch Kanaal Z almost every night to be with what's alive. In Belgium, I follow Marc Coucke and Bart Versluys. Not for the fame, but for their investment and entrepreneurial story. But if we are really talking about being a fan I would mention Elon Musk."
To conclude, a few more dilemmas:
- Book or film?Film
- Morning or evening character? Morning character
- Summer or winter? Summer
- City or nature? Nature
- Online news or newspaper? Online news
Curious about our ceo's entrepreneurial story?You can read all about it in this interview.