Little by little we pick up the thread of our normal life. Did corona change the world forever? We asked Adrien Roose, founder and CEO of the Brussels manufacturer of trendy electric bicycles Cowboy.
What impact does corona have on your life?
‘Like everyone else, I spend a lot more time at home today. Thanks to this crisis, I got a little more time for myself, I read more, I go hiking and cycling more often, and I also learned to cook, something I was not really good at in the past. ‘
‘As an entrepreneur, the main thing is to guarantee the health of our employees and the company. We quickly switched to working from home, even before it became mandatory. We are a young start-up, so luckily that went smoothly. Now we are really starting to experience its pros and cons. The crisis is forcing everyone to question their way of working. Is it really necessary to come to the office every day? Can’t we be more flexible? That only benefits the balance between work and private life. ‘
The new normal
To what extent will this crisis leave a lasting mark on Cowboy?
“Cities can use the lockdown to embrace a new mobility.”
‘We have reduced many of our activities and costs. For example, we used to offer test drives at customers’ homes in more than sixty cities in Europe. We all had to close our stores as well. This has a major impact on our way of working. But, although physical contact with the customer has disappeared, our sales have almost tripled. ‘
Do you think our mobility will change after this corona crisis?
‘I hope so. Cowboy’s raison d’être is to encourage people to develop a mobility that is softer, greener and more pleasant. This lockdown gives us a clean slate. Cities and citizens can embrace a new mobility and a new normal, build more cycle paths, making it easier for us to move around. The discussions about mobility are not new, perhaps this crisis can speed things up a bit. ‘
Can we learn lessons from the crisis?
‘I hope that people will now take the time to question themselves, both professionally and personally. Don’t just go back to the old. We have now seen that it is possible to live differently. With advantages and disadvantages in terms of mobility, work and relaxation. All those aspects are interrelated. There are many uncertainties and there is a lot of stress. Many people fight to keep their job or save their company. I hope everyone can find a moment of peace and tranquility to ask themselves the right questions. ‘
Is there anything you have been missing in recent weeks?
‘My friends. I am really looking forward to the first barbecue that we can have together. ‘