Serge Durand interview, 36 years at Samat

After celebrating her 36th birthday at Samat, Serge Durand is retiring. All the Samat teams wish him a pleasant retirement. Thank you for your investment and your daily commitment. We interviewed him to tell us about her story. Discover her story during all these years spent with us.


Can you describe your experience at Samat?

I joined Samat in November 1984 as financial director until 1994. During the first 10 years we grew a lot, so we had to make sure for the development, that we took care of the finance, the management… I learned the transport business which I didn’t know at all. Then I was more concerned with the group’s real estate structure and the cleaning division that I set up in 1997 until 2003. 

I always wanted to learn, I often started without knowing anything. I learned via accounting, via invoices. I looked at the invoices and learned about the different activities through them.


How did you cope with the rapid development of Samat?

Very busy, always very busy and a lot of work, but always interesting. I always went to work happy, I never dragged my feet to come to work.


Did you notice any changes in the trade?

It’s changed, the regulations of the sector have changed a lot, the profession is still the same. 

In the beginning we didn’t have the IT resources we have today. I remember, when I arrived here there was no desktop computer. Well, there was one at the president’s office, but it was the only one that could use it at the beginning. Then he finally lent it to me and I set up a number of things. And when we went on a trip, I took the computer, the central unit, my keyboard, my mouse, to work faster. Then one day I found a laptop on my desk. It weighed 12 kilos, but it was a great recognition for me from the company and it gave me great flexibility in my work. 


Which cultural contribution of working in a European company?

I traveled a lot, I saw a lot of places, a lot of people. Inevitably different minds… Italians are not like Spanish, not like English, not like Belgians, not like Dutch, all different people. Same in France with accents, habits, …


What is your feeling about years at Samat?

Something that is important to me is that I have always felt like part of a family. 

I met a lot of interesting people, who helped me and then the other way round I think I helped too. I’ve always been concerned about training people on what I know about. I have learned a lot here, and there are many people who have taught me.

Everything I did I did with a lot of pleasure because it was worth it. I believe in Samat. 


Are there events that marked you? 

The 10th anniversary of Samat in 1989! The event was set up in 4 places in France, so we were linked by radio and video. There were games, buffets… It was really a moment of communion, a Samat moment in fact! 

It’s the first company where I find that there is a family atmosphere, where we share a lot of things. 


It’s your best memory?

I only have happy memories. I postponed my retirement and I never regretted for a moment having extended my life at Samat. 


If we sum up your career in a few words?

I had a lot of fun!