Christophe Barriere-Varju grew up competing in Motocross and became a legend of one of the toughest challenges in motorsport, the Dakar Rally. MBA educated and having worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York, he is a unique blend of adventurer/businessman who now advises Australian Government Agencies and large Corporations in Complex Procurement and in implementing Performance Management Frameworks. He is a fascinating speaker with a truly unique perspective.
Born in the South of France, Christophe grew up in the Ivory Coast in West Africa. Living an incredible childhood in Africa most read in books or watched in fictitious Hollywood movies, Christophe's stories are real and will keep you entertained - including what it was like to grow up with a chimpanzee!
At an early age, forging a competitive spirit became second nature to Christophe. Eight years of competitive Judo and thirty years of motocross racing are his life. With competition comes discipline, physical, mental and emotional training, self control, and knowing that failure is only learning in the never ending pursuit of self-perfection. Christophe became a National Motocross Champion as the age of 18, and has won the African Motocross des Nations five times in a row for the Ivory Coast.
At the age of 21 he packed two suitcases and moved from Africa to San Diego California to race motocross. There was only one slight problem, he did not speak English!
Six months later, that glitch became somewhat fixed, however the only way for him to stay in the United States was to study 'something'. Business courses seemed like a good idea for the future. After being turned down by several colleges for missing the 'deadline', a concept which at the time made no sense to him, Christophe's determination was too strong for one college to resist, and he was finally accepted.
Two years later, with a diploma in his hand, Christophe was left wondering, "what's next?". Christophe's course advisor suggested he undertake a four year Bachelor Degree, which he completed 6 months early. Christophe found himself asking "what's next?" again. His course advisor suggested he could apply for a two year long MBA. Eager to finish his MBA quickly, Christopher walked out of the University of San Diego with a MBA holding a triple major in Finance, Supply Chain, and New Venture Management - all in eighteen months.
Christophe immersed himself into executive board rooms, where his business took off. Christophe began working with his trusted University professor where in just a few weeks he developed a design of experiment model that solved what HP engineers were spending 6 months trying to resolve.
Christophe's dream of living in Australia came about from staring at a photo on his desk for seven years. Although his job was rewarding, coming to Australia required a business visa, which was difficult to attain coming from a relatively unknown boutique firm. With the recommendations from his old boss, he joined Coopers & Lybrand, and then moved onto PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York. Two years later, Christophe landed in Australia where he developed the supply chain of practice of Arthur Anderson.
Feeling this still wasn't enough, Christophe went on to start his own consulting practice, BvW Global. BvW has been in existence for 14 years, advising Australian Government agencies and large corporations in Complex Procurement, while also implementing performance management frameworks.
Most of us would be struggling to keep up, but Christophe still felt he was missing something and could take on more. He went back to his competitive roots to race in the Dakar Rally, the most difficult, most dangerous, 10,000kms motorsport race in the world. Christophe has competed in the Dakar Rally four times representing Australia.
In the last Dakar Rally race he competed in, Christophe decided to make a film to motivate and inspire others to reach their own dreams. Dream Racer was born. Dream Racer is an internationally acclaimed film, and has been nominated for awards seven times, winning four awards including Best Sports Documentary in Los Angeles and Best Human Values in Sport in Barcelona. Dream Racer is broadcast by Discovery World in Africa and East Europe, as well as Fox Sports in Asia. Dream Racer has an audience across 145 countries.
What's next on Christophe's never ending list? Too much to list here.
Book him for your next event and watch him entertain, inspire and connect with your audience.
I was fortunate to hear Christophe speak at a recent conference and deliver two very different presentations both in style and content. One was a practical, workshop style session and the other was a keynote motivational speech. In both sessions the audiences were captured, myself included. He has a very natural way of connecting with the audience and connecting the audience participants with each other - giving you the feeling that you’re all in conversation together. Eloquent, entertaining, inspirational.
Lisa Woodward, Community Services & Health Industry Skills Council
I first heard Christophe speak at a dinner and quite frankly - he was the highlight of the night. His story is truly inspiring and proves that with sheer determination and focus anything is possible. His down to earth nature and openness engages everyone, draws them in and leaves them uplifted. Talking with Christophe is like talking to a long time friend. He immediately creates rapport and you can't help but be inspired by this great achiever.
Stephen McDowall, Motorcycle Presenter - "Behind the Wheel" Radio Show.
I have had the pleasure of listening to Christophe speak about his life and Dakar experiences in public forums on two occasions. His story is a compelling one and he tells it with passion and humour. When you see the adversity Christophe faced to achieve his dream you are inspired. Christophe takes the listener onto the journey with him. You feel his pain and his exhilaration. Hear Christophe tell his story and you will be motivated to get out and achieve your dreams.
Shirley Hardy-Rix, Writer, journalist and publicist.