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If someone asked you to remember the moment you got “hooked” by something that you are passionate about, would you be able to pinpoint it? I can! It was 1994 and I remember watching the Formula 1 Grand Prix with my family. I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I really felt happy watching it with my loved ones or the fact that I found this world so exciting. Whatever it was, I knew that I wanted to know more. From that moment on, this became my passion. Why?

The search for perfection

Diseño sin título (1)In the world of Formula 1 there is a strong aim for perfection. From the way all parts of an engine need to work perfectly as designed, to the pit crew working in perfect harmony, to the driver’s perfect performance. Every person involved and every little component must work on such a high level of cooperation and alignment. In this world the saying: “Each team is just as strong as its weakest link” really is a fact. This fascinates me every time!

My Schumacher inspiration

Formula 1 is considered the world’s most demanding race. Both physical fitness and mental strength are mandatory and each “weakness” can be catastrophic on the track. From 1994, racing driver Michael Schumacher was in the spotlight for 3 years. He became my source of inspiration and my idol growing up. After having read his biography some years ago I got even more inspired. The drive, the passion and devotion he showed towards his profession was exemplary. I’ve taken over these values except his love of adrenaline… one step too far for me.

How this passion defined me

Formula 1 still plays an important role in my life and I can easily say that this has really defined my professional life as well. I’m passionate about my work and have a high sense of quality that some of my colleagues can describe as perfectionism. These factors are important to me in my engagement towards an employer. Here at BARE International, a company that I call my professional home for over 5 years now, we are also working towards determining the weakest link for our clients. They will then be able to eliminate or improve them in order to gain success in their fields. Because like Formula 1, I believe that excellence is not something occasional but continuous.


This story was written by Wara inspired by Thomas’ thoughts.


Author: Wara 20150625_172744_resized

Wara joined BARE International almost 7 years ago. Born in Thailand and moved to Belgium as a child, she knows how it feels to be “stuck” between cultures. Thanks to her optimistic mindset, she always tries to see a positive outcomes in everything. Her goal in life is to be happy, to live by example in order to inspire people around her… especially her son.

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E = MC

Let’s talk about one of the most important topics in the world. The very substance that will get you through your working day and back home again: coffee! More specifically, let me introduce to you the exclusive Swiss coffee brand that uses coffee capsules instead of coffee beans but still offers a great taste. Not yet convinced? Ask any coffee drinker or read my blog message below.

They have been one of our longest and most cherished clients, and over the past few years we’ve indulged in all kinds of projects with them, ranging from recorded customer service calls to visits to their exclusive stores to big multimedia store visits. Their purpose has always been to evaluate the customer service; the friendliness, professionalism and knowledge of the coffee specialist regarding the brand and the coffee industry in general; as well as, in case of mystery visits in electronics stores, to analyse the visibility of the brand compared to its competitors.

shutterstock_139929448_resizedOut of these three projects, let us have a look at our most popular channel, the calls, which can be grouped into two scenarios: New Member and Technical. Either the evaluator is asked to subscribe as a brand new member or the idea is to simulate a technical problem with the coffee machine, in order to find out how the coffee specialist would solve it.

Now let us have a look at what they have to offer their loyal customers. You will find that their arrangement of espressos, lungos and ristrettos has been ever-expanding, including various flavours, ranging from low to high intensity. A range of decaffeinated capsules ensures that you can even enjoy a cup of coffee in the evening, without having to lie awake in bed all night. Their limited editions range from all over the world, from Mexico to Peru to Rwanda. Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Several kinds of machines give the customer the opportunity to drink their coffee in any way they want, as some of them are equipped with a milk frother for a wide range of coffee recipes such as the old-time classic, the cappuccino, or a delicious macchiato.

Our mystery calls and shops are the ideal way to discover the wonderful world that is coffee. It might also be a good idea to have a coffee before setting out on a mystery adventure for any of our other clients, so that you won’t fall asleep. And it definitely beats having some beers or a bottle of wine before having a test drive at a car dealership.



Author: Gert
Gert specialties are any coffee-related projects as well as reports in Dutch, French and English. In his free time he writes novels, plays and poems, and performs spoken word all over Flanders and the Netherlands. He also loves travelling, listening to music and going to concerts. He has a Master in Applied Linguistics and one in Modern Literature.


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I have recently travelled to Azerbaijan for a week. There are not that many options to rent a car, you can find big international companies with small cars, medium sedans or SUVs or doubious local companies, with various cars in various shapes. It would have been possible to rent a Ferrari, but for our purposes (and budget) that was not the best option. We sticked to one of the big international companies and chose a small sedan.

Most of the cars in Azerbaijan are automatic, even the newer russian Ladas. That’s good in Baku, however not on the highways and other roads. Especially if you want to have more control, or some fun.

Our small sedan was automatic as well, had a not working radio, air-con and later on a puncture…. But after all we cannot complain, it has brought us to places, where we mostly saw SUVs on the roads. And he can’t complain either – no new scratches, only the bumpy roads.

shutterstock_387797695_resizedThe roads of the ’Country of fire’

The roads: that was my main worry beforehand. I was positively surprised by some, and not very happy with others. The highways differ hugely regarding their quality. On the other hand some ordinary roads are extremely smooth and beautiful to ride along. It was the joy of driving as far as possible with a small automatic sedan.

During your drive you have to be extremely careful with potholes, cows, sheep, chicken, other drivers, speed cameras (hopefully it worked) and policemen. No wonder, that 1200 kms in three days exhausts a driver. The beautiful landscape helps a lot – as far as not the outskisrts of Baku are concerned, where you can only find oil pumps everywhere.

Gas prices

Well, what do you expect in a country, where it comes right out of the earth? No. It was even cheaper than what you were just thinking. About 0.5 € / liter for 92, and about 0.6 € / liter for 95. So fuel economy is not really a concern – the situation in Baku shows this clearly. The city of traffic jams and huge cars.

Mystery visits in Azerbaijan

Hospitality visits are available in Baku, I myself almost performed one as well. The service is very kind generally, though suffers from some minor issues (neither English nor Russian is understood everywhere), but the locals really make up for those in friendliness.

All in all it was a nice holiday, for everyone, who’s budget is not that thight, I would still recommend to rent an SUV – preferably with a driver. It will make your holidays way more relaxed.



Author: Ákos

Ákos is a full-time employee of Bare International.Ákos_blogger_pic_edited
He works as a scheduler for Switzerland and is a member in the Social media team. He likes travelling, cars, and craft beers. He has a diploma in German Literature and a Master’s Degree in International Relations. Besides English and German, he is trying to master French and speaks Norwegian reasonably well.


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