YEDaily: Nicolas Duvernois

Once he graduated, Nicolas Duvernois couldn’t ignore the entrepreneurial flame within. Knowing he wanted to one day create his own brand, he founded PUR vodka in 2006 with the drive to give epicurists everywhere a drink to really talk about in this YED…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m founder and co-owner of PUR vodka, Canada’s most awarded ultra premium vodka. Launched in 2009, PUR vodka has already won two times “Best vodka in the world” during prestigious international competitions. My tasks, other than the day to day management, revolve around creating an image that people won’t forget, to create around PUR vodka a lifestyle of it’s own.

Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this route?
I always had the entrepreneur flame in me, and always wanted to do and achieve big things. Since I can remember, I was making business plans for every idea I had. After graduating University, I had two choices: apply for a “regular” job, or create a path of my own; I needed the liberty to create.

I founded PUR vodka in 2006 after realizing 2 things: No vodka was ever made in Québec and the other premium brands coveted 45 and up and 18-24 customers, but no vodka really targeted the 25-49 customer, the epicurist, the ones who enjoy the best of life, the ones who are hungry for success in their personal and professional life.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part in when you see the results of your hard work. Whether it is a new medal in a competition, a nice review in a magazine or when we meet satisfied customers, it’s always rewarding to receive positive energy like that. The most challenging part is definitely all the stress that is related to owning a company. It is really hard sometimes to control it, and to not pass it on the people around you!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Challenging the biggest player on the market.

What does success look like to you?
Success is like a marathon. Every mile brings you closer to the finish line, but it also brings you new challenges, difficulties and emotions. You must always adjust your pace and verify that the path you follow is the right one.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Being on the market for only two years, to already be considered as one of the world’s best vodka, by the world’s best connoisseurs and sommeliers is pretty incredible! 

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Never stop trying. It will be hard (harder than you think), but with hard work and smart decisions, you’ll make it. It is also important to know that a company is never a one man / woman show. A smart entrepreneur is also someone who knows how to surround himself or herself with qualified people. 

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
You are not a successful entrepreneur if you do not give back. Discussion over! It is our responsibility to help where we can. Whether it’s a personal cause, a special project, volunteer work, you need to do something. In the last couple of years, PUR vodka has been very active in sponsoring events for Ste. Justine’s Children’s Hospital, Farha Foundation for people living with AIDS and One Drop Foundation. Personally, I strongly support Ste Justine’s children hospital and the SPCA.

What to you is notable?
Notable for me is anybody who decides that they will live life as a principal actor, not as an extra.Whether it is at work, in your community or in your personal life, it is important to always try to be the best you can be.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
MAC all the way!