- Olivier Tebily used to play football for international clubs
- He has always been passionate about soccer
- But he retired from football and decided to focus on new career
- Tebily shifted to alcohol business, and here is why
For most footballers, staying in the game is their only other option after they retire. But Olivier Tebily’s case is different.
The 41-year-old former Ivory Coast player had a second passion. He wanted to be in business. Why? So that when he retired from soccer, he would still have something else to focus on.
“I told myself, ‘suppose I get injury and stop playing football, what next?’ I decided to have something that I will continue doing post-football,” he says.
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Tebily would then venture into alcohol making business.
He bought two hectares of land in the south-western French village of Salles-d Angels and started growing vines.
“I settled on this land because I used to work here to get pocket money before I became a professional footballer,” he says.
On the side, he already had two restaurants running.
Years later, Tebily suffered an injury in the soccer pitch, ended his football career and decided to go big on business.
He bought 22 hectares of vineyard land from a retired farmer called Jean-Michel Lepine.
“His son was a close buddy of mine. We even had same name. He also knew I was a footballer and he liked football. That made it easy for him to sell me his land,” says Tebily, who then proceeded to set up what became the first African maker of cognac.
Besides selling Tebily his land, Lepine also taught the ex-footballer the Cognac process. He became his mentor.
And that is how Tebily shifted from being a respected international soccer star to a budding business man.
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