Brief us about your outset story of your career.
In 1990 I’ve found here my first serious sales job as a sales engineer and during the more than 6 years I’ve developed as a area sales manager. At that time I was asked by a larger German rubber manufacturer to join them, which I did in Januari 1997. I’ve worked for that manufacturer (about 160 employees) for another 6 years and travelled throughout Europe to all English speaking countries. In 2002 I was convinced in finding my dream job als Sales Director at a big multinational with 3.400 employees and 11 production sites all over the world, belonging, at that time, to one of the world largest private companies (70.000 plus employees).
I’ve experienced my character was not fit for the way of working in such a company and I’ve gotten in contact, quite spontaneously, with the owner at that time, of HTR and he told me he wanted to retire. To cut a long story short; We started discussing and in the end I was able buying all the shares of the company by effectively 1′ January 2005.
From that day on I’ve taken my own routing and strategy and brought us there where we are today.
Enlighten us about your greatest strength. How are you different from others in your field?
I do what I like doing and the joy in my work give me an enthusiasm and drive what clients see and notice and what’s completely natural. They sense that what I tell them is really the truth. My strength is my ability to sell and sense what the client is looking for, conscious or latent, and present there the best possible solutions. I will always focus on the best solution, looking at all the aspects rather than going “cheap” as that is the only way, for me, the client gets the best result and the best value for money and that is where we make the difference.
Please tell us about your organisation. What are your primary roles and responsibilities?
We work from 3 different locations: Headquarter is based in The Netherlands where we do produce 2 of our 5 different product groups.
For all 5 product groups we do ourselves the dsign, engineering, testing, analyses etc in house, mainly from Eindhoven. We also have an office in Germany and we have an office and production site in Delhi, India.
I focus on the commercial activities of HTR and am involved with our main customers. We have different directors for different fields. Our people are highly skilled and have lots of responsibilities and freedom to act.
Can you please walk us through the major accomplishments throughout your journey?
cannot do this with limited words. In short; When I took over the company we had one location and about 15 employees. We already carried the ISO 9001 certification.
Today we have still the ISO 9001:2015 certification, ISO 14001 and IATF16949 (international automotive standard). From the 11 times it was given out, we realized 10 times the 10 PPM award from Paccar and we have established close cooperation’s with many A-branded and worldwide operating companies like DAF/Paccar, Philips, Signify etc. we work from 3 different sites and act globally. We export to 33 different countries
We invest a lot of time in existing and new customers and as a reward they normally stay. We have a huge amount of clients which buy from HTR 20, 30 , 40 years and longer…. We have different industries to which we supply, throughout Europe and beyond and we have more than 45 clients realising 80% of our turnover.
How did you respond to the challenges induced by the COVID-19 pandemic? What measures did you incorporate to surpass the challenges?
We didn’t accept any cancellation of orders (98% of what we do are tailor made solutions) but we postponed orders (first was the automotive which came to a standstill) which gave our clients some breathing air but still we were able servicing our clients directly and in full. We’ve implemented schedules for people to work from home and plan visits to the company and invested in on line meeting facilities. In production we were able creating lots of space between the workers and arranged different break times. All in all we have not had too many illnesses due to Corona.
We remain repeating the common sense in order avoiding Covid 19 and any other virus spread diseases and avoid too many people in rooms.
Who in your life inspires you the most? And What advice would you give to the next generation of aspiring and budding Business people?
I have not one person which is my inspiration.
I get inspiration from many people in many different surroundings. I get inspired by my wife and kids. From friends, someone on TV or from I magazine I read. I try always having an open mind for other views and interpretations and absorb those which fit me.
Just stay at your personal values, do what you believe in and, in my case extremely important, do what brings you fun and pleasure. Live up to your own standards and values and do not so much care what someone things from you.
Just justify yourself to the person you look at when looking in the minor. (to do that you must be very honest to yourself)
That helped me living my life without stress. Pressure we all have but stress, we make ourselves. I’ve concluded that stress doesn’t bring anything positive or good so I’ve achieved working with pressure not leading to stress.