Having worked for some of the biggest names in transport and logistics such as Fokker Aircraft, ASML, Imtech Marine & Offshore, and IHC, Govert Hamers, President and CEO of Vanderlande Industries, brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role when he was appointed CEO at the beginning of this year. “I guess the common denominator of all my jobs is not only the industry, but the fact that it’s international, it’s a lot of innovation, and it’s custom design. All these jobs are about making sure you understand what the customer really wants, design a solution for them, produce it, deliver the ship or equipment to them, and then service it.

“I learned from all these companies that consistency is the name of the game—you can’t just move around a company just like that, and I completely disagree with the Anglo-Saxon way of managing companies where, if you have a problem, you sack people and restructure. That’s not the way to run a company; it only makes everybody very nervous. When things go bad, it isn’t the end of the world. The sun will be back sooner or later, so just continue doing what you’re good at and don’t overreact to short-term difficulties.”

Being consistent within the company not only gives peace of mind to staff, but encourages customers to forge longstanding relationships with Vanderlande. “I was with a customer recently from Russia and he chose us over a lot of other competitors, so I asked him why and he said there are two important reasons for that: ‘First of all, you guys have been consistent from the beginning. You sat down with us, you tried to understand what our problem was, you gave us proposals. We came to the solution that suits us as well, and then you stuck to that approach’.