While I was active through my former businesses in the old economy, as it is known, my interest for sustainability and innovation increased over the course of time. For a while I felt the most effective approach would be to tread carefully but in today’s disruptive era where we need revolutionary ideas to drive us forward, you sometimes have to be daring to perform.
The companies I have been involved in of late are doing well, but I think it can be better and more progressive. This is why we are setting up a new company, First Dutch. I am very proud as Chairman to be fully focused on First Dutch.
What is First Dutch? First Dutch is a collection of large and small companies managed by independent leaders. Our model sees strong CEOs running the individual companies in their own way, with our team available to assist them where needed. We take care of the allocation of the funds and can organise support in the broadest sense of the word so that each company can concentrate on its core activities. First Dutch thereby aims to bring business and innovation together in a way that is in keeping with the era of today.
We expect entrepreneurship from the CEOs and their companies with an eye on sustainability and the power of innovation. Innovation will be the nerve that runs through the organisation and this innovation will go far beyond technical improvement. Innovation may take place in areas like HRM, marketing and finance but to be really innovative, this must be embodied as the driving force in every fibre of the companies. Everyone should be aware that in 2020 a company will have to be different to what it is in 2017.
You can expect the First Dutch organisation to become the leading innovative conglomerate in the Netherlands, engaged in many valorisations and prominent in various segments. The company will be innovative not only in its market approach but also in how it is managed. Our common objective at First Dutch is to create and stimulate employment, innovation and sustainability in the Netherlands.
I certainly intend to put everything into this, and it is definitely a new chapter in my life as an entrepreneur. We are really enchanted by the name First Dutch, because Dutch industry has for centuries stood for entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainable thinking.
I have every confidence that First Dutch will be, in addition to a reliable business partner, a magnet and catalyst for other entrepreneurs, start-ups, the scientific and financial worlds as well as other stakeholders. In short, a powerful large concern borne by individual entrepreneurship!
Rotterdam, 31 March 2017