When I came to Vanderlande in January 2021, I found a genuine global company, as you can see by the picture. It’s a shot from the International Management Forum, which brings together the company’s leadership on an annual basis. The people at the table are Swiss, English, Dutch, Chinese – and of course Japanese.

I believe this international mix is a source of dynamism for Vanderlande, as well as its charm. In addition, the company’s commitment to teamwork means that it does not have the strict hierarchy I see in most Japanese organisations. Those teams run autonomously on each project and within them they are very diverse, bringing together people from all around the world who have different skills – and opinions.

This was reflected at the IMF meeting. We had informal moments, like dinner and beach walks, but when we all got together to discuss important themes, practical outcomes were generated from opinions that were freely given. I see this way of working all the time in Vanderlande, at all levels!

Openness runs deep in the company. I may be the Chairman, but my door is always open to anyone who wants to talk, and it’s the same with other senior staff. If you want to see the chairman of a Japanese company, you will certainly need an appointment!

In the other photograph, I am holding up the Japanese character for “dream”. Vanderlande really is the global company that I dreamed of because of its culture and people.

More memories

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Our Shanghai office created a commemorative coin

Izzy Tan, China

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That plane crash turned out to be my salvation

Remko de Lange, Netherlands

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My first time out of China

Rachel Lu, China

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Huub Peeters, Netherlands

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After 35 years, I still enjoy walking into Vanderlande every morning

Thea van den Berg – van den Heuvel, Netherlands

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Nice to see that Vanderlande contributes so much to fit employees

Paul Strik, Netherlands

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Nick Porter, United States

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We went to work and live in Hong Kong as one of the first expats of Vanderlande

Jos Frijns, Netherlands

In 1994, just graduated from the University of Twente, I started at Vanderlande as a mechanical engineer within the project…