“Out of the box!”

Since we want to continue to develop, we have appointed a Board of Commissioners to oversee our efforts. One of the three board members is Patrick Esselaar. He considers it his duty to constantly challenge us. Five questions, five answers.


How did you become a member of the Board of Commissioners?
“They asked me to join. They said it was because I know a lot about logistics and strategy, and they’re right to a degree: I’ve worked as a managing director, a member of the board, vice-president, and COO Europe in the logistical sector. At the moment, I’m the Director of Operations at an international transport and logistics company.”
Why did you say ‘yes’?
“Mainly because I felt a cultural ‘match’. On the one hand, Vetipak is an extremely entrepreneurial company with an enormous drive, but on the other it has a clear-headed, almost family-like personality. You don’t come across that combination very often. I also thought it was unique that a company this size has a Board of Commissioners. That’s a sign that you aren’t afraid to learn new things.”
What is your role as a Commissioner?
“We advise the directors, supervise the company’s activities, and are formally the employer. What it comes down to in practice is that we brainstorm together with the directors at the strategic level. I mainly enjoy having the opportunity to challenge them. Vetipak is of course no stranger to thinking outside the box, but to me you can never get too far out of the box.”
What do you mean by that?
“With companies this size, there’s a real danger that the directors get stuck in the operational swamp. I’ve noticed that happen at Vetipak from time to time too. But business demands that you think ahead and differentiate yourself from the competition. Be different! But you can’t do that if you’re focused too much on day-to-day operations.”
And... do they listen to you?
“More than that: they ask me to challenge them! But again: that’s what you have to do if you want to continue to develop. In a field full of yellow tulips, you have to find a way to become that one red tulip that stands out from the crowd. And it helps if someone from outside is constantly challenging you.”