Ronald has been in the office for about two months and is already being exposed to a fire of questions. Who is he and what does he do at Cartec? Here you can read all about our new Commercial Director.
Friends for life
Ronald, introduce yourself. “I am Ronald Bos, together with my wife I live in Bergschenhoek. I am 57 years old, have three daughters and three grandchildren. Since last December I have been managing the teams at Cartec in the Sales, Marketing and Internal Sales departments.”
Naturally, I am curious how he ended up here and he explains: “For the past thirty-three years I worked at an American multinational, until a major reorganization occurred there.”
Johan Willemsen, founder and co-owner of Cartec, has been a good friend of Ronald for years. Together they looked at how Ronald could put his knowledge and skills to use at Cartec. “I knew Johan even before Cartec existed. The circle of friends we are both in also predates this. I remember Johan telling me he was leaving his job to start his own business in car cosmetics. We go way back, I can still remember when Cartec officially started. That’s almost thirty-six years ago now.”
How did Ronald choose Sales and Marketing? “Partly by thinking about what I don’t want to do. Marketing has always had my heart. I find it a challenging task to make a customer find out that he has a need that he doesn’t know about yet.”
After his education in Commercial Economics, Ronald did additional marketing courses. At his previous employer he was able to take many courses. This included a course such as Intercultural Management: how to deal with other cultures.
“I really enjoy working with other cultures, because you really have to make an effort to understand each other. What the cultural differences are and how to bridge them in a good way.” At Cartec he can put that to good use. The working language in the office is Dutch, but he will also speak to many foreign customers. “My first task here was to conduct the end-of-year talks with a number of our foreign customers. Together we went over the focus points and plans for 2022. It was interesting to hear what is going on there and how we can strengthen and help each other as partners.” It was good timing to start in December. That way Ronald was able to talk to a number of customers right away.
Living more sustainable
Besides working, he loves to take vacations. Skiing is his number one. “But I also love going with the family to a cottage in Zeeland and getting a breath of fresh air on the beach. Italy is also one of our favorite destinations. We are in love with that country and Puglia has stolen our hearts.”
Exercise is also important to the commercial man, but the gym makes him a little claustrophobic. “Everyone always sweats so much there. But being in motion is good for everyone. That’s why I like to cycle to work. I also enjoy a bit of gardening. Taking care of my own little piece of planet.”
Sustainable living is becoming increasingly important to him and he continues: “We have a zero energy house with solar panels, a heat pump and well insulated walls. I find it more and more beautiful to do with used things rather than always buying new and throwing away the ‘old’.”
The holy grail
Back to work for a moment. “For me, it’s incredibly fun to work with a young team. With people who are open, want to learn and develop. They are curious about what value I can add. Coaching people, that’s what makes my job so much fun,” he explains enthusiastically.
The role of any leader is not to achieve targets, but to make the people they work with better at what they do. For Ronald, not only targets are the holy grail, but also developing people; making sure they stay healthy and have a good time. “That way they can develop to their full potential. If you do that well and also have good products and good service, the results almost come naturally.”
“I don’t work, I work on my hobby.”
Ronald has already had a taste of working at Cartec. And also literally: “What strikes me is that Cartec facilitates the employees well. Every day there is fruit, drinks and a cup of soup ready and there is always a reason to arrange something delicious. The employees are very well taken care of. I think that is good.”
Because Ronald has a lot of foreign experience, he knows it can be done differently. “In the Netherlands it’s customary that you get coffee from the boss. This is one of the few countries where employees don’t have to buy their own coffee.”
He also quickly discovered the ‘us feeling’. “I like the fact that everything happens here in one place. Product development, production, filling, logistics, marketing, sales and finance; everything is close together. That makes it convenient and pleasant.”
Peace and quiet from above
As Commercial Director you have to stand firm. “You have to be stress-resistant and be able to put things into perspective. Because in the end there will always be a tomorrow, no matter what.”
Ronald’s age helps him, but not only that: “God has given us one mouth and two ears, and that’s not for no reason. So we have to listen more than we talk.”
To God he has something to hold on to. He explains with an example: “Even when things get exciting, He gives me peace. When the economy collapsed we had two houses, we couldn’t get one sold. I always thought it would be nice to have a second house, but not eight miles apart and not in a high price range.”
This was one of the moments when Ronald’s faith was an important foundation for getting and keeping peace. In the end, the house sold well.
“It makes me grateful to have so many opportunities.”
I’m curious what other life and work experience he can bring to his new job, and he lights up: “Almost everything. From operational things and how to deal with a label on a package to how you can then maximize it with, for example, QR codes and creating links to websites. From strategic issues to what we are going to do with branding.”
Ronald enthusiastically recalls: “One of my previous roles was key account manager for one of the three largest office products suppliers worldwide. There I was responsible for Europe. I had to make sure that two very complex organizations worked together. With all the different departments and conflicts of interest. That was not always easy, but very instructive.”
Ronald calls the Ronald of old a little quick on the trigger. “My basic view was ‘patience is a waste of time’. Why be patient? Until I learned through trial and error to stand back and make choices from time to time.”
Looking to the future
In the future, Ronald foresees Cartec’s brand position being strengthened even further. There are still many opportunities. Also in countries where there is little or no focus at the moment.
He has no idea yet about his own future. “And I don’t think that’s important either. My role is to support the team. I want to be where I can add the most value. As long as that’s on the marketing side, I can get excited about almost anything. But don’t ask me to do the accounting. That, more than anything, makes me very nervous.”
I paint a picture of a future for him in his beloved Puglia, but he is not immediately convinced. “Not for the time being, mind you. I had English colleagues who retired at fifty-five. I don’t want to think about that. As long as I have the health and opportunity I want to keep doing this for a while. And until when, we’ll see.”
Ronald is very much looking forward to his new job: “I’ve just started a month ago and I’m really looking forward to it. To move from a large, complex and well-oiled machine to a beautiful family business with its own products; that gives me energy.”
And you know Ronald, we are happy to have you on board! “Would you like some more coffee?”