How did it all start
Today, I am living a little over 5 years in Colombia and the business exists for 3 years. A frequent question that I receive is how did all this started, so today might be a good idea to share the answer to that.
The start of the journey
I studied International Business and Management Studies at Stenden University of Applied Sciences in Leeuwarden. A requirement of that study was to spend at least one semester abroad, which makes sense regarding the international orientation of the study.
The reason that I selected Colombia was due to the fact that I wanted to go as far away as possible, without the least amount of fellow students, a big culture shock but also the potential to do something professionally after my exchange. In other words, Colombia.
The exchange program was one semester, and was in partnership with Politecnico GranColombiano in Bogota. The exchange was a blast and made me decide to stay in Colombia for more time to learn more about the real opportunities in Colombia since the exchange was mainly focused on ‘cultural’ activities.
After the exchange program I executed an internship at the Dutch-Colombian Chamber of Commerce, called the Holland House, to obtain more knowledge about the economy and the business opportunities in the country. It became very clear what the opportunities of the country are but more importantly, the challenges that were ahead in order to transfer opportunities in reality.
These cultural and professional experiences made me decide to stay in Colombia and start Nvest Business Development.
Why i started Nvest
I started Nvest due to the opportunities I saw in Colombia regarding my knowledge about what the Netherlands has to offer in terms of technologies, knowledge and experiences. As a result, I would like to have a positive local impact while creating business opportunities for companies.
Now, 3 years in, I understand what it takes to realise business between both countries and the optimistic dream has evolved to optimistic reality.
There are many factors such as language, cultural understanding, perception of time and communication that play a key part in doing business in Colombia. More than enough opportunities are available, so that is not the issue. Key is to understand how these opportunities can be implemented while keeping the interest of all involved parties in mind. This creates a interesting web of intentions, interests and desired outcomes among all involved parties, which can differ quite a lot due to different cultural backgrounds.
Where do i see myself in 5 years?
First of all, Nvest will be a necessary external link for companies that want to expand their business activities. The skillset of Nvest has evolved to being an offline platform that connects all key actors and manages the chain in order to get things done together. As a result, Nvest is part of the economic change that the world is facing.
Secondly, I hope to have found a balance in my life since there has not been any balance for the past years. Everything in my life has been around Nvest the past years, which is very necessary to achieve the success that i am striving for. However, a little less chaos and support from a solid team of employees and partners would be very much appreciated.
It has been a complete roller-coaster with a lot of ups, but even more downs, which have been very difficult at times. Luckily, I am convinced that this is my path, I am happier than I have ever been and that hopefully will lead to achieving all that I have been fighting for.