According to Laurens Poelhekke (29) of CDR International, in order to be successful as an international entrepreneur, you have to be flexible and have a feeling for cultural aspects. But not only that; having a local network is essential. “And in Vietnam, being present in the country is very much appreciated.” We spoke to Poelhekke about doing business in Vietnam. How did he tackle that, where do you have to be as a Dutch entrepreneur and where does he think there are opportunities?
“Find a good local partner, put a lot of time in it. Build a good working relationship, and then doing business in Vietnam can go very fast! “
Laurens Poelhekke is South East Asia Representative / Civil Engineer in Vietnam for CDR International. He is also a board member of the Dutch Business Association Vietnam (DBAV). He now lives and works in Ho Chi Minh City. Since one and a half years he has been the forward post for South East Asia for the engineering firm in the hydraulic engineering sector. Twenty people now work worldwide for CDR International. “I am co-responsible for building and developing projects in Vietnam, Myanmar and Bangladesh. I am also a hydraulic engineering engineer for our projects. For example, I have worked on a project where six flood defences and seven kilometres of dyke have been built in Ho Chi Minh. CDR carried out a design review for the contractor. The city suffers from a high water problem due to high water levels in the river and flooding caused by flooding, especially around the monsoon. I am also involved in a port project in Bangladesh and inland development in Myanmar. “
For the full interview (in Dutch only) see: Ondernemen in Vietnam