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STEENBERGEN – Koen van Geel has been working at FoodeQ in Steenbergen for exactly 6 years on the day of this interview. With a technical education and communicative drive, he has an ideal combination for his work as an international sales manager.

What exactly do you do?

I am deployed for the sale of machines or projects. We design machines for the food industry here. Our focus is triltechniek, a hygienic and low-maintenance way of processing foodstuffs. It is therefore my task to bring in new customers, but also to maintain good contact with existing customers in order to obtain follow-up orders there as well.

Where is the focus of your work?

Well, I work very internationally. Initially a lot in Western Europe, but now also in Japan and in Oceania. Actually, we deliver all over the world. This goes directly to the end customer or via OEMs (ed. Original Equipment Manufacturer, other machine factories). We then deliver loose machines or turnkey projects .

How did you get started here?

I started as a draftsman at a company in Oosterhout, but I noticed that I had too little contact with the outside world. I then became a service coordinator and had a lot of customer contact. I really liked that. When I was talking with Marinus de Bruijn, director of FoodeQ, whom I remember from football in Dinteloord, he thought I could have a good future as a salesman in his company. Exactly 6 years ago, April 1, 2015 I picked up the gauntlet and started working here.

What do you like about sales?

I really like the international and the contact with other cultures. I like to sell a solution, because the customer always presents me with a problem. Once I was in sales, I didn’t want to leave. In addition, the variety of customers is enormous. One time I am sitting at a table with the owner at a small family business and a little later with a very well-equipped project team of a multinational. I’ll be in many different worlds in no time.

You combine technology with sales?

Yes, the combination of technology and commerce, travel and the office suits me very well! I am originally social and like to interact with people. I often come up with solutions from a technical perspective, but I don’t go all the way in depth. That’s what our engineers do, I give the pass and they work it out. The combination technical-commercial is therefore ideal for me.

What does your working day look like?

Ha, ha, yes, there is really no level to measure! I schedule my own time. That’s because sometimes I have to call the other side of the world outside office hours. Sometimes I’m at the office all day working out quotes. The other time I am on my way to a client, half a day or two or three days. Then again I make a combination of client and office and sometimes I work from home.

What attracts you to the office?

It is always very nice to meet colleagues, because we have a super nice team of about 25 people. When I started here in 2015, we were six people, so we are growing enormously. We are all willing to help each other. It is a very close-knit team, composed with care, not only based on diploma requirements, but also by seeing whether it clicks and whether you fit into the team. The turnover is therefore nil, we are a kind of family.

Can you still grow?

Yes, the company offers me a lot of opportunities to grow and develop myself. I can indicate which courses I would like to take and then that can be discussed. In addition, with this beautiful new building on the Warwickstraat we have created a wonderful working environment, lots of space, modern, beautiful view and that offers room for growth of personnel and activities. So I can develop myself further here and I certainly will!

Text and photo by: Christel Schiphorst
Correspondent Steenbergse Bode
Publication in De Bode Saturday April 10, 2021

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