Getting to know Sven

By Alexis van Dam, Digital Strategist at First Page Digital

Radio Holland is well-known in the maritime industry as a worldwide service and maintenance provider of navigation, communication, connectivity and ICT on board of ships. The company delivers a unique technical service expertise, which
helps customers to run their ships in a smarter way with less downtime at lower operational expenses.

Share a bit about your career before moving to SG

Sven Zaadnoordijk (37) is married to Ellis, and has two children, Bella and Oliver. In his free time, he enjoys sailing and running. Sven worked for companies like Shell, Robeco and PricewaterhouseCoopers before he joined VBH, which is part of RH Marine Group, just like Radio Holland. In 2015, Sven relocated to Asia to structure the financial operations of the company’s presence within Asia, where he became Finance Director Asia, stationed in Hong Kong.

What brought you to Singapore?

In 2017 we changed the strategic direction of our business within Asia, we decided to focus on our core business again, which is providing services & delivery and installation of equipment, spare parts and other marine equipment to the maritime industry. This turned out to be a smart strategic decision since there is more than enough market share to gain within the navigation, communication, connectivity and ICT services on board ships. Radio Holland has been present in Singapore for many years and given the large number of ship owners and ship management companies we decided to move the regional headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore. Sven moved to Singapore in 2017 and in March 2019 he was appointed as Regional Director Asia for Radio Holland.

As Regional Director Sven is, aside from his operational activities, focussing on the commercial side of business. As a result, he is visiting many customers across Asia, so aside from Singapore he visits the customers and Radio Holland offices in Hong Kong, Malaysia and various cities in China on a regular basis. Under his leadership Radio Holland Asia has improved on her customer service levels, amongst others the customer response time & first time fix rate. Since these improvements, the revenue and client base has grown. A customer now gets the benefits of working with a global company like Radio Holland with offices along the major shipping routes, but still experiences that personal service level, given the lean set-up of the company.

What is an advantage for the Dutch community to work with Radio Holland?

The shipping and maritime sector is an important industry in The Netherlands, as well as in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. There are many well-known Dutch shipping and maritime companies with regional offices in Singapore.

Singapore might be a small country, but the maritime industry is lively, and it is important to work together. The shipping industry has seen a decline, and it is important for ship owners and ship management companies to manage their fleet as efficient as possible.

Aside from providing high quality services to her customers, Radio Holland also adds value by informing her customers well in advance about upcoming mandatory services for her equipment and equipment which is about to become obsolete, because of spare parts which won’t be available in the market any longer. Furthermore, Radio Holland Asia has a team of service coordinators and engineers available 24/7 in order to respond immediately in case customers experience a breakdown of their ship’s equipment.

Sven became a member of ADB-DutchCham, to network and forge relationships with fellow Dutch businesspeople amongst others within the maritime sector in Singapore. When Sven arrived in Singapore, ADB-DutchCham organized an Open House day at the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA) and Sven attended to gain more knowledge regarding shipping in Singapore. During social events it is an added benefit to hear about new developments in the industry.

What does the future bring?

The outlook for Radio Holland is positive, Radio Holland delivers high quality services at a competitive pricing level. The entrepreneurial drive and lean operations allow Radio Holland to grow and where necessary open more offices in Asia. Based upon feedback from the market Radio Holland recently opened an office in Qingdao (China). Asia is a vast region with a lot of potential in markets in various degrees of development.

Interview with Sven Zaadnoordijk

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