I come from a long line of plumbers and from an early age on, I had always known I would be the fourth generation leading the family business. After graduating high school, my father thought it was best for me to work my way up. So on September 1st of 1977, I reported for duty in my overalls at the Shell Amsterdam/KSLA plant.
In 1978, I started my technological degree at the polytechnic of Amsterdam and in my spare time I worked for my father. In five years' time, I became a project leader and a sales clerk. After graduating from the polytech, I enrolled in evening classes for an academic degree in business economics at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Fortunately, I also joined a student association where I could fulfill my need for intellectual discourse.
In 1986, I became co-director with my father and a year later, at the age of 29, I took over the company.