In 15 years, Dutch greenhouse builder Havecon has grown into an international player in the realization of Turn-key horticultural projects. In this interview, CEO Henk Verbakel looks back on 15 years, but of course also ahead at the future and the latest overseas development.
Did you ever think, when you founded Havecon, that it would grow into such an international organization?
"No, definitely not. In fact, I had ruled it out, especially as we had the urge to focus more on regional and somewhat smaller projects to start, without a focus on the large-scale projects. It has turned out somewhat differently."
What is the success formula behind the company?
"It's really the people! We have the most loyal team you could wish for, and everyone is always working hard. In the second place are the loyal suppliers with whom we have had a very warm relationship from day one."
What typifies a Havecon project?
"In the first place, it is the speed with which projects are started up and the responsibility that is taken on by the team. As soon as the materials are in place, and the men from Voorwinden, or their contractors, are on the site, that is what we, as a team, are good at."
What successes are you most proud of in the past 15 years?
"There are quite a few, actually. In terms of colleagues, it is the warehouse and the office which we designed and built together. These were realized between 2017 and 2019, and everyone has contributed in their own way in terms of designs and wishes. We enjoy this every day and it certainly helps to create a good atmosphere.
"Furthermore, I think we can be very proud of the beautiful customer base we have. The questions and requirements are becoming more complex internationally and we can meet them quite well together. Our customers are becoming bigger and more professional, but so are we."
Over the past few years, offices have been added in Bosnia and Canada. Is there a limit to the expansion?
"No, not at all. We already have an office ready and waiting in the US and we will move certain activities there at the beginning of next year and manage certain matters more locally from there. However, it will be fully under the responsibility of the head office, because that works fine with the other locations now, and we can steer our second home market from the surroundings as a group in that way."