In the last three decades 416 talented young professionals and over 200 international companies have benefited from their association with the Prince Albert Fund. Find out how the Fund has contributed to their personal career development and international business expansion, as they share with us their experiences below.Subscribe to our newsletter
Based in the Barco office in Hong Kong, Stijn De Keyser’s role consisted of the company’s business development in Southeast Asia.
Stijn was working for Barco’s Industrial & Government Department, which produces video wall displays and related hardware and software for control rooms.
As Barco does not sell its control room products directly to its customers, but through a network of partners (system integrators), his task was to find and establish relationships with new partners in the countries where Barco did not yet have a presence in the fields of traffic control, security and utilities. His first challenge was to find local SMEs active in these markets. Most of these companies in Southeast Asia lack a proper website and hardly advertise. “But as people in this region are open and friendly, this really helped me in my networking and eventually I found the right people to talk to.” The pace at which business is done in Southeast Asia also turned out to be a great challenge. It can sometimes take three to five years for a deal to materialise, requiring a great deal of patience.
Stijn switched from working for a bank in the Benelux to working for an international technology company in Asia, selling products he was not familiar with. This great experience contributed to his professional and personal development in many different ways. During his Prince Albert Fund experience, he was able to establish an extensive network in the industry and eventually got to know the right people that Barco is still working with today. “Besides identifying many business opportunities and increasing my knowledge of emerging markets, this project also helped me to understand what it is like to actually do business with people.”
Barco is a global technology company that designs and develops visualisation and collaboration solutions for a variety of selected professional markets, including enterprises, healthcare and entertainment. Employing 3,250 people in more than 90 countries, Barco enables customers worldwide to optimise productivity and business efficiency.
“Stijn has helped the Barco team in Southeast Asia to explore certain markets which even today are not covered in the way they should be. The candidate proposed new potential partners to expand our market coverage. He also showed dedication and was highly motivated in his assignment.”