Adven’s growth journey led me to the Netherlands
How did a Master of Science in Technology (civil and water engineering) end up in international sales and introducing energy as a service model in the Netherlands and Belgium? I am Hanna Litendahl and my desire to learn new things and take on new challenges led me to Holland.
As a part of our expansion strategy, Adven is now entering the Dutch market. The “Energy as a Service®” service model is not so well known in The Netherlands, so our first task is to explain how the service model works and what its advantages are.
And we are making good progress in that. Thanks to many meetings with leading industrial companies, we are now working on several sales projects creating energy and evaporation solutions to our customers here in the Netherlands.
I think there is a reason for our fast start here, we have started our market entry at the right time; the energy sector is undergoing a transition as such, and the situation in the world is pushing organizations to reconsider their energy solutions.
This is also one of the things I find interesting in energy: there are big challenges to solve, there are ongoing technological development, and the solutions we come up with have a major effect on not just our clients but the whole world, making it more sustainable.
Innovative sales and great team spirit
Our innovative team is not afraid to tackle these challenges and be real trailblazers, do things in a way no one else has done before.
As Sales Manager, my task here is to promote the market entry and sales in the Netherlands. I’m so excited to be a part of the team that starts something new.
We have a great ambitious team to make it happen.
Now we are a team of four people at Adven Netherlands: we have Stan Raben and Willem Korevaar who just recently started as my colleagues, Stan as EPC Director and Willem as Sales Manager. Then we have Victor Donselaar, Head of Country and Sales in the Netherlands, who is the mastermind behind the market entry, and has been in the company for a few years already.
We plan to add new people to our team as the sales projects evolve.
Learning new skills and convincing my husband
My interest in mathematics, chemistry and physics led me to study technology, having studied civil and water engineering as well as process design and energy technology.
I have previously worked as a project engineer and consultant and then since 2015 in Adven’s concept development team creating technical solutions. However, I want to keep learning new things all the time, so I transferred to lead sales projects to see the work from a new angle.
For the position of Sales Manager, I needed to expand my expertise more in finance and contract negotiation. I have now worked three years as a Sales Manager at Adven.
I had thought for a while now that it would be interesting to work abroad, as it gives you the opportunity to look at things from a new perspective and learn new cultures. So, when I was asked to join our team in the Netherlands, it did not take me long to say yes.
The biggest challenge was to convince my husband!
Building a life in the Netherlands
For a Finn, the Dutch way of working and interacting takes a bit of getting used to. In business, Nordic people are supposed to be direct, but they are nothing compared to the Dutch.
On the other hand, Dutch in general are extremely friendly and hospitable – I got the first invitation for a cup of coffee from a neighbor before I had our front door open.
Building networks and setting up the daily routine for my family are extremely important both personally and professionally. My husband and two kids also must feel at home here and have meaningful content in their lives.
Setting up a home in a new country is, of course, an arduous task, as we need to learn how the society and services work here and do this in a new language.
Even so, this is an exciting opportunity to broaden my horizons.
The team has grown and consists now of seven people: Country Manager Victor Donselaar, Director EPC Stan Raben, Sales Manager Hanna Litendahl, Sales Manager Willem Korevaar, Strategic Customer Manager Robbert Ubachs, Sales Project Developer Marco Beune and Senior Concept Manager Gerjan Hulstijn.