“With both feet down to earth, you will never fly…”
Miguel as a person:
Besides an international strategist, Miguel is curious, friendly, crazy about inspiring, innovating and showing people logic; he denounces, however, indecisiveness, lack of passion and (unnecessary) repetition. He has (corny) humour, guts, is a fanatic, spontaneous, fundamentally flexible, a concrete philosopher and always works in a simplifying way. Miguel loves chaos and can do several things at the same time, but as a high-context person, he always wants to know the context of the question or problem before he comes up with a solution. He expects much, first of all from himself, is quick to trust people, as a result of which he works in an endearing way, but he is not naïve. He is too old to call himself a born diginative 2.0, but he is a good 1.95 beta.
By choosing quickly, he takes decisions as a real man, but he possesses many feminine qualities too; not only a lousy sense of direction, but also his management style and approach to people exhibit little masculine traits. As a true ‘product’ of Montessori, he makes connections, handles his affairs in an interdisciplinary way, gladly helps others along and motivates himself. He finds competition to be only a relative concept and he has great trouble with injustice, scheming and deception.
Now that he is over 40, he has settled down and sowed his wild oats and is happy with his family. Miguel is (glad to be) everyone’s friend and sees opportunities everywhere, but he does not just spot opportunities, he also seizes them.
With graphic blood in his veins, Miguel grows up together with his brother to be the little toffee-nose in Hilversum. Because he stays small for so long, he develops a necessary eloquence and, because not everything falls into his lap by itself, he develops the character of a go-getter. As the son of a businessman, he is, partly due to his Montessori education, so aware of life that he knows what he wants to become by the time he is six years old. Just like his father, both his grandfathers and his great-grandfather, he is drawn by managing the family company: Delcour Bookbinders Ltd.
Directly after his high school he rushes full of conviction to the graphical industry and studies, after finishing his education Printing techniques and allied trades at the secondary vocational education in Amsterdam, Industrial Engineering / Graphic Management in Tilburg. Curious and hungry for knowledge and experience about Asian management styles, he decides in 1999 to use his internship of half a year to gain his first real work experience in Hangzhou, China, from which stems his particular love of China. After his return, he decides to crown his career as a student with a study Business Administration at the RSM Erasmus University in Rotterdam with ‘Strategic Management’ as major.
Driven by his curiosity and particular interest in organising, he has been active in the field of business and management already long before his studies started, developing his facilitating style. Already during his studies, he becomes a member of the Supervisory Board of a housing association. After his studie, he works as organisation consultant at MWP Advies in Delft, where he has ample opportunities to add words into action; an adopted trait from Rotterdam that he certainly possesses. Directly after his probation, he, together with his wife buys a house in strategically positioned Zoetermeer. Still before he turned 30, he founds Firm in Enterprise™, out of which he simplifies various (international) companies and organisations with logic and inspiration. This way, Miguel is the first and only Firm simplifier™ in the world.
Empowered by shared feelings for China, he emigrates together with wife, cat and firm to Shanghai. Due to personal circumstances, Zoetermeer, unfortunately, again becomes the base for living and working. In this intense period arises his passion for behaviour, with a focus on ‘global behaviour’, which he incorporates in his role as Firm simplifier™. Because blood is thicker than water, within one month after his return, he again is active with Firm in Enterprise™ and also within various managerial, political and business side activities. Quickly he was asked to lecture Operations Management, International Business, Economics and Logistics & Workflow management at, among others, Business School Nederland, IVA-Driebergen Business School and Stivako. In early 2008, he founds the international trading company Anniething®, where in mid-2009 he further invests in his own promo-machines. In late 2009, he is asked to also teach ‘successful coaching’ at the Rotterdam University of applied science and from mid-2010 he becomes chairman of the political party VVD in Zoetermeer, after 3 years of board membership already
2011 is the year of renewal. Besides a great refurbishment, from which results a new office of 55 m2, his daughter Chloé is born. Despite the crisis, Miguel comes up with and substantially invests in two new initiatives. App2Find, a smartphone application that he wants to have communicate with a device which will be an own development, and he starts the adventure for a new platform for expats in Brazil. Furthermore, he starts together with a Chinese partner a bridge between China and the Netherlands: China Holland Business Bridge.
His existing companies Firm in Enterprise™ and Anniething® keep going, despite the large investments in time and money. Besides hiring a journalist for the writing work from Brazil, the first graduating student also comes to support Firm in Enterprise™. Nice to see a graduating student also from this side, because Miguel for years advises himself graduating students all over the world for their research and thesis. In late 2011, this student becomes his first employee and Miguel is asked to become a member of the Supervisory Board of Clementia Zorgverleners B.V., in which he takes a sit.
2012 is the year of developments and investments. After the delivery of the new office (2011), serious work is done on BrazilExpat.com and App2Find and large investments are made. In March, he founds together with his Chinese partner the China Holland Investment Agency, so that the Chinese investor can find his way to the possibilities in the Netherlands and vice versa. Although 2012 is not the best financial year for Miguel, he keeps going with his decision to invest. A new intern is brought in to accelerate efforts for BrazilExpat.com, the contract of the employee is extended and he focusses full-time on Firm2Find, which has become since the end of 2012 the official entity for App2Find and the corresponding device to be developed, called Tool2Find.
Although the development appears to be more difficult than expected, Miguel can realise it and officially launches the website BrazilExpat.com for expats in Brazil, which already in 2013 further grows into a franchise business for expat websites all over the world, bundled in NationExpat.
Because he still remains active with Firm in Enterprise, despite the developments and innovations, he is asked to become chairman out of this role of the Supervisory Board of mother-child/care organisation Aisa NU and also changes his role within the Supervisory Board of Clementia from member to chairman. In June, he becomes a father again, this time of his son Sylvain. In the third quarter of 2013, Miguel is asked by a Chinese manufacturer of machines to set up the European headquarters in Germany with a sales region of 125 countries. As interim General Manager, he sets up the office and the network of distributors within half a year.
In the second quarter of 2014, all attention is directed again to his own companies and he leaves the position of lecturer at IVA-Driebergen Business School. The management of Anniething®, China Holland Business Bridge and China Holland Investment Agency is temporarily delegated so that there is more time for focus on Firm2Find, the development of Tool2Find and the further expanding NationExpat. An employee is now placed in each company, which results in greater momentum. NationExpat.com grows to 84 countries and the development of Tool2Find reaches its peak in the fourth quarter by starting the first crowdfunding for financing the first production run.
2015 starts with a setback because the target of the crowdfunding for Tool2Find is not reached. Shifting quickly, however, produces new opportunities, through which the production can well begin in mid-2015 after finding an investment of € 150.000. Work starts directly on the new web shop in order to sell various GPS tracking products. Since the managerial and technical structuring of Firm2Find is completed, Miguel passes the baton to the China specialist with regard to procurement and production supervision. Miguel remains of course actively involved and as CFO works out further financing needs and he keeps himself busy with international sales via distributors. Due to this limiting in time, together with the conclusion of two of his supervisory roles, Miguel can re-orient himself in the fall towards new opportunities in the market. This also gives him the opportunity to devote even more time in the cooperation he has initiated with the inventor of a new combustion engine. After finding a party that can theoretically prove that the concept works, effort is now being made to find investors who will financially contribute to the prototype to be made.
Despite the emergence of several new projects in late 2015 and early 2016, there is strong need for additional financing for Firm2Find and the involvement of Miguel is so great that he limits his focus on re-orientation. In the first quarter of 2016, he concludes his presidency of VVD Zoetermeer; after nine years as member of the board in Zoetermeer, he takes his place as treasurer on the board of VVD in the province of South Holland. The municipality of Zoetermeer solicits again his experience as president of the selection committee of the WMO Participation Board, of which he takes care for ten years already, and asks him to become president of the selection committee of the Advisory Board Social Domain Zoetermeer, a position which he takes in March. He also takes back the legal representation of Anniething® upon himself but keeps his focus on Firm2Find.
In the summer, he takes the difficult decision to stop with Firm2Find and starts searching for a new challenge in the last quarter. Luckily, this period coincides with acceleration within the project for the invention of a new combustion engine, which gets the name No Stroke Engine. In October, he signs a cooperation agreement with the inventor and a (famous) third party that he manages to involve. Despite all the work that Miguel puts and has put into it, the two gentlemen decide in December without further consultation to formalise the company without him, a trick that seems to fit 2016…all in all not a top year.
2017 must be the year of new opportunities. The year begins well because Miguel starts directly in January as temporary business coach and lecturer International Business and Marketing at EuroCollege in Amsterdam. Now that everything from 2016 has been concluded, he realises that things are very good and, after a short break, he searches for a new challenge that has no negative influence on his personal situation with his family, an insight that –according to the books- fits his age. As a blessing in disguise, he has much time for ‘being there’ for his parents, which is absolutely necessary considering the state of his father’s health; who passes away in May. The extra quality time that he can spend with his family satisfies him. He decides to also be there more for Annie and their children and makes use of the luxury he has to limit his work activities to voluntary work, trade and some advisory work. This must be the beginning of a new positive period. Given that being perfectly still is not his thing, in May he is named treasurer of the Dutch Montessori Association (DMA), so that he can do something for the special style of education he could enjoy during his youth and which his children too currently enjoy with verve. Furthermore, he starts as business coach at Qredits Microfinancing the Netherlands to support (start-up) entrepreneurs. Towards the end of the year, he also becomes president of the Association for Craft Bookbinders. by which he fulfils his family history in a managerial way. Three nice additional social administrative posts, with which he can do something back for three important core issues from his life: Montessori, entrepreneurship and bookbinding.
In Q2 of 2018, it starts to gnaw at him again and he wants to get back to work. He wavers between entrepreneurship, a steady challenge or going back to the known ground of interim management. It becomes a combination in any case, because his trading company Anniething® celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Firm in Enterprise, out of which he carries out interim work, turns 13 years in February.
In addition to some small orders and purchase orders through Anniething®, a big project is being created at the DMA. Picking this up means that he is occupied until the last quarter of the year, but still has enough time to spend with his children.
At the end of August, he caught sight of a vacancy at the KVGO (Royal Dutch Association of Printing and Allied Industries), which he was already actively involved with as a student. With 15 years of advice and interim experience, this vacancy comes at the right time. Now that the DMA-project has been completed, this role seems to be a perfect next step. The application process runs smoothly and quickly, early November the KVGO chooses Miguel as the new Managing Director. Because his predecessor calculated a notice period and also enough time to prepare Miguel for his new role, they decide to make the 1st of February the officiel start. This leaves Miguel with enough time to finish and cancel all current business. Firm in Enterprise and Anniething® both continues to exist bu not all facilities are necessary anymore. It might feel a little strange to have a permanent contract after almost 15 years of independence, but the challenge is certainly big enough to work with full pleasure for some years.
Although formally the first month of 2019 is free, the activities for the KVGO already start in January. No problem, because doing nothing is not typically a thing for Miguel. After all other members of the family are also plugged in to the new work-schedule, the new adventure as General Manager of KVGO starts at the 1st of February. Firm in Enterprise and Anniething® both continue to exist, though on a low level. He is happy to be allowed to combine this job with his voluntary work, despite the busy job these organisations can still count on his commitment.