Philippe Mbundu – Export Manager Africa at Koudijs
Under the Koudijs brand, De Heus exports feed specialties, concentrates and premixes to more than 75 countries around the world. Koudijs employees are adventurous and enjoy discovering new markets. No challenge is too big. "We are active in many regions and do business with people from all kinds of cultures," says Philippe. “Being able to make a real impact in emerging markets is what drives me."
A family-run business is personal
Philippe joined Koudijs on October 1, 2020, and despite the pandemic, his new colleagues made him feel welcome. "I experienced the difference between a corporate organization and a family-run business," he explains. "People come first at Koudijs, which offers all the benefits of a large multinational company while still feeling personal. What convinced me, among others, to join Koudijs was that Harry Schimmel, my manager at that time, drove to my hometown for a lunchtime meeting to get to know each other. It became clear that at Koudijs, you're not just a number."
Motivated to help farmers
Philippe is motivated to feed the growing world population of the future. "It is a chance to be part of a proud, family-owned company with a vision for the future and that invests in emerging markets." As part of his job, Philippe travels to various countries and partners with farmers and feed mills to support them in optimizing their feed strategy and farm management. "Farmers are very eager to learn and improve their business," he continues. "It's rewarding to help them improve their feeding regime and their performance and see them make progress along the way."
Africa is the future – building new markets
As Export Manager, Philippe is responsible for seven markets in Central Africa. "I enjoy building new markets from scratch," he says. "I share the passion for this magnificent continent and have always been fascinated by its culture, people, and opportunities. “Africa is a developing continent with a young, growing population that will have to feed itself. As a company, we can play an integral role in that." But working in Africa can also be very challenging. Therefore, we need to be flexible and entrepreneurial and find new ways to do business. Adapting our distinctive feeding solutions to local conditions and having a customer-centric approach is crucial to our success."
Pioneering and making an impact
Philippe's role involves managing all aspects of the business. "I enjoy working with a team made up of people from different departments," he says. "I also like connecting with people from different backgrounds and establishing relationships. The pioneering and business development part of the job is what Philippe likes the most. "At Koudijs, we have a long-term vision and work with local partners and resources to help the farming industry develop further. We truly want to make an impact," he explains. "Since 2019, we have opened two factories in Ghana and Ivory Coast, contributing to the development of these countries and the wider region."
Growth and development opportunities
So what would he say to anyone thinking about applying for a job at Koudijs? "If you want to have an impact, join our company. You can truly be yourself at Koudijs, and there are many opportunities to learn, develop, and grow. Koudijs people are highly motivated and willing to go the extra mile to help each other. Because when the team does well, the individual does well too."