A chat with Kees Bos, founder and CEO of Globalinternet, on what he believes is the “secret sauce” for the success of our business – one of NL’s 250 Top Scale-ups 2020.
At the beginning of March, we were informed Globalinternet was included in the Netherlands’ Top 250 Scale-ups 2020, a list of fast-growing companies, based on the Scale-Up dashboard and published by the Erasmus Centre of Entrepreneurship in partnership with Nlgroeit.
So, we decided to put the internet cables aside and speak with Kees Bos, not the CEO, but the entrepreneur, to give us some history about Globalinternet, what he believes is the formula for growth, and what has he got planned for the future.
It was 2012 – almost 8 years ago, when my co-founder and I, who have both been very involved in the telco industry for many years, saw an opportunity in the market for a global ISP aggregator with a focus on enterprises.
The idea was further developed at my kitchen table and, soon after that, we went “all in”. So we skipped the garage phase and immediately rented some office space at the Science Park in Amsterdam.
The next step was hard work. We needed to collect data from all ISPs on a global scale to be able to launch our website. This took us a long time. In the meantime, we started to develop our website to start selling internet - via the internet.
And just before the end of the year… it happened! We got our very first order from Booking.com!!! That was a fantastic moment, our first order and from such a flagship customer, a customer that’s still with us for all this time.
From there on, we started to feel that our efforts were paying off with new and different projects: some, very fun and exciting, like when we were asked to deliver internet access to the training complex of the Dutch national soccer team in Rio de Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Others, though, involved more difficult scenarios, like when we were asked to deliver in war-torn countries, such as Somalia, Afghanistan or Lybia. All in all, we've learned a lot from each of these experiences.
A lot has changed. We’ve experienced rapid and steady growth and today we have changed into a professional organisation with almost 100 employees, with offices in three continents, certified processes, and several Fortune 500 customers to whom we’ve delivered thousands of services in almost every country on the planet.
At the same time, some things have not changed: most of the first colleagues and customers who started this journey with us are still around, and the energy and entrepreneurship spirit with which we started remains and has spread across the whole organisation.
I think that, if anything, the secret sauce is the people we work with and the way we work together".- Kees Bos | Founder & CEO
That’s a good question. I think that, if anything, the secret sauce is the people we work with and the way we work together. From the very beginning, we’ve strived to create the right team spirit, by being honest and open. When we re-defined our values, not so long ago, we agreed that going “the extra mile” was at the core of our way of working, towards customers (I now remember the many times we had to do rushed deliveries for customer offices, that were just about to open and had not thought about connectivity! Or only recently, that we had to modify our mobile proposition to enable home workers due to the spread of COVID-19 ).
Another key factor is that we have always been very internationally oriented. Our first colleagues were all located in different countries and continents, and still, only looking at our office in Amsterdam: from about 50 colleagues, we probably have 30 nationalities. We “Dutchies” are a minority but all these different backgrounds have truly enriched my life!
We continue to grow. While we pride on the fact that we are still 100% internet-focused, we are investing in adjacent services, new strategic partnerships and in our own tooling to enhance and strengthen our existing portfolio, to bring additional value to our customers and partners.
We no longer see ourselves as just an ISP Aggregator, but an enabler of network transformations for global businesses.