Ron Besseling’s office, owner of the People in Food Holding, is full of art. Herman Brood’s work hangs in triplicate on the walls, a duo from Angkor Wat is keeping watch beside his desk while a huge red rabbit looks in from the garden.
Ron’s career is as colourful as his art collection. Ron, before taking the helm at KTBA in 2004, was a DJ and freelance marketing adviser. As marketing adviser he promoted beverages in hotel and catering establishments and his work was mainly aimed at the youth. Ron took over KTBA after his brother in law’s untimely death. At first he still combined KTBA with freelance jobs. In 2005 KTBA officially became Ron’s.
“Quality and marketing, is what I stand for,” he says. “The quality part of KTBA was good right from the start. The business had satisfied clients and reliable, competent employees. The marketing side was lacking. KTBA had a nondescript appearance. A shame! That was a job meant for me.” Ron took care of a modern logo, with a fitting corporate identity and website, to convey the new, professional image. KTBA grew under Ron’s leadership into a distinctive organisation in the food industry.
The art collection at the office grew simultaneously. Ron’s signature can be found in every room. If you were to walk into the office, not yet quite awake, you might just run into a green and pink penguin.
Ron is continuously investing in the training of the staff and the sales team. “That’s how I maintain the whole organisation’s level. Growth shouldn’t come at a cost to the quality.” Responsible growth, is what Ron calls it. The man who made KTBA great, is aware of his own weaknesses. “I’m not good at managing personnel and projects, and I don’t really enjoy it. My strength lies in collecting, inspiring, and making good people enthusiastic. At a certain level I’m involved in everything, but I don’t micromanage. In that respect, I’m not a control freak.”
“It is my dream to make KTBA a global leader in food safety and compliance. We have the advantage that we are reasonably unique in our services. There are many opportunities in the Middle-East and Asia. The emerging economies in these areas must procure knowledge of food safety. They are striving towards a quality level that is as high as in the West. These countries need to collect knowledge in short term, something we have been doing over decades.”
If the past thirteen years have any bearing on the future of KTBA, then I’m sure we’ll do fine. “KTBA not only needs to become the biggest, but also the best. That is a dynamic and a force field. Maintaining the quality must remain our highest priority in the future.” Undoubtedly, this is also a metaphor for Ron’s art collection.