How would you describe VINCI Energies Netherlands activity in 2020?
“Before 2020 it was all go. 2019 was one of the best years ever for VINCI Energies in the Netherlands, and 2020 got off to a good start. We planned to achieve further growth, made possible by the acquisition and integration of Koning & Hartman.
At the end of February, early March the coronavirus storm broke loose. Nearly all our activities – and those of our clients – ground to a temporary halt. An unprecedented situation that made it impossible to look ahead or to make predictions. Our management philosophy and business-units structure quickly proved their value. Our business units are close to the clients and know the local segments they serve inside out. They are also incredibly agile and adaptable, enabling them to assimilate the situation quickly and to realign to the changing environment.
With our specialisations we are properly segmented in the critical sectors, which was an enormous help to us and our clients. With our ICT expertise we were able to produce a quick changeover to working from home for many of our employees, and those of our clients. After a brief spell of inactivity, action was resumed in the Infrastructure sector too and the energy transition continued.
Our management philosophy makes us human-centred, and that proved to be extremely valuable in these unusual times. We were able to provide employees with professional and technical support. However, we were also able to provide mental support due to a massive input from HR.
The abovementioned causes and conditions and the fact that many clients also learned to navigate the situation quickly and managed to get back to work, produced a rebound around the middle of 2020. We prepared our plans for 2020 in 2019, and despite the fact that we had to change our plans for 2020 completely – utterly unheard-of – the third and fourth quarters outperformed those same quarters of 2019.
The year 2020 can be seen as a real-life stress test of our management model and our organisation. With the input from the whole of VINCI Energies Netherlands we came through well and passed with flying colours. We saw incredible growth and development in most of our employees. A combination of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovative strength and having the right people in the right place at the right time enabled us to weather the storm.
What is the outlook for 2021 and beyond?
We have great expectations for 2021. We are positioned for segments with essential developments; in those segments we already have clients and we have the technology to serve them.
We expect there may well be a setback in the long run, but in 2020 we demonstrated that we can take a knock. We will continue to position ourselves in the must-have technologies. To that end we will continue to invest in our employees and in the technology. The energy transition and the digital transformation will simply continue. We will increasingly produce sustainable solutions for our clients. The developments and the solutions will be more differentiated, meaning that our development will have to differentiate too.
Over the past year, we performed well in the area of safety, health and wellbeing. That does not discharge us from the duty to keep working on this continuously and to keep it top-of-mind for everyone. We will keep this at the heart of our operations in a proactive manner. This applies to working in buildings, on sites, on the road, and at home. Our people are pivotal to our success.”
Team VINCI Energies Netherlands
From left to right:
Jos van Uden, Managing Director Indrastructure, Building Solutions and Industry
Maurice Roijen, Chief Financial Officer
Eus de Haas, General Counsel and Corporate Development
Rob van Kaathoven, Managing Director ICT
Jos Boers, Chairman, Supervisory Director