Vice President, Head of SEA region
Mark's job in 3 words: Purpose. Empower.Grow.
Having travelled, lived and worked all over the world, Dutch-born Mark brings valuable world-wide experience and a global mindset to Arla, having recently taken up the role as head of the South East Asia (SEA) region.
Based in Kuala Lumpur, Mark faces a market whose societal issues span from malnutrition to obesity, the so-called dual burden of many countries in SEA, and Arla has to develop the right solutions for consumers in the extremely diverse Asian markets. At one end of the spectrum, there are very mature markets dominated by wealthy and demanding consumers, while on the other end, there are developing and emergent markets where people live on two dollars a day and are trying their first glass of milk. “This is reality. Recognising that there is ‘no one Asia’ means that there is also no one solution, and I believe this is the exciting part! If we do this well, we can create value for our farmer-owners.”
"What you project, you attract"
According to Mark, what is truly unique about working for Arla is the fact that we are working for our farmer-owners and that much of our work is 'down to earth': "We just do things and don't talk too much. We are not just the largest organic dairy manufacturer in the world, we also have a company philosophy for creating natural, healthy goodness, which I think gives us a great purpose and really makes us unique."
Along these lines, Mark identifies and values the emphasis on collaboration that is embedded in the Arla culture: "People are here to collaborate, to do good and help each other. I really believe that 'what you project, you attract'. If you radiate caring, kindness and helping then you will also attract caring, kind and helpful people."
Leading by example
Working closely with his team to overachieve targets and create value for our farmers, Mark is passionate about walking the talk and leading by example:
I believe that if you do things that you believe in, you get an unlimited source of energy. If you can operate from your strengths, you can do anything.”
Determined about developing and ensuring a purpose for the people he works with, Mark aspires to empower his team to grow: “I truly believe that my role is to hire better people than me and make sure they have the freedom to go beyond their imagination; to do what they think is right and go make things happen.” According to Mark, this is what Arla is all about: growing together, as individuals, as a team, and as a business – creating more value for our farmer owners.