June Member Spotlight – vanderlende consulting
What is your business industry category or specialty?
My industry is consulting and my specialty is international market and business development. I have expertise in the airline industry – for which I continue to do consulting work – and I also do work for companies in other industries that have specific international challenges, including international expansion.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
I help companies to improve results with services that range from strategic planning to hands-on initiatives to increase revenue based on my international experience and expertise.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition? What makes you unique?
There is not really a lot of well-defined competition, although I recently had a conversation with a company that develops business for US based companies in Latin America as well. Instead of thinking in terms of competition, I actually think more in terms of alliances and partnerships. The partnership philosophy allows thinking in terms of ‘growing the pie’ as opposed to slice it and protecting your slice.
What makes me unique is that I have 20 years in delivering results across borders in the areas of Sales, Strategic Market and Business Development and Global Alliances & Partnerships for 5 global companies. I also lived and worked in 9 countries, which in my mind is a condition to be successful in the area of international consulting.
How was the business started?
The business was started when I left my position as Director of Global Alliances at Delta Air Lines. I quickly realized that my experience and skills were of value to companies with specific international challenges. For example, I built strategies for a global leading travel IT company based in Europe to improve its position with the airlines in the US. Currently I am working on creating a strategic and sustainable position for a Dutch material handling company in Mexico, which includes developing incremental business. I also provide advice for investors in areas of my expertise and I provide advice and build relationships for a Danish IT company to increase its footprint in The Americas.
How many employees does the business have?
My services are based on a personal approach and are built around skills that I have developed over the years. Depending on how the business evolves I will look at expanding beyond the current structure. I do not have employees on my payroll that do consulting work. At some point I may consider partnerships, which often is a smarter way to expand.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
Between 2004 and 2009 I was Country Manager for Northwest and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines in Mexico. As a Northwest employee, I was offered to join Delta Air Lines at its headquarters in Atlanta as a result of the Delta-Northwest merger.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
My number one business goal for 2015 is to deliver excellent results for my clients as well as expanding my client base over the next 6-12 months.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with Americans?
In all honesty I prefer not be shy by stating that I consider that type of advice my expertise. I recently started to post short articles on the subject, which can be found on my website and my LinkedIn profile (see below). My advice for working internationally is actually summarized in the title of my first post: ‘Everybody Does The Same Thing Differently’. In another post, I actually addressed the direct communication of the Dutch: ‘Not Everything Needs To Be Said’. Assumptions are the number one enemy for working with people of different nationalities.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
My special interest is my family. My wonderful wife from Venezuela is my biggest supporter. My three beautiful daughters were born in three different countries and as such help serve as a marketing message for vanderlende consulting! Another specific interest, which relates to my business, is to share my observations on working across borders in writing to a larger audience. I aim to continue to develop that side of my interests further.
Peter van der Lende | Consultant
Cell: + 1 678 301 8369