ARJEN VAN BEEK, LOUWMAN EXCLUSIVE

Since 2013, Arjen van Beek has been director of Louwman Exclusive, the car dealer for Morgan, Maserati and McLaren in a beautiful building on the A2. Arjen has a notable background in the automotive world. But every top executive has had support along the way. Curious who was the wheelbarrow for Arjen? You can read that in the interview below. Photo header: John van Helvert
Interview: Annelies Keus

What was your very first job?

“During my studies, I imported clothes from France together with a friend. We literally went to the shops with a bag on our backs. We used to enter those shops as boys and hope that you could show your collection. It often worked!”

Who was your wheelbarrow?

“That was my father. He was a car dealer and I helped in the business as a child. I come from an entrepreneurial family, so that was normal for us. Actually, I didn't intend to continue with it at all, but eventually the moment of follow-up came and that's how I got into it. I took over the company one by one.”

How important is networking?

“Connections are very valuable, that applies to everyone. I sold my company at the time to get rid of 'my wheelbarrow'. I suddenly had an enormous drive to gain my own position. I was in my mid-thirties when I sold everything and started paving my own path. That was the moment when networking really started to count for me. It's all about who you know.”

What's the stupidest thing you've ever done in your career?

“Blindly investing with two people who have already worked together for 20 years. Even though you are on an equal footing, it remains difficult.”

What advice would you give to your 18 year old self?

“Follow your heart more often instead of on autopilot.”

What advice would you give to others?

“Make informed choices. People who have just graduated often take the first job where they click, instead of thinking about 'what do I really want' and 'what are my ambitions and dreams'. When you are young you have relatively few obligations, so use that time to take a chance.

Do you see yourself as a wheelbarrow?

“If you expect to be able to hire good employees later, you have to invest in opportunities for young people to learn the trade. In my opinion, as a company you are obliged to do so.”