After three years at the board the Rotterdam Maritime Services Community (RMSC) says of RMSC, we say goodbye to Raymond Ko. He started a new adventure at a shipping company earlier this year and together with Linda Treuman (manager of the RMSC), he looks back at his time with RMSC and the main challenges for the future of the community.
Raymond: “Marstrat has been a member of RMSC since the beginning and as a maritime consultant we saw the importance of a network of maritime business services. I have been through the cycle of highs and lows a few times, mainly following the market from a finance perspective. Through RMSC it was great to meet a diverse group of maritime professionals and hear different perspectives on market developments and all sharing the strength of working in the Rotterdam region.”
As board member, Raymond helped to redefine the RMSC strategy. After six years, it was necessary to review what members wanted to get out of the network as well as how the RMSC could develop that together with our supporter the City of Rotterdam. More focus on combining networks was one of the outcomes; “we started organising knowledge events with other organisations, like Deltalinqs and the Royal Association of Netherlands Shipowners (KVNR), also with the aim to meet and mix with new people.”
International profiling also came more prominent in the strategy, with the business lunch in London as a prime example. Following-up with events outside the Netherlands subsequently was intervened by travel restrictions as a result of the pandemic, although the webinars given gained a more international public.
In the six years of its existence the RMSC became well established in the Rotterdam Maritime Capital of Europe network. Unfortunately the pandemic had a dampening effect on the aspired membership growth. Given the circumstances the RMSC did well and managed to attract new members. Raymond: “I believe Linda and the team did really well in keeping the dialogue going between the members, through on-line sessions and well timed live events such as sailing on the ‘Eendracht’ just before the second lock-down.”
Linda agrees: “I am really happy with the fact that only a couple of companies ended their membership, which shows to me, that they value the content of the events and the network we promote.”
When reflecting on the more broader view of the maritime industry as of 2021, Raymond is positive: “I believe with the quick recovery of the economy and shipping markets this year, combined with the acceleration of carbon reduction efforts by all parts of the value chain, there is excellent prospects for the high-end services of the Rotterdam maritime professionals. With the RMSC we can even get more out of the community and I believe a next step is to increase the awareness and use of our online membership directory among the members itself so that we know what and who we have in-house and develop more business locally.
In my current role with SMT Shipping I am experiencing the strong value proposition Rotterdam has for a global shipping company. From our new office at Scheepvaartkwartier we cover amongst others, financial and corporate management services for all of our international activities and joint-ventures. What more can you wish for: working from a prime location and top maritime professional services within close reach!”
As RMSC, we thank Raymond for his time dedicated to the community and will surely bump into him in the Veerhaven area soon. Next time – an introduction interview with Erik Witjens, our newest board member, of De Reede Advocatuur.