Geert Minnart, Belgian and Commercial Director On-Trade at Heineken Netherlands, tells us all about his current job and career path before becoming one of the leading directors at Heineken Netherlands. He started in Belgium as a business student and attended the hotel school. However, he always knew that he would follow a commercial path, as he always felt that was his true passion.
Minnart only had to go on one job interview in his life, and ever since he has had a successful career consisting of management and director positions. Now, he is specialized in the commercialization of beverages and retail, and has been headhunted for other jobs ever since.
Being a Commercial Director On-Trade at Heineken Netherlands means being responsible for all Dutch commercial on-trade channels. This includes hotels, restaurants, cafés and generally all the places where you can get beer and other beverages that Heineken sells. Leading many different departments within the worldwide company, Minnart mainly focuses on the strategy within the Netherlands. Creating a strategy, vision, planning the developments and steering (and sometimes correcting) these plans are Minnart’s main tasks.
However, this definitely doesn’t mean that he sits behind his desk all day. Minnart may have many meetings, but he also travels through the entire country to discuss and negotiate with many different parties about his vision for Heineken.
“Leadership is in my DNA”
When talking about his further ambitions, Minnart says that he is still passionate about his job, and that leadership is in his DNA; as long as he feels happy with his job, and Heineken is happy with him, he will happily keep working for the company with great joy. According to Minnart, happiness is key for staying passionate about your job, and that if you are unhappy going to work for five days in a row, you should consider other options which will make you happier.
To finalize the interview, we were curious to know what beer this truly Belgian director prefers – Heineken or Jupiler (a Belgian brand). With a smile on his face, and the true ‘green blood’ he has had running through his veins since he started working for Heineken, he answers without a doubt that Heineken is his favorite.
5 tips for students from Geert Minnart:
- If you want to obtain a leading position, be ambitious and climb higher every time you get new opportunities.
- Be happy with your job and make sure you enjoy what you do. If you wake up in the morning, make sure you’re excited to go to work.
- Dare to make mistakes. If you don’t make mistakes, it often means that you have not taken any risks and have always played safe. However, never make the same mistake twice.
- Make the company your own, and treat it as if it were your own (‘Entrepreneurship’ for a company).
- Don’t lose your patience. Plant your seeds in a company, harvest well, and you will be noticed.