Name: Guido van der Zwet
Function: Manager Americas
Origin: The Netherlands
- How long have you been working in Mexico?
I came to Mexico in 2006 to write my thesis. I fell in love and never went back to the Netherlands again. I have been working at iPS since 2013.
- What do you do for iPS?
I am the manager of Americas, and responsible for the two locations in Mexico. We deliver people and solutions from Alaska to Argentina. In addition, I am a co-founder of the Dutch Energy Association, a non-profit organization that actively stimulates cooperation between Mexico and the Netherlands in the energy sector.
- What are the biggest differences between Mexico and the Netherlands?
In the Netherlands we are always talking about the weather, haha! In Mexico we talk about food, because that is the most important thing. Doing business is also very different. In Mexico, you must first work on the relationship and goodwill. We have other Ps here: Presence, People and Patience. As a result-oriented, fast-working Dutchman, you have to get used to that.
- What do you miss most about The Netherlands?
My family, of course, but also ‘snert’ (traditional Dutch pea soup) and croquettes.
- Was it difficult to integrate into the Mexican culture?
No. It surprised me how open, friendly and welcoming Mexicans are to foreigners. Mi casa es tu casa, it’s really like that. Mexicans are very proud people, you must be aware of that. Speak the language and adapt but stay yourself.
- Tell us about what you’re wearing.
This is a poncho. Actually, I don’t like it very much because this is part of the stereotypical picture that everyone has of Mexico. We must get rid of that image. Mexico is a beautiful and complete country that is developing in a special way. I’m a proud Mexican and a proud Dutchman.