A long history in the Netherlands, where convenience is key

As Boersch explains (Dutch link) to the Dutch newsweekly Elsevier, he has been at the helm of Nestlé Nederland for two years now. The company, headquartered in Amstelveen, employs more than a thousand people, and has a turnover of about 600 million euros. Its parent company has annual sales of almost 85 billion euros, and employs 340,000 people worldwide.

Some of Nestlé’s most popular brands in the Netherlands are so common here that they seem Dutch. “We have a history here,” Boersch said. The brand Maggi, for example, has been sold in the Netherlands for 120 years. And its wide range of easy-to-use products makes it a perfectly apt brand for the Netherlands. “Dutch people are very focused on convenience,” he said. “Look at the supermarket. You have chicken diced into strips, stir-fry vegetables in bags in many variations, and everything is pre-cut and washed in ice water.”

Expats want to stay in Amsterdam

Boersch lives in Amsterdam with his wife and three children. But soon enough, it is likely that it will be time for him to move on to the next job, which is typical at multinationals like Nestlé. “But I have a small problem,” Boersch said. “My wife does not want to leave this place.”

And she is not alone in feeling that way. “I have asked the parents at my children’s schools,” he said. “Almost all of the foreigners who work here for international companies want to stay here. And I can summarize why in one word: happiness.”

“The Netherlands,” he continued, “is a country of happy people - you can see it, and feel it. The Dutch have a good balance between life and work. Dutch children are the happiest in the world. Yet Dutch people sometimes seem to forget that.”