Attracting brands, and talent

Amsterdam has a rich history as a centre of trade, and that reputation shows no signs of diminishing. Today, the city is home to the European headquarters of international companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Cisco and Tesla, as well Dutch concerns like Heineken, ING and Shell.

To examine why, the popular marketing website The Drum recently asked executives from several leading Amsterdam-based companies to explain what it is about Amsterdam that makes it such a special business location.

TomTom thrives in international atmosphere

One of those companies is the popular maker of navigation systems TomTom, which was founded in Amsterdam in 1991 and currently employs about 1,000 people here. As TomTom vice president Patrick Stal said, “I’ve never experienced a city that is as international as ours. It is truly a melting pot of languages and cultures. It attracts a lot of creative and technical talent, specifically around mobile.”

“So for us it’s become a fantastic place to be,” Stal continued, “also because there’s a lot of programming and engineering talent here that we wouldn’t necessarily find in other places.”

Shutterstock praises Amsterdam’s talent base

Shutterstock, a global marketplace for stock photography and other media, opened an office in Amsterdam in 2014. Eric Sams is the company’s marketing art director. “In Amsterdam there’s a thriving creative community and it’s quickly becoming a very popular tech hub,” he said. “We want to be a part of that.” He also points out how the many international conferences that take place here help to forge new business relationships, and the wealth of international talent based in Amsterdam makes it easy to find the right person for the job.