SBE alumnus Bert Habets was a guest speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 Conference in Maastricht.
Bert Habets is CEO of RTL Netherlands. He has been working at the Holland Media Group since 1999 and became CFO in 2001. In 2003 he was promoted to the function of CEO.
Habets spoke at the conference as a proud alumnus of Maastricht University. Although he has never been an entrepreneur himself, Habets said he applies entrepreneurial thinking in everything he does. He believes that great teams grow together, build competencies and gain momentum.
Habets also stressed the importance of creating an environment where people are encouraged to experiment, even at the risk of failure: “But if they do, they should fail quickly, often and cheaply.”
With this mindset, Habets more than doubled RTL’s profitability and helped it become the uncontested number one network in the Netherlands. Using a four-pillar strategy based on television, digital media, entertainment and ventures, RTL reaches out to its audience across several platforms and creates a perfect circle that Habets defined as a “total experience”.
“Even though our business is B2B, we always put our consumers first in all our decisions,” he said. “A well-integrated client approach not only enriches their experience but also creates a better value for advertisers.”
Besides these pillars which RTL continuously keeps on innovating, Habets mentioned another element that adds to RTL’s success. “We focus on acquiring the right man for the right place and we create an environment for entrepreneurship because we’re only as good as our next success,” Habets said. “There is a budget for every good idea.”
Over 125 countries took part in this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week on 12-15 November 2012. The Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurshiphas made it a tradition to join in the initiative aimed at inspiring students and entrepreneurs all over the world and reached over 200 students through high quality events such as the GEW Conference, the Local Heroes Business Plan Award and an Innovation Safari to the Limburg multinational company DSM.