Alembo and Majorel join forces in Suriname

Majorel acquired Suriname-based Alembo on June 1, 2022, and this acquisition fits into the growth strategy for the Netherlands. With Alembo on board, Majorel strengthens its service portfolio by offering a high-quality offshore solution to the Dutch market, and Alembo gains access to Majorel’s knowledge and expertise. Together, this will enable both companies to continue to grow in the future. So an ideal match. Twinkle spoke to the four key players in this process: Frank Veldhuizen & Eline Verhek from Alembo and Niels Tetteroo & Sander Kuijer from Majorel.

Founded in 2005 by Frank Veldhuizen, Alembo has a team of over 300 employees in Paramaribo and a number in the Netherlands. Alembo works from Suriname for both Dutch and international clients within customer service and data processing. Frank has worked a lot abroad on various outsourcing projects and has gained a lot of experience with them. He used that experience to start Alembo in 2005, where the operation was managed from Suriname and the relations were managed from the Netherlands. In the beginning, the work was mainly done on a smaller scale to gain experience. Nevertheless, the company continued to grow and developed into a serious business in Paramaribo. Frank: ‘We have always wanted to be a modern, diverse company that is good for its employees. Not as an empty phrase, but from intrinsic value. It is not for nothing that Alembo means a place where everyone can be themselves.’

job satisfaction

In 2013, Eline Verhek joined the Alembo adventure as operational director. ‘I saw the great commitment, the open culture and a company full of ambition,’ says Eline. ‘I like being a pioneer and creating something together, and at some point you switch to a more formalized and professional organisation.’ The transition went without too many obstacles. Eline: ‘Absolutely, the employees are open to change and have taken up the challenge with me. We have made clear agreements on behaviour, transparency, feedback and job satisfaction. The company culture has evolved, but these values ​​are still central. And now there is also the opportunity to develop professional and personal skills.’ Alembo’s vision of job satisfaction for its employees is unique. Eline: “Job satisfaction is central to our way of working. We think it is important that every job has meaning and a noticeable added value.’

To stimulate this, Alembo offers various activities such as internal training, online training, coaching and interactive events. Eline: ‘We are a partner in a young professional café, where events in entrepreneurship, vision development and networking are held every week. Alembo’s roots in Surinamese society grew hand in hand with the company’s growth, and ongoing programs are being considered to help Paramaribo and the country beyond. Like, for example, How Green Can You Go? together with companies, we look pragmatically at what green goals they can set for themselves. The annual national writing competition that we organize is also a hit. Simple and accessible and extremely important to ultimately be able to make a career with us or elsewhere. Activities of this nature link seamlessly with three of the UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted by Alembo: Quality Education (Goal 4), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (Goal 11). This is also reflected in the level of development of our employees. No less than 30 percent are studying or will soon graduate at HBO level. These are really great numbers, and we are proud of that.’ The focus on culture and professionalization does not harm Alembo. Eline: ‘We have grown considerably in recent years and that is wonderful. In addition, our customers are very loyal and stay with us for more than eight years on average; there are even those who have been customers from the very first hour.’

Ideal takeover candidate

Sander Kuijer can only confirm that Alembo was the ideal takeover candidate for Majorel. Sander: ‘In 2021, I did a temporary assignment at Majorel via Coniche, where I mapped the offshore opportunities for the Dutch market. This showed that Suriname is the best location when it comes to quality and scalability, and Alembo is a very suitable acquisition candidate. The customer contact industry in Suriname has developed tremendously in the last five to ten years and Alembo has played a prominent role in this. Alembo really surprised me and I am proud that the advice ultimately led to the acquisition.’

The company’s unique culture, resounding growth rates and fantastic employership were the key to Majorel. ‘Alembo’s focus on providing high-quality services and at the same time developing its employees fits perfectly into Majorel’s DNA,’ says Niels. ‘Our activities can be linked one-to-one with the activities in Alembo. In addition, Majorel is also a human company, where people are given room to develop and where there are great opportunities for growth.’ The unique position that Alembo occupies as an employer in Surinamese society was of course also a valuable asset for Majorel. Niels: ‘We could never have achieved that independently in this way. Alembo, in turn, benefits from the economies of scale of a large Dutch organization. Alembo is now part of Majorel but retains its own unique identity. The ambition is to continue to grow significantly in the coming years and to achieve new successes together.’

Effect sourcing

Thanks to the acquisition, Majorel can offer its customers more offers, such as onshore from the Netherlands, offshore from Suriname or a combination of the two. Another important aspect is the impact that is happening in Suriname. Sander: ‘Impact sourcing is very important to us, which is also reflected in our worldwide footprint. The impact you as an employer have on your employees with a good employer is enormous and should not be underestimated. A good example of this is that Alembo pays its employees in euros and not in Surinamese dollars. This is important for their economic continuity, especially in light of the high inflation of the Surinamese dollar. For Alembo, this is an intrinsic choice and demonstrates its commitment to society. To be a good employer and handle your employees responsibly, also financially. The appreciation for this is reflected in the employees’ job satisfaction and with it in our customers. All figures show how good the policy is for people and for the company. It is very inspiring and we can learn from it. A real compliment to the entire Alembo team’, concludes Sander. ‘And I hope that with this we can remove the sometimes somewhat negative image of Suriname. There is great potential, but you have to organize it well. I therefore see a bright future for customer contact in Suriname and especially at Alembo.’

This article was created in collaboration with Majorel
Text: BNP Media | Image: Majorel

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