Meet our CEO - Ivo Veldkamp

 

With his forward thinking, passion for innovation and almost 2 decades of experience in the satellite industry, Ivo is the driving force that continues to lead Castor in our growth and success.

As CEO and Founder of Castor, can you tell us more about how Castor was founded?

I was responsible for Fixed Services Business in Xantic (now part of Inmarsat), when Xantic decided to divest the business. This was an opportunity to negotiate a Management buyout in 2004.

Of course I was fully aware of what I was buying. The business would not survive for more than 2 years if we would not reinvent the company by focusing on other markets and investing in new services.

Castor started as a broadcasting and teleport business offering audio/ video distribution services to broadcasting companies and Up/Downlink services to large Maritime VSAT providers. Not long after the start, we began to invest in VSAT platforms and focusing on VSAT customers.

From the start Castor has been part of the primary process of its customers, meaning if a Castor service would fail, the service of the customer to its end-customer would stop.

This responsibility comes with a positive pressure and we feel this in all parts of the organization and it is the key driver behind our decisions and actions.

As an organization we feel comfortable in this position, it is part of our DNA which we carried over to other market segments we started serving over the years.

Define Castor?

I like to think about Castor as a living organism that has to continually adapt to the context it lives in. Over the years it has grown in capabilities and expertise, but has always remained humble enough to learn. We need to continuously improve to keep delivering value to our customers. Castor is not about maximizing shareholder value or seeking an exit – which is a bit out of fashion with the industry we operate in.

That said the company has no debt and has been profitable till today.

Castor has proven that it can adapt and reinvent itself over the years and we embrace change and continuously monitor new technologies which can serve our customers better. The Castor of today is very different compared to 5 years ago and it will be very different 5 years from now in the future.

Castor has many long term, loyal and happy customers! Can you tell us why Castor is successful in this?

Some customers have been with us for over 15 years. We feel a responsibility to all our customers to deliver a good service and support. We go the extra mile in solving any issues that may arise.

We invest time to create personal relationships on various levels with  our customers, this makes sure we can work through issues as partners and allows us to anticipate new customer requirements.

What was your first job?

Junior Product Manager Voice Services with KPN International Network Services.

Can you describe yourself in 4 words?

Competitive, Direct, Forward Thinker.

You have a large team underneath you within the Castor Group, what do you look for in characteristic traits when hiring someone?

When we hire someone, we do this with a long term employment in mind and I look at the following:

Will you be supportive of the values of the company?

How will you be interacting with customers?

Are you a team player?

Are you open to listen and learn?

Where do you see yourself in the future?

I now have over 18 years experience in the field of satellite communications and being only 46 years old, I still have a good number of satellite years in me.

 

 

Reach out to Ivo on e-mail or connect with him on LinkedIn

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