Masterclass Strategy formation for Oxin Growers

Three young entrepreneurs from Oxin Growers, Yuri Berben, Job Kaashoek and Jop de Vries, attended the Masterclass Strategy formation in recent months. This masterclass is part of the Masterclass Young Oxin program, which was developed by René Gomersbach of Triple Group to make the companies and entrepreneurs affiliated with the grower cooperative more future-proof.

All three of the 'Young Oxins' look back positively on the masterclass. 'It was interesting to look at your company from a different approach. The group size was small, which certainly contributed to the result of the masterclass.' Job Kaashoek from De Tuindershoek: 'I have been in the company with my cousin since 2019. My grandfather started the horticultural company in Moerkapelle, we then moved to IJsselmuiden as a pepper company. I learned a few things at school, but this masterclass is a nice addition.'

Now I know what to do for the company's right to exist.

Jop de Vries from Drenthe Growers agrees, 'Following a masterclass with fellow entrepreneurs is a great way to look at the company. ' Jop stopped school to learn more and develop himself through training and courses such as the masterclass, so that he can grow in the family business, which specializes in cucumber cultivation.

Yuri Berben is co-entrepreneur of Berben in Limburg, which grows asparagus and cherries and has a farm shop. Yuri signed up because learning more about strategy formation seemed interesting and useful to him.

'I wanted someting I could get started with.'

Job received information about the masterclass via Oxin Growers and contacted René Gomersbach for more information. 'I indicated to René that I was interested in the masterclass, but that I wanted a practical implementation that I could really get started with. René then convinced me that this masterclass was in line with that. He made it happen! We learned methods that are practical, which I can immediately use." Yuri adds, "I actually expected more theory, but fortunately that wasn't the case." Jop was open-minded, "This was my first masterclass, which made me I didn't really have any expectations, but it was really interesting and positive.'

Learning to look from the outside in

'The program had a good structure. We discussed how to arrive at a strategy in three steps. By first looking at what is happening outside, then looking at what this means for the market and then for the organization and management. René gave his input and the participants gave feedback back and forth, from which you learn a lot. This made the masterclass very close to your own situation. We were also able to go into depth. Because of the small group, three days was good. The first day we discussed external developments, the second day what was happening in our companies and the third day external and internal meetings came together.'

Textbook strategy formation really works

On the last day, the group visited entrepreneur Joost Wesselman from Wesselman Flowers and Joost Wesselman took the group through the strategic choices he has made in recent years. The Young Oxins found the company visit very interesting. 'It was a practical example of an entrepreneur who had gone through the steps of the masterclass in exactly the same way. He applied the models from the master class and took them to the bank to substantiate his future plans. A practical example appeals to the imagination. Every company is different, but we can learn from how Joost Wesselman approached it.'

'It is also interesting that we have learned to look at trends. In practice you are at work, you are often busy with daily matters and are less concerned with goals and strategy, while this is important. In the masterclass, these topics were made practical and we learned how this can be applied in our own situations,' says Yuri.

Trainer René Gomersbach adds, 'We also discussed the role that (future) entrepreneurs have in the strategy of the organization and what strategy the men have in mind for themselves. After all, they are also the company in a sense; the company will follow the course they set.'

Stay relevant in the future

'The masterclass has not changed my view of the future, but I have realized that it is good to think about the future and strategy. We don't do that extensively enough now,' says Yuri. Job adds, 'The masterclass gave us insight into what steps need to be taken for the company's right to exist. What next steps we need to take to remain relevant for customers in the future. I have become more aware of that.'

'It was also useful that René taught us how to include the bank in our plans when investing. We have learned to look at our own company in a stimulating way.'

Useful and fun to hear about other companies

The background and activities of the participants in the masterclass were different. Greenhouse horticulture as well as open field and fruit were represented. All three gentlemen thought this was a plus. 'It's interesting and fun to hear back and forth about other sectors. Useful to apply the approaches to different sectors.'

Jop believes that there was sufficient time during the 3-day masterclass to properly discuss the subject matter and practical matters. 'With the current group size of three participants, there was sufficient time. If the group is larger, care must be taken to ensure that the quality of the masterclass remains the same.'

Job also believes that it is good that Oxin Growers has a program for younger entrepreneurs who have only just become entrepreneurs or are at the beginning of a business takeover. 'Connecting younger members with each other in this way is good for the future. It is also good to strengthen yourself as an entrepreneur and a company by being informed and in this case taking master classes to make yourself and the company more future-proof.'

Jop also particularly enjoys speaking to others. 'Another company visit recently (Koppert Biological Systems) was also fun and useful. I find it valuable that Oxin Growers has such a broad focus that you also hear stories from other sectors.'

  • The Young Oxin Masterclass consists of three programs: business succession, strategy formation and leadership development. The master classes increase insight into your own company and provide more clarity regarding the course to be followed. The Strategy Masterclass is aimed at young entrepreneurs who want to focus on the future by determining the strategy for the company and the strategy for themselves. We discuss how to formulate strategy, according to practical methods and during the training an expert is also visited to learn from his experiences during the strategy formulation process.