An organization’s budget is often the primary factor which determines its capabilities. Of course, this is no different when it comes to the military. When budget cuts meant that the Royal Netherlands Navy could not provide naval training to other navies, especially in regards to the transfer of ships to foreign countries, this became an opportunity for Navtrain. With a staff of almost exclusively former navy personnel, they could step in and offer the necessary training.
For managing director Kees Kuenen, having Navtrain join the Partners for International Business (PIB) initiative with Malaysia and Singapore was a fairly simple decision. Not only did he travel there for the purposes of acquisition occasionally, but he had even lived in Malaysia for about three years.
While Mr. Kuenen had built up a notable network with the Malaysian navy during his time there, he noted that it was still difficult for Navtrain to get involved. He explained that, while there was interest in Navtrain’s training programs, it was difficult to get official support for such an arrangement if it wasn’t part of a larger official program or an urgent operational requirement that needed to be fulfilled.
As such, being a part of the PIB came in quite handy for Navtrain. With the profile of a government-backed international program, Navtrain found it was significantly easier to get in touch with decision makers and explain the benefits of their programs.
“Being part of an initiative that’s supported by the government offers people on the other side more guarantees and we’ve definitely noticed the difference.”