'Meet the frogs' : Ben van der Veer

'Meet the frogs' : Ben van der Veer

We are happy with the people who can call themselves frogs. They all have a drive to do their jobs because they love it. With a study in psychology and a background in recruitment Ben has an eye for selecting the frogs with care. More than 5 years ago he joined Bart and Naos in founding aFrogleap. They started off with 5 people and have been building a great company since. Having the first contact with the client and standing at the beginning of projects, Ben has to divide his time in and out of the office. He is "Jack-of-all-trades", but maybe that's what you simply are when you have your own business! In this episode of 'Meet the frogs' we like you to meet Ben. What is your role at aFrogleap?

'My Linkedin profile says I'm COO at aFrogleap, but that is not entirely covering what I'm doing nowadays. I need to update it. My work is a combination of consultancy/sales, operational coordination, directing the teams internally and doing certain management tasks. I gradually moved more towards sales, pitching ideas as a strategy consultant for our clients. Being their first contact person I discuss the ideas that lay on the table and outline the course of the project. Recently we have been starting a new initiative of setting up a creative branch with the Oxyma Group. So lately I'm working at least 2 days of the week in Rotterdam.'

What makes working at aFrogleap?

'It's cool to see how we started with a small group of people, and now have grown into a 30 people company. It's great to build up a company with people who show their energy and passion for the work they do. They don't just see their work as work. Our work is about people, so we have to have a good feeling about the people we attract and hire. That's why the three of us (Bart, Naos and Ben) always want to agree 100% when we hire new staff. We want to grow steadily, but not too big. We want to keep working with our clients in a personal and engaged way. And with fun and passion for our work with each other. Together we create a nice atmosphere. Fun in your work is a premise for success. And that makes our company.'

Which project that you did with aFrogleap makes you proud?

'In recent years we have added many great clients to our portfolio. Every new client is a new challenge, of course, but I think it's nice to be working with some clients for a longer period of time. C1000 was our first "big client" and we have worked together for many years. I look back with satisfaction at everything we've done with C1000. It's a shame that they had to stop the business (C1000 has been acquired by Jumbo). Also, as part of the Oxyma group we increasingly work with bigger clients on omni-channel issues which is really cool!'

Are you a morning or a night person?

'I'm definitely a night person. I have to say that early mornings are a bit useless to me. I also have my breakfast in the office. I used to look for the ultimate time before I had to be somewhere. That has changed. I have learned to make it through the mornings because of work, but I will never become a morning person. I'm simply more productive later in the day. And when I have a deadline, I prefer to work at night.'

Funny facts or quircky habits which describe you in a different way?

'It seems that I quit some of my peculiarities. One thing that I did when we still worked in the old office was getting a sweet 'puddingbroodje' every morning before coming to work. I'm happy that it's no longer on the route. Another thing is that I was used to sleepwalking... But I also quit that after a nightly adventure in the woods ;).'

Do you have a life moto?

'I don't know if this really is a life motto, but I only do what I like to do. And I currently like what I do! At the same time, if I want to achieve something I go for it. I don't like to give up and I believe that there's always a way to achieve the things you want to achieve. And if you do things you like then it doesn't take too much effort. The same goes for everyone working at aFrogleap, they should do what they want to do. Then you get a nice working environment with not too many rules because everyone is intrinsically motivated.'

But there's more than work, right?

'When I look at my weekly schedule I'm pretty busy with playing football 3 or 4 times a week. Besides that, I like to organize nice things with friends, going for some good food and visiting a concert every now and then. I hardly have quiet evenings on the couch. A few months ago I moved into my new house, which is now more or less finished. But it took some months to make some alterations and furnish it to make it just the way I like it.'

Working in a mobile agency, any favorite apps at the moment?

'Besides the "usual" apps that everyone uses like Spotify, Soundcloud and Instagram (I prefer Instagram over Facebook, not too many crap and advertisement), we use Slack at work for our team communication. It works awesome! And I recently subscribed to Blinkist. I first did a 3 days try out and discovered it's useful for those who wants to read but doesn't have too much time...does that sound familiar? Then try it out!'


So, now you have met Ben! Do you want to read about one of the other frogs?