Marcel Metze, a journalist and historian who is known among other things for his books on Philips Electronics and the Dutch banks, has spent the past three years delving into the story of TMC. The end result, The Racing Stable, is almost ready and the first copies are expected on bookshelves in March this year.
What makes the journey of TMC so special? In anticipation of this story, we, Stephanie and Loes of the marketing team, visited Thijs at his office to discover more about this entrepreneurial journey. Without revealing the whole story, we'd like to give you a sneak preview, call it a trailer, of what to expect.
TMC likes doing things differently
2020 marked the 20-year anniversary of TMC; today a large international company with over a thousand employees. But it all started on the 1st of February 2000, in an attic in Rosmalen.
From the very first moment I knew: we're going to work for the big boys!
After working for different companies for some years, he was ready for something new, something that could really give him energy: his own business. With the great need for software professionals in the market and his experience in the recruitment and selection industry, his choice to start a technical consultancy agency was easily made. From the very first moment, Thijs knew: we're going to work for the big boys like Philips and ASML. And we're going to do things very differently than others in the market.
Getting back on the horse
When we asked Thijs how he has experienced these past 20 years, he grinned from ear to ear. The company has had quite a few ups and downs. After a flying start in 2000, it didn't take long for the first setback to poke its head around the corner: the aftermath of 9/11. “This had a huge impact on our company, but we won't be knocked down that easily. We get back up, dust ourselves off and get on with the job. After strong growth in the years that followed, we decided to list the company on the stock exchange, enabling us to generate even broader support for TMC's concept: Employeneurship”, according to Thijs.
Entrepreneurship courses through the veins of TMC. This is also expected from the staff, seeing as they enjoy the benefits of entrepreneurship as well as those of being an employee. Hence the combination of both words in the concept of 'Employeneurship’.
We want to keep focusing on the technical sector and on the high quality of our employeneurs.
Based on the idea of stimulating employees to express their entrepreneurial spirit, TMC set up the Entrepreneurial Lab. This is where employeneurs from various TMC disciplines come together to work on experiments of their own devising (and on their entrepreneurial know-how). One of these employeneurs, for example, came up with the idea of building a robot that is able to explore dangerous areas. This way, soldiers don't have to risk their lives physically checking if a situation around the corner is threatening. “This is a perfect example of Employeneurship. A staff member who is enterprising and innovative and who enjoys working with his colleagues. It's these kinds of initiatives that make us very proud!” says Thijs Manders.
Crossing the border
“At a certain moment as a company, you reach the point of having achieved your biggest growth in the Netherlands,” Thijs asserts. “We want to keep focusing on the technical sector and on the high quality of our employeneurs. That's why we consciously chose to expand abroad. It allowed us to give our growth a new boost and safeguard our quality level at the same time. There is a lot of technical potential in foreign markets that we would like to add to our portfolio.”
Thinking big with a ‘Brabant’ mindset
The culture at TMC is unique and can't be compared to other companies in the sector. Although it is an enormous company where not everyone knows each other, there is still a family atmosphere. In 2000, the warm and informal culture was at the heart of TMC; a value that hasn't changed to this day. “To me it's incredibly important that there is a pleasant atmosphere where colleagues trust each other and enjoy working together,” says Thijs Manders. “Entrepreneurship is about trust. We want to stay true to our core values, I can't imagine a TMC where this isn't the case. We want to be a company with people you want to work for.”
In 2000, the warm and informal culture was at the heart of TMC; a value that hasn't changed to this day.
There is also a ‘Brabant’ mindset: down-to-earth, hard-working and ready to help each other, that is always the key. Combined with a touch of Burgundian hospitality the region is renowned for. The same mindset is also expected from colleagues in the (international) offices. Growth is important as a company, but so is holding on to your identity.
The first edition of the book 'The Racing Stable' will go to print in March 2021. A book that Thijs in particular is of course enormously proud of. The book is an interesting read for every type of entrepreneur, for engineers, for HR managers and many others. We can't wait until we can share the full story with you. Stay tuned!
Would you like to know more about TMC or about the upcoming book release? Feel free to reach out and we're happy to talk to you soon!
Marketing & Communications Officer, Netherlands
Tel: +31 (0)6 229 852 63