“I always wanted to do business. Get ahead. Develop and optimise ideas and talents. Preferably with smarter and more enterprising people around me. I am proud and, above all, grateful that Pauwels Consulting has been able to attract and develop talented people for 21 years.”
We asked Bert Pauwels about Pauwels Consulting’s history, mission and vision, and why Pauwels Consulting is a Great Place to Work®.
As a child, I rarely sat still. As an adolescent? Never. I was always ‘busy’. As a teenager, I did ‘business’ in all sorts of ways: I liked repairing bikes for the entire neighbourhood at ‘mates’ rates’ and even sold end-of-life parking meters from the village to fellow students. I was into organising parties (with video walls and message walls – truly innovative in the 1990s) as well. And I was very interested in selling computer components alongside performing endless computer and printer repairs. That was how I found my start in the world of IT.
Passionate about economics, business and entrepreneurial skills, I built on what I had learned by studying Applied Economics at the University of Antwerp. I combined this interesting study with a freelance student job in IT. After a while, these studies became too much for me and I opted to suspend them for an indefinite period. Because I had a lot of work, I immediately recruited three colleagues. Pauwels Consulting was born. Incidentally, one of those three colleagues is still one of my best friends. He has been with Pauwels Consulting for 21 years now. Sam, you’re a great guy!
In the end, I never went back to my studies. Over the years, though, the importance of continuing to invest in yourself has only become more evident to me. Keeping up with ever-changing environments is not something you simply do; it requires you to keep challenging yourself every day to do better than the day before. This requires a great deal of discipline and resilience, because things don’t always turn out the way you think they will. When you surround yourself with like-minded people and take good care of each other, though, magical things can happen. Fortunately, I have been able to experience that magic together with the entire Pauwels Consulting team through to today.
Pauwels Consulting grew slowly but steadily in its first few years. The real growth came when I was able to attract good people to the office as well as having strong consultants. That team has grown significantly in recent years. In the meantime, we have more than 80 (!) colleagues who make life easier for our consultants, ensure their workplace is an enjoyable one, and facilitate their ongoing development.
This focus on our consultants is crucial, because the better we all feel about ourselves, the more we can help our customers. And the more we help our customers, the more opportunities we will have to further expand and develop our team. We are all getting better at this. Growing together is the key to our success, and is no doubt one of the reasons why we are a Great Place to Work®.
Until 2016, Pauwels Consulting grew organically primarily among existing and new customers and partly through small-scale acquisitions. Starting in 2016, we have been growing at a more rapid pace thanks to quicker strategic acquisitions at home and abroad. This acceleration was made possible through a collaboration with the family-owned private equity fund 3D investors, which is run by the Donk and Desimpel families. Our increasingly international character enables us to help customers in various countries and allows our consultants to gain international experience.
My dream is to develop a close-knit, international consulting team at Pauwels Consulting, comprising ambitious, smart and awesome people who want to grow every day, learn from each other and give their best in order to help our customers as effectively as possible. We already have a fantastic team in place, but we always have room for extra talent!
Don’t wait until tomorrow to enjoy a company that truly cares about you. Feel free to get in touch. We’d be pleased to make time for a good conversation!