The chemicals industry lies at the heart of so many others, securing the colors, effects and functions that we take for granted in the modern world. The work of Archroma, led by the incomparable Heike van de Kerkhof, has allowed them to thrive in a changing marketplace. We take a look at Heike’s track record of success, following her being named CEO of the Year, 2021 – Basel, Switzerland by CEO Monthly.
Based in Basel, Switzerland, Heike van de Kerkhof’s business empire reaches out around the world. With 26 production sites, 3000 employees and a brand name secured in 34 countries, it’s easy to see how Archroma has become more than such a business success – it has become the go-to name when searching for chemicals that do exactly what is required.
Heike joined the firm in January 2020, fresh from holding the title of Vice President at Castrol and having held a variety of different business leadership and operational roles in various organizations over the last thirty years. In short order, she was charged with tackling the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and in finding quick and effective solutions to the rapidly growing climate crisis that would allow Archroma to thrive in a changing world.
Archroma had already established itself as a business that was ready to do what needed to be done, and Heike’s appointment reflected this. Throughout her career, she has believed that industrial leaders must fight for climate and environmental protection. The team had already put plans into place to make the firm’s business and its operations as sustainable as possible. Through the firm, from R&D to raw materials, from procurement to production, Archroma has tried to find ways to positively affect the firm’s carbon footprint. This approach has been called “The Archroma Way to a Sustainable World: Safe, efficient, enhanced, it’s our nature”, and much of Heike’s work has been to enhance and enrich this important strategy.
Leading through a crisis such as a pandemic, having only just arrived, might frighten some leaders. For Heike, it was a chance to secure a vision of sustainability through even more of the company. Brands and companies around the world see this sustainable vision as essential, as customers pay more attention to the matter, and see Archroma as the obvious partner for products which are already sustainable. The team bring their own R&D-enabled solutions which optimize the costs of production for all.
The success of the firm through these trying times is a credit to Heike’s leadership. Her style is one which does not dictate, but empowers people to speak their minds and contribute to the results of a project. To her, everyone has their own ideas and potential which deserve to be brought to life. The benefits, she considers, are clear. With the right combination of leadership and inclusivity, modern businesses can not only move swiftly, but simply to producing solutions that customers want. In a marketplace where the production of solutions is not only relentless, but essential, having the freedom to move has been a key part of her success.
As an internationally recognized name, it’s little wonder that Archroma is an incredibly high achiever in the industry. That said, the recent success of the firm during some of the largest challenges that any business has had to face is thanks to the guidance and expertise of Heike van de Kerkhof. With her knowledge and trust in a remarkable staff, the firm has been able to strive for even great heights, and is well positioned to achieve great things moving forward.
For business enquiries, contact Heike van de Kerkhof from Archroma via their website – www.archroma.com