One on one with Peter Van Deursen

Cargill Asia-Pacific CEO Peter Van Deursen reveals how he unwinds after a long day in the office.

What do you like about Singapore?

I like the climate here. There is no snow. A little bit of rain, but no snow.

 

But it’s so humid:   

You get used to that very quickly.

 

Do you have any particular bugbears? 

Night calls. They’re a necessary evil in a global company, but I dislike them. Especially in Asia where because of time zones, you draw the shortest stick.

 

Where would you like to see yourself in five years?  

I don’t plan too much. That’s something I learned – to live by the day. It’s very stressful to think about where you should be next. I think you have to live in the moment, to concentrate on contributing to the business, and leave something behind that is sustainable – to build a team around you that is strong even when you leave.

 

What advice would you give to your younger self:  

Get out of the comfort zone as soon as you can. Take a risk and challenge the usual.

 

Do you have any guilty pleasures? 

I like to watch all kind of sports and competitive events. Anything from soccer to cricket. Before I joined Cargill, I was a semi-professional soccer player, and I do still play. I would have liked to have continued that, but I am getting too old for it. But that’s where my competitiveness comes from, I think.

 

How would you describe yourself in just one word? 

“Challenge.” Challenge the status quo. Challenge what you’re doing today. Always ask the what-if questions.

 

For more with Peter Van Deursen, CEO of Cargill Asia-Pacific, check out our in-depth interview with him here!

For more Asia-Pacific CEOs and business leaders discussing their HR challenges, head to HRM Asia's dedicated Leaders Talk HR forum.

 

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