One-on-one with Peter Van Deursen
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 do 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.