Previous years

Curious about what we did in the 33 years that we exist? Read about the experiences of former chairmen from 1994 up to 2018 below.


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Indonesia 2018 - Suraj Iyer

Indonesia, with its vibrant culture and capability for doing business, provided us the opportunity to conduct desk and field research for 9 Dutch-based companies looking to expand into its market. Our team consisting of 20 consultants with over 14 nationalities, engaged directly with high profile individuals from both Indonesian and internationally based companies during the course of our field research. Hence, by participating in the ECP, we were able to produce highly valuable reports for our contracted companies, while at the same time enjoying the benefits of building on our personal business networks. As a whole, the ECP experience contributed on a large scale to our personal and professional development.

Suraj Iyer, Chairman 2018

Colombia 2017 - Megan Schupp

The ECP 2017 has provided 7 companies with useful insights into the Colombian market. Something very fascinating to observe, was how the fundamental knowledge and expertise of 24 (international) business students – BSc and MSc – and 2 professors, could offer valuable input for companies in such diverse markets. Think about the fruit processing industry, the aviation sector, the security technologies industry, and the renewable energy industry.

After being fully prepared beforehand by having conducted desk research, we headed off to Colombia for field research. There, we have conducted many interviews with different companies, but also with the embassy and the bilateral chamber of commerce. We have set up certain strategies and/or analyses – tailored to the needs op companies, such as entry strategies, value chain analyses or competitor analyses.

On top of all this, we have built friendships, we have made memories, and we have created an unforgettable experience.

Megan Schupp, Chairman 2017

Peru 2016 - Aaron Kox

Peru 2016

Peru is a country with one of biggest economies in South-America and some of the highest growth rates of the continent, making the country an attractive destination for the Erasmus Consultancy Project. Amongst others, we provided a construction firm a clear overview of investment opportunities in Peru and we gave an industrial company a thorough analysis of the Peruvian vacuum pump industry. All in all we were able to provide all participating companies with conclusive findings on their research questions and gave them the ins and outs of the Peruvian economy, making the project a great success.

Aaron Kox, Chairman 2016


Chile 2014 - Abel Verweg

Chile 2014

Chile has a welcoming family culture. As students we were able to get meetings with high profile individuals in both the public and private domain. This resulted in fruitful collaborations. We found partners to launch an agricultural platform, found a factory to outsource production and helped a client understand the mining industry. Participating with the ECP does not only give you a solid research, but also a network that may lead to interesting opportunities in the future.

Abel Verweg, Chairman 2014

Thailand 2013 - Marleen Verweij

Five very content Dutch companies – that was the result of our three-week stay in Thailand. We performed a great variety of market studies in an even larger variety of industries. A short grasp of what we achieved:

  • As a result of our market report, one of our clients is now successfully constructing ports in Thailand
  • We made another client realize that the preferred way to export its potatoes to Thailand, is via a network of distributors rather than directly to end-users as they had initially intended
  • We provided yet another client with an overview of the challenges and opportunities of the (still very immature) Thai dredging market, ensuring them to make a well-informed and deliberate expansion decision
  • We brought one of our clients in contact with a (Thai) business partner, with whom they are now conducting business in the Thai shipping industry
  • Lastly, we visited the Thai factories of a supplier of one of our clients, in order to draw up a compliancy report about the (questionable) working conditions in these factories.

Overall, the project has led to important market insights and fruitful business opportunities, making our time in Bangkok without doubt a great success.

Marleen Verweij, Chairman 2013

South Korea 2012 - Guido Bakker

ECP 2012 searched for opportunities in the Republic of South Korea. The project not only provides students added value due to its learning experience, our clients gained a lot of insights in the Korean market. After a thorough desk research opportunities were found within the automotive, serious gaming, medical technology, bakery, and e-commerce industries for various companies. During the field research in South Korea the students performed various interviews with prospects. For 3 clients the research provided by ECP students lead to more opportunities within South Korea.

Guido Bakker, Chairman 2012

Vietnam 2005 - Nienke Gelderloos

Growing a project from nothing to a full blown happening in only a year has fast-tracked the learning of our group of students. From a professional point of view, we quickly built a team, set up an ambitious budget, stretched ourselves in the acquisition phase to find the consultancy projects to fund it, were introduced to taking make-or-break decisions and made the rewarding trip we all dreamed of.

IBS 2005 Vietnam worked on ten different projects in various industries, from construction materials to fashion production and from communication devices to waste streams of slaughterhouses. For our clients, we mapped potential partners in great detail, conducted hundreds of interviews, sorted out the various entry strategies and were not afraid to debate our view on the best solution.

Putting theory into practice, making life-long friendships, going through ups and downs together; all in all an unforgettable experience.

Nienke Gelderloos, Chairman 2005

Thailand 2004 - Hans Nikkels

Hans Nikkels

The 2004 International Business Study to Thailand was an amazing project. It started with hands-on acquisition of contracts for independent research, which we eventually found in all kinds of different business areas; ICT, agribusiness, waste management etc. No sponsoring, but true questions from companies we were asked to solve. Also on the costs side of our budget we had to make decisions to ensure that the great group of students and lecturers could go to Thailand. In Thailand we worked across the country in different groups and had numerous interviews and research activities! Then afterwards we ensured to deliver added-value research results for our contracted companies. A challenging, fun and truly a learning experience!

Hans Nikkels, Chairman 2004

The Philippines 2000 - Johan van Vulpen

The Philippines Research Project in 2000 is one of my best memories of my time in Rotterdam. With a team of 25 students we have actually done quite some valuable and confidential research and interviews. Leveraging the position of an independent research student opens a lot of doors. Large corporations like Shell, KPMG and NUON have shared their great appreciation. But also some smaller companies that we have supported in market research or local network building have made important business decision based on our findings and suggestions. Of course the formal, business and academic elements were very important, though the student-side was accommodated as well; We made lots of fun, saw beautiful places in The Philippines and met amazing people. I would recommend both students as companies to join this project as the value that you get out of it is unchallengeable high!

Johan van Vulpen, Chairman 2000

Mexico 1998 - Paul van der Hoeven

On behalf of many Dutch companies we have bridged the gap between Netherlands and Mexico, by offering several services towards Boskalis, Siemens, Airpack, Rockwool, etc. Located at the HQ of ING in the center of Mexico City with 25 students and 2 professors we have conducted market research, competitive analysis, distribution channel assessment and business development activities. Valuable services for the Dutch companies and valuable lessons for the students.

Paul van der Hoeven, Chairman 1998

Russia 1996 - Christian Rood

In the summer of ’95 six students decided to organize a study trip to St. Petersburg in Russia, as part of the Sviib faculty club. We choose Russia because of a number of rational and business reasons, but the real reason of course was that we wanted to see with our own eyes how this former Soviet empire was finding its way to a capitalist country in its own fashion and with it own type of chaos.

It proved to be a great year of learning, in all aspects. Socially, experiencing co-ordination of a group, group dynamics, coupling the will to make the trip a success with the realities of creating sound deliverables and matching the needs of Dutch businesses. What started to be a trip to Russia, ended in a busy year, organizing two conferences, one in St. Petersburg, and one in Amsterdam, writing a book (“Ancient Links, New Potential”) about the state and expectations of Russia as a business partner, and in numerous contract research for Dutch corporates and SME’s.

At that time Russia was in the midst between communism and the capitalist / totalitarian regime it is today. The curriculum of our business administration studies was clearly focused on market economies, so we had to unlearn some of it to start making sense of what was happening there.

That made it with hindsight a very valuable learning experience, both for ourselfs as for our company sponsors. As an open society, Dutch business people require to utilizise this skill set of pioneering new markets, and thus the ability to really see what is going on with your own eyes to see where the opportunity lies.

All in all I recommend you to work with these smart, open minded, and willful students, to get a better feel for where your opportunities lie abroad, and to contribute to sustain the Netherlands culture as an International trading society.

Christian Rood, Chairman 1996

And many more

These are only a few chairmen of the Erasmus Consultancy Project who shared their experience. The first year for the Erasmus Consultancy Project was already in 1986, which means we have 33 years of experience. We improve ourselves every year in order to offer the most value for both students and companies.