One of the First
Simon van der Burg, the owner of Timaflor Ltd, was one of the first flower growers in Kenya. In 1974 he started growing carnations on 5 hectares and within a decade this grew to ca. 100 hectares. Since then, Simon has also worked in marketing and Dutch floriculture companies. For a variety of reasons, in 2006 Simon started a new company in Kenya, this time growing roses.
What lies behind Simon’s burning ambition? It’s easy if you enjoy your work and also if it’s a hobby. He enjoys managing people and also delegating responsibility. Also, what’s most important is the consistent quality of the roses. His employees spend all day cutting roses. Here in Kenya, Simon is in charge of 6 rose-growing sections of greenhouses and 2000 Kenyan workers. Each greenhouse is organized along similar lines, which helps quality assurance.
Focus on Quality
Simon believes that a manager should spend more time on site, among the workers, than in the office. “You need to focus on quality and in the greenhouse is where that happens. This is especially so with roses that can grow a lot in one day. The output per square meter is high. This part of Kenya has an ideal climate for rose growing, plenty of sunshine, little rain.