As a young man, Paul Melles went to sea and studied later marine engineering at the nautical college MIWB on Terschelling and went back to sea before joining Doeksen Shipping Company, which the now 59-year-old leds since many years as CEO.
Born in Kampen, he now lives with his partner and two daughters in Sneek. When the genius is not listening to music, he can be found on his sailing boat where he finds relaxation.
9 Questions to: Paul Melles
Where do you find the motivation for your work?
The world of shipping is very dynamic and challenging. After almost 40 years active in the maritime business, I still learn new things every day and that makes this job very interesting and challenging.
What skills do you need to do this job?
To run a ferry service company, you need a dose of common sense, combined with perseverance and a sense of hospitality. It helped me that I have sailed as a marine engineer before I joined Rederij Doeksen. The technical and operational side of the profession was not strange to me, when I joined this company. You must be able to bring together different corporate cultures and serve many stakeholders at the same time.
Which life experience has had the greatest influence for the work what you are doing now?
Going to sea as a young apprentice for a non-stop period of 12 month. I initially had a lot of trouble getting away from home for so long, but that life changing experience has shaped and formed me enormously and I still benefit from it. Never give up and keep going.
What do you consider as your greatest achievement?
In my career at Doeksen I played a role in the realization and introduction of all the vessels operating within our company today. I have always enjoined a lot of freedom to develop myself which let to choices which sometimes deviate from the standard norm. Because of this, I am very committed and loyal to this company.
Which personality would you like to meet one day?
No personality specific! I do enjoy contacts with personalities who have achieved something unique and/or world changing through perseverance and entrepreneurship.
Which occurrence / incident had particularly impressed you most? During my career at Rederij Doeksen I experienced many highs and lows in various positions. Difficult issues can always be managed and/or can be resolved. The global Corona crisis has left a deep impression on me (and probably many others). Mankind is very concerned with the way in which this virus has gripped the world and will change most of the obvious things in life for good.
Which business idea / concept would you like to realize (if you would have access to an unlimited budget)
To become the best performing and zero emission ferry company. I am convinced that we must do everything we can to slow down global warming. In my point of view “where there is a will there is a way”. As a realist, I know that adapting zero emission is costly and that the pace of realization sometimes not go as fast as you would like.
Where do you see the greatest challenges for your industry?
To prevent the spread of viruses like Corona in the future. This of course is a challenge for humanity. For the marine industry, in particular I believe the biggest challenge will be to choose the right path for zero emission sea transport.
How / where does Paul Melles relax?
At sea on my sailing boat!
Mr. Melles, thank you for the talk