5 Minutes With: Marc Nijhof

Marc Nijhof is Managing Director of Alpha International.


Describe what you do in less than 20 words. 

I am heading up and proudly part of a successful and leading printing consumables distributor covering the European market.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? 

A soldier during military service.

If you weren’t doing your present job, what would you like to be doing? 

A lawyer specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

The best moment in your career? 

I have three: joining Despec shortly after the greenfield start in 1989, leaving it after 12 years, and going back to distribution in 2006 when I joined Alpha.

The industry figure you most admire and why? 

Eric Bigeard; personality and leadership with French humour!

What is your most embarrassing industry-related experience? 

Once I thought I was talking ‘impolitely’ about a customer on the phone to a colleague, but the call from the customer had already been forwarded to me – I will never forget the shame I felt at that moment!

What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? 

Heading up a €1 billion+ company.

Your greatest strength? 

Finding and working closely with very talented and nice people.

What is the most influential company in the OP industry? 

HP; any vendor representing more than half of our business has some influence. Size really does matter in this case.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? 

My eyes; I hate my reading glasses and refuse to use them as much as is responsible.

What do you think will be the biggest issue affecting the OP industry over the next five years? 

Ignoring change. 

If you could invite two famous people for dinner, who would they be and why? 

Tiger Woods and our new Queen Maxima, although perhaps a dangerous combination. 

What is the most memorable travel experience you’ve had while in the OP industry?

There was a fire in an engine during take-off on a flight to Oslo, and a lot of panic on board. 

What do you like best about the OP industry? 

It’s never dull and always challenging.

What do you like least about the OP industry? 

Men-only parties, especially when men start to dance with each other.

What was your first car? 

BMW 2002 (in strong Dutch orange colour) 

And the first record you bought? 

Love Games from Level 42.

Do you have a tattoo? Details, please! 

For the last 30 years I have had a ‘best friend’ sign tattoo, so there is a guy with the same one in the same innocent location…