Frits Blessing explains: ‘When sailing around the globe as an officer on cargo and livestock vessels, most of the time it was with Indonesian crew. That was the time when I really appreciated working with Indonesian people. It was also the first time I was visiting Indonesia, first port of call being Cilacap in 1982. After being washed ashore, I continued to know the country and people better when I lived in Jakarta in 1991-1992 for a project to boost maritime developments. Since then I have always felt at home when visiting Indonesia.
Since the 90-ties I have been developing and owning several companies involved in international business in ICT, shipping & logistics, which I combined with a position as a part-time professor at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences from 2002-2010.
Since 2011 I spend around half of my time in Indonesia, developing programs and business in logistics, maritime developments, 3-helix collaborations and agrobusiness. Most activities take place in Jakarta, Surabaya / East Java and Banda Islands.
I am very much future oriented, working with Indonesians who are driven to improve the life and living of Indonesian people. Sometimes with academics, sometimes with business people. Most have become friends.
Apart from the fact that we share a lot of history, we are also very different in approaching challenges. In that way I am confident that we can learn so much from each other. As a board member of INS, I am committed to improve mutual understanding by bringing people and ideas together.’