Simon Low

Location Van Leeuwen Dubai
Position Sales Manager Gulf Region
Employed by Van Leeuwen since 2010
Age 37

Simon Low is Sales Manager for the Gulf Region and is based in the Emirate of Dubai. He enjoys doing business in this country.

Simon Low grew up in Hong Kong as the son of a Singaporean father and Chinese mother. ‘When I turned thirteen, we moved to Singapore, where I later completed my studies in economics at the University of Singapore, as well as my military service,’ says Simon. ‘Immediately after that, I was hired as a trainee at Van Leeuwen. For Van Leeuwen having a good education was sufficient. The rest I primarily learned on the job in my first years.’ The reason Simon chose to work at Van Leeuwen was that he wanted to see the world. ‘My wish has been amply fulfilled,’ Simon continues. ‘After spending two years in Singapore, I moved to Shanghai where I worked for Van Leeuwen for ten years. In 2022, I was transferred to Van Leeuwen in Dubai. Right now, I alternate between Dubai and China every few months.’

Sincere smile

Simon perceives Dubai as a highly multicultural city state. ‘Unlike in China, many expats live here. In my estimation, as many as seventy percent of the people living here come from another country. It is an Islamic city. That means that there are certain things that you must take into consideration. You cannot just buy alcohol whenever you please and you can clearly hear the call to prayer everywhere, several times per day. On the other hand, English is spoken everywhere and it is a very internationally oriented and colorful country.

The people with whom I do business usually come from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh or the Philippines. The social protocols are not complicated, as they are in China, for example. You can get very far here with a sincere smile. After all that is the universal language of friendliness and kindness.’

Super strong brand

Like in any other country, you must invest a great deal of energy in developing excellent relationships with your customers, says Simon. ‘But I am a salesman, so that suits me perfectly. It is important to ask the right questions, to understand precisely what the customer wants, what the customer considers important and to make proper agreements. The pipe and tube market really is a commodity market. But the Van Leeuwen brand is and continues to be super strong, in part due to the tight relationships we manage to develop and maintain with our international business relations. We consider this important and Van Leeuwen invests a great deal of time and energy into this, and that works to our advantage. The company has been around for a very long time and we have developed an excellent reputation in the market.’

Company culture

For Simon, Van Leeuwen’s company culture means: ‘internationally working together with much satisfaction – and selling pipes and tubes. I work in the Middle East and in China, and I also work together with our European colleagues. The many contacts make my work dynamic and I still very much enjoy that. The advantage of a family business is that you can pursue your own path and that you are less beholden to satisfying your shareholders. Although, of course, Van Leeuwen also needs to make a profit. Actually, if Van Leeuwen were to be listed on the stock exchange, I would immediately purchase shares!’