Victor Ea

Location Van Leeuwen Malaysia
Postion General Manager
Employed bt Leeuwen since 2013
Age 33

‘The oil and gas industry in Malaysia is driven by government incentives provided to Malaysian companies,’ says Victor Ea, General Manager at Van Leeuwen Malaysia. ‘This is a challenge for us. But we have been operating in this country for over forty years and because of our reputation we have an excellent position.’

Victor Ea was born and raised in Malaysia. After he obtained his bachelor’s degree in International Business from a Malaysian university, he soon joined Van Leeuwen in Singapore. ‘I completed my traineeship here,’ says Victor, ‘and after this I was sent to Thailand as a sales officer. After three years I became Sales Manager there. Then, after another three years, I went back to Malaysia as Branch Manager. Six months ago, I became General Manager here. I enjoy working in my home country; I am thoroughly familiar with the culture and I speak the language. That helps with marketing and local contacts.’

Malay, Chinese and Indian people

Victor lives in Johor Bahru, a South Malaysian city that borders on Singapore. Every week he alternates between working in the branch in Kulai, close to his home, and in Kuala Lumpur, a three and a half hour drive. ‘Malaysia is a multicultural country,’ says Victor. 'There are three main population groups, namely the Malay, Chinese and Indian people. The nice thing is that we celebrate one other’s cultural and religious holidays. At our office too, we celebrate Hari Raya (the end of Ramadan), as well as the Chinese new year and the Indian festival of light, Divali. These festivities always include an elaborate meal with all of our colleagues.’

Stimulating Malaysian companies

A special aspect of the Malaysian economy is that government is highly focused on stimulating Malaysian companies, says Victor. ‘Many companies are obliged to largely have local shareholders. This means that even large companies such as Shell and ExxonMobil are required to conduct business by partnering with the Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas. A major advantage for Van Leeuwen is that we have been working here for more than forty years and that the people know us very well. We have a well-established and trusted name. Our customers are especially active in upstream oil and gas exploration.'


In Victor’s experience, the company’s strong points are ‘that we work in highly structured ways and that we are very well organized. From a cultural perspective, there are of course differences between the Dutch and Asian mentality. Customers are not as accustomed to communicating in very direct ways here. This is why we have developed a strong team here to serve the regional market. A major advantage of our international organization is that I am always able to consult colleagues in Asia, Europe or the US about where to purchase certain pipes and at what price. At the same time, I have sufficient autonomy to do business in accordance with local norms. Our customers highly value us as a local representative of an international high-quality, leading company. They know that they can always reach us when they have questions and that we quickly come back with the proper answers each time.’

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