Henk van Bemmelen - Love what you do and do what you love

Henk van Bemmelen : Chief Executive Officer at Blue Security
Henk van Bemmelen : Chief Executive Officer at Blue Security

HENK VAN BEMMELEN, CEO of Blue Security says, "I fell in love with the security business from an early age - it is in my blood. I can't remember ever waking up and not wanting to go to work. If you have a passion for your business, then you can't go wrong."

After the completion of his two year South African defence force call up period, Van Bemmelen's experiences motivated him to join a security company. He started as a reaction officer and enjoyed the work involved, as combatting crime has always been an overall concern in South Africa.

Over the past 29 years, Van Bemmelen has worked his way up through the divisions and ranks of the security business. Eight years ago, he relocated from Johannesburg to Durban, to take up the position as operations director at Blue Security. Since then he has been promoted to managing director and then in October 2018 to his current position as CEO.

He says that his journey through the ranks of the security industry has been enabled by having good mentors. "Having a mentor is a top priority for anyone want to progress in their career. My mentors have become friends and people that I have learnt from beyond the on-the-job experience. A mentor will also push you harder than you do yourself."

Van Bemmelen commented that the experience of having a mentor had prompted him to focus on providing mentorship to other employees within the company. "The reality of this job is that it is people driven and it is often hardcore; you really get tested, so support is required," he explained.

The main challenges of his role as CEO are firstly to ensure that the Blue Security 'ship' is pointing in the right direction, and secondly to ensure that the company is keeping up with the technological innovations that are driving the security business. Van Bemmelen explained that his leadership style needed to fit the people and their job descriptions. "I like to empower people to make decisions. It is not in my style to micro manage employees, I allow them the space to deliver the goods. I can connect with people and be flexible as I am aware of the different responsibilities of their jobs' demands. However, there are times when I have to be stern."

In addition, said Van Bemmelen, the younger generation does things differently. "Consequently, within Blue Security, we have to keep a balance between the younger employees who are pushing boundaries all the time and the senior employees who need to keep up to date with trends such as new communication channels."

A major challenge of the security industry is to keep up with change. "The world is constantly evolving; we have to keep up with innovations and we need to ensure that we meet the expectations of our clients. The security business is a disruptive industry, which is not the same as 20 years ago and we cannot stay in our comfort zone but continually need to adapt."

Blue Security has invested heavily in research and development to implement top end technologies to improve the security for its residential and business customers. "The business runs 24 hours a day - crime does not wait - and we want to make a difference in the communities we serve," he explained.

When not at work, Van Bemmelen spends much time at the gym as he says that staying fit and healthy keeps his mind clear. He is a family man who enjoys the strong support of his family, who understand his passion for his work.

Another of Van Bemmelen's loves is his motorbike on which he and his wife have toured South Africa. They have covered many thousands of kilometres together and are currently planning a trip to Lesotho, and on to the Eastern and Western Cape as well as Namibia.

Henk van Bemmelen

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