Telindus Group nv

It's 8 AM as I cycle up to the headquarters of Telindus Group, a telecommunications concern offering a wide range of services in communications and information technology. Entering the building I'm immediately told by one of the two private security guards manning the reception desk that my bike needs to be moved from the spot next to the entrance. So, I wheel my trusty steed to an adjacent underground parking lot and into a prime spot reserved for commuting cyclists.

Leuven, situated less than 20 miles east of Brussels, is a vibrant city of about 100,000 inhabitants. Telindus' headquarters sits on the outskirts of town in a light industrial/office park (or industrial zone as Belgians like to call them). One can see the headquarters has morphed over the years. There's a long white,1970-ish three-story building on one end and at the other end stands a much newer-looking dark reflective glass four-story structure.

The visitors reception area is located in the new dark structure (built 2003) and it's a large and expansive area with light blue carpet. A huge vase filled with fresh tulips sits on the reception counter. I've arrived before the receptionist does and that explains the two security guards on duty. I plop down on one of the nine black, futuristic-looking V-shaped chairs and wait. Looking out the large windows I count three flags (Belgium, European Union & Telindus) flapping from flagpoles.

A little after 9AM I meet with Andreas Zynga, Vice President, British Isles, North-Central Europe & Corporate Solutions. Though Zynga hadn't seen my letter of introduction material sent a month earlier to CEO Ronald Everaert, he generously agrees to answer my questions even though he's missing a scheduled meeting.

Telindus operates on flex work hours where employees have options such as when they start work in the morning. About 600-700 people work here. Smoking isn't allowed in offices, parking is free and plentiful and meeting rooms are named after rivers and continents. There's no formal dress code, it's 25 minutes to Brussels airport and I could toss a grapefruit from here to the nearest freeway.

There are no onsite recreational facilities though shower are available for joggers and cyclists. The ground floor cafeteria is a real beaut with a brown hardwood floor and all the tables and chairs white. The cafeteria overlooks a grassy courtyard with tables and chairs outside for those wanting to eat in the big air.

Company revenues in 2004 totaled 532 million Euros with over 2,200 employees worldwide. John Cordier (now deceased) founded Telindus back in 1969 and a big photo of him hangs on a wall near the reception area.

CEO Ronald Everaert occupies a top floor corner office with a square white desk. I count six family pictures and don't see a computer or any plants. What's the view out his window? Large trees on the grounds and a satellite dish.

Any unusual features of the headquarters? Only the CEO gets an enclosed office. Also, apple trees on the premises.

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