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A conversation with new Managing Director of Positive Robbert Gangadin

A new chapter for Positive Netherlands: starting April 1st, Robbert Gangadin, founder of Daily Dialogues in 2010, is making a move from Operations Director to Managing Director, succeeding Sjef Kerkhofs. We sat down with him to discuss what brings him pride in Positive and his aspirations for growth.

How do you look back on Positive's growth over the past year?
Over the past year, our focus has been on redefining the organization, stemming from the merger of two (digital) agencies within Candid: a digital campaign agency and a social agency. I've always been proud of our Daily Dialogues team, and collaborating extensively with Havana Harbor felt like exploring a candy store of creative talent. Bringing together both agencies was a fantastic journey, but it also marked a growth path for all of us. The result is a robust agency with broad (digital) expertise and high client satisfaction.

What development at Positive over the past year are you most proud of?
I take immense pride in our team and maintaining an open culture. Management and leadership are approachable for all employees, actively involved, and directly engaged with clients. This closeness is something our team consistently values about working at Positive. Clients feel and see this reflected in the way we work for them.

Furthermore, we strategically strengthened ourselves through the acquisitions of Session One and Dunkd. Video, especially short-form content like TikTok, and collaboration with creators and influencers have become crucial aspects of every social/digital strategy. Creativity that is always on, quick and agile adaptation, and the direct application of strategic insights are deeply ingrained in our agency DNA, making these acquisitions a perfect fit. They enable us to meet client needs even faster and more effectively.

"With my technology background, I feel right at home in this tech and innovation era."

What steps do you plan to take in the coming year?
We've been in the process of transforming the agency for a while. The market, like everyone else, compels us to continually reinvent ourselves. We want to heavily focus on technology by integrating it into everything we do: from production and creativity to workflow and insights. In the coming years, we anticipate that digital 'end production' will become more of a commodity due to various technological changes (faster, easier, more solution options, cheaper). As a result, our role will shift partially towards facilitating new solutions and partially towards strategy, concept, and creative communication. With my TU Delft background, I feel right at home in this tech and innovation era. These are exciting times bringing a lot of energy. Besides the rise of short-form content, we're also exploring expanding tech services and the necessary team expansion.

What characterizes you as an entrepreneur and Managing Director?
It's always tricky to talk about oneself, but I would say a combination of pragmatism and strategic thinking. Additionally, a strong drive to continually build and develop sustainable solutions, whether it's personal growth, team development, new propositions, or systems to better assist our clients. This reflects a strong affinity for product, business and operations. The transition from Operations to the overall leadership of an agency isn't that significant. Currently, some of the world's largest companies are led by Operations professionals. Not that I'd dare to compare myself 😉. But it does indicate that this era demands that DNA.

What are you most looking forward to in your MD role?
In the new situation, young talent, will have the opportunity to grow and elevate our agency to new heights. I'm eagerly anticipating facilitating that. I'm also excited about the collaboration with our colleagues in London. We already serve quite a few international clients, and we can provide fantastic service from the Rotterdam - Amsterdam - London link. We'll certainly intensify that.

What is your biggest dream for Positive Netherlands?
My biggest dream for Positive is that we play a leading role on the international stage. Our client portfolio, our team with various nationalities, offices in the UK and NL, our strategic plans, and the strength of Candid all indicate that we are perfectly positioned for it. Now it's up to us to make it happen."