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 31 years, Van Bemmelen has worked his way up through the divisions and ranks of the security business. Eleven years ago, he took up the position as operational 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 who wants 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. 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.”