Profile: Huub van Doorne

Yet he is adamant that he achieves all this within the boundaries of his working life. “I don’t like to work 24 hours. I do my annual schedule and plan my holidays first. People can get hold of me 24 hours a day if there was a big problem but people can make their own decisions. It also forces you not to get used to 24 hours of working. This is the biggest threat at the moment with social media – you can be active all the time. You have to be strong to differentiate. The lines are very blurred between work and life, especially for younger people.”

This is not for Van Doorne. He has a healthy family life – wife Sandie, who works in the business, created the Bols Around the World competition and was presenting the final that night – with five chidren ranging in age from 27 to seven. One son has already shown that entrepreneurial streak by setting up his own company dealing in cars.

Van Doorne lives 40 minutes from work – “just enough time to relax” -– and is a big sports fan, playing golf and skiing in his spare time.

And for the future? Well, he has already said he won’t look too far ahead. “I am 55 now and enjoying things tremendously. We have ambitions on Genever and hope to expand in northern Europe and Asia. We hope to drive bartending further in places such as Eastern Europe and Asia. There’s still a lot to be gained.”

His conviction is born out by what’s already been achieved. And if anyone needed further convincing, look no further than the steely brown eyes and confident smile that accompany the farewell handshake. 

The grip of a champion.