Can you tell us something about your company?
In 2021, Thomas Combe founded CoWaves: a Dutch company that provides project, process, and data management services to companies primarily in the maritime industry. We are a growing and enthusiastic international team, with our Dutch colleagues working at our headquarters in Amsterdam and our American colleagues based in Houston, Texas.
CoWaves works to achieve operational excellence while supporting our clients in meeting their targets in a relatable, and accessible way. Our skilled team possesses many years of management experience, with backgrounds in technology, business, data acquisition, and management. What differentiates CoWaves from other companies is the unique practical guidance and implementation of the proposed solutions. Using our positive mindset, our (Dutch) maritime expertise, and excellent people skills, we know how to get things done.
Why did your company choose Texas?
The Port of Houston is one of the biggest in the US, consequently, it is no coincidence that many major and significant companies in the maritime sector are based here. Since doing business in Texas often requires face-to-face time, it was a logical step to set up a base here as well. This allows CoWaves, as a young and growing company, to communicate and demonstrate our value directly to prospective clients and thereby generate more business.
What kind of advice can you give to Dutch entrepreneurs who want to do business in Texas?
First, to do business in Texas, it is necessary to get a seat at the table. Meeting clients in person is generally preferred and often combined with social activities, such as lunches, drinks, or dinners. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to ensure that your people skills are on point.
In addition, it is important to stay close to the needs and wishes of the client. Always think with the client, but keep in mind that in the US the customer is king, and they have the final say. Even if you believe that the path preferred by the client is not the most efficient, respect their wishes and remember to not push your beliefs too much.