It all began back in the year 1951. This was the year the Bosma brothers, Jan and Freek, founded Oranjewoud, the firm that six decades later would be at the basis of Antea Group. At the time, the post-war reconstruction of the Netherlands was in full flow. After a devastating war, our country was literally and metaphorically rebuilding its future, reigniting its zeal and working on its progress.
This was a time of huge public programs aimed at combating poverty. Large numbers of unemployed people were deployed in reclaiming wastelands and bringing them into cultivation.
Delivering on promises
The Bosma brothers regularly found themselves musing about setting up their own land development company in the northern part of the Netherlands. Conditions were favorable, as there was plenty of work. With their business up and running, they soon landed their first contracts. Gradually, they were hired for more and more land development and land improvement projects. Their strength? Delivering on promises and putting in boundless effort, but also working in their own way and never feeling that a job was beneath them. Whenever possible, Oranjewoud used its own equipment. Employees took care of maintenance themselves and were driven by their commitment to come up with smart improvements.
After these early beginnings, our reputation as the go-getters whose actions always match their words grew. This is typically a quality that the market picks up on and values. Oranjewoud developed into a firm that not only executes civil engineering works, but also prepares plans, compiles specifications and manages projects.
In the 1960s, we started working for local governments and water boards, building pumping stations and developing sports fields, among other things. Several oil and gas companies also started contracting us. The Netherlands' state gas company, Gasunie, hired Oranjewoud to work on a project for the building of a natural gas pipeline between Zuidlaren and Hindeloopen.
Oranjewoud flourished. We continued to invest in existing business relations, while also attracting new clients. Oranjewoud outgrew its regional focus. In the years that followed, we shifted our working area and broadened our horizons. From a regional to a national scale, from the Benelux countries to all of Europe.
We were successful in anticipating new social issues: care for the environment, large-scale remediation of contaminated soil. But we also put our expertise at the service of parties dealing with management, water and mobility issues. Whatever the assignment, we never relented in looking for smart and efficient solutions for our clients.
Throughout our history, spanning six decades, we have taken large and small steps on many fronts. Our land development operations from the early years have engendered a broad array of engineering and implementation services.
From the environment to safety, from infrastructure to water, today's clients know us as a firm that operates in many different areas. A firm that is able to cross-link expertise acquired in different disciplines. A firm that boasts engaged and highly qualified staff.
Both feet on the ground
At first glance, the contrast between the two-man operation from the 1950s and today's globally-operating Antea Group seems considerable. And yet, fundamentally, little has changed. It is with good reason that we carry the name of the mythological hero Antaeus. He derived his strength from always keeping both feet on the ground, a lot like we do.
Wherever in the world we operate, whatever we do, in our genes we will always continue to be the company that combines high-quality expertise with pragmatic solutions. In other words, we first assess how something can be done better and smarter, and then roll up our sleeves and get to work. This is how we anticipate the needs of today and the future. With a strong sense of purpose and always aiming for a sustainable solution.