May 2, 2024

Bulsink 95 years

On June 1st 2023, construction company Bulsink celebrates its 95th anniversary. When CEO Antoine Bulsink took the helm in 1997, the company employed two carpenters and two bricklayers. Since then, the family-owned business has eveolved into an internationally operating player, with around a hunderd employees solely in the office, serving clients such as Rituals, Eden Hotels, IWG, and Basic-Fit. 

To mark its 95th anniversary, Antoine Bulsink reflects on pivotal moments that have shaped the course of the family business. 

Rigorous choices

"The economic crisis of 2008 was decisive in shaping the direction we took,"Antoine reflects. "Before that time, we took on any job. A dormer window, an extension to a house, a shop, an office. But as a regular construction company, you have a hundred competitors just in your own village. Forced by the crisis, we started to focus: where do we make the difference?". This was accompanied by drastic choices: "No more private projects. Only focusing on B2B with recurring clients. Initially, with the majority of projects in retail, and soon we expanded to various other sectors where experience and branding play an important role."

In addition to retail, Bulsink turned its focus to the hospitality, leisure, and office sectors. Through this strategy of specialization and differentiation, the company managed to attract rapidly growing chains and secure prestigious contracts. Recent examples include the transformation of the American Hotel into the Hard Rock Hotel and the flagship store 'House of Rituals' in Amsterdam. 

Smart construction

"In recent years, differentiation has become somewhat less important, and we are more focused on projects that align with our way of working,"Antoine continues. 

This brings him to a second success factor for the growth of his company: smart construction. 

"If we can approach projects in partnership with the client in our own way, and take the lead as a general contractor, then we can build ultra-fast. Digitalization plays a crucial role in this. We have always been fully commited to it, but during the COVID-19 crisis, it accelerated."

Bulsink utilizes 3D designs, Virtual Reality, and Augmented Reality in the preliminary process to construction projects. This gives clients a realistic impression of the end result, which simplifies project communication, promotes decision-making, and prevents unnecessary errors during construction. 

Major Dutch clients with whom we previously struggled to gain access, are now calling us themselves because they want to expand to France.

Conquering Europe

Over the past ten years, Bulsink has increasingly served companies based in the Netherlands aiming to conquer Europe. "It's been like a travelling circus for a long time. In the early years, I even went to Paris with the boss of Rituals to views a retail space there. But meanwhile, our clients have become so large that they have their own office in France, with French staff. They don't want a company from Einhoven telling them how to do things. They prefer to deal directly with Bulsink France". 

In addition to headquarters in Son, Busink also has offices in Paris and Cologne. 

When it comes to the European expansion of retail and hospitality brands, Bulsink is now regarded as an authority. "Major Dutch clietns with whom we previously struggled to gain access, are now calling us themselves because they want to expand to France".