About CORE-UP & Otto van Harmelen



Otto is a pragmatic executive, which puts the customer-centric in business development, operations and strategy. He connects and coaches with a strong focus on results and implementation of change. Keen on market developments and innovations within as well as outside of the industry. Extensive international retail and wholesale experience in different board, operational and strategic roles within family owned and stock exchange listed multinationals. Further-on Otto is a specialist in development and implementation of new business and revenue models.

Otto van Harmelen - CORE-UP


During his career in Retail, Wholesale and FMCG of more than 35 years working in around 40 different countries all-over the globe, Otto has implemented and accomplished many business model migrations. As a member of the board Otto recognized challenges moving big corporate organisations forward towards the fast moving technological market environments and its changing customer behaviours.

The last few years Otto worked together with start- and scale-ups and supported them in further growth and developments in their business and revenu models.

The idea to focus on start-ups, corporates and innovation development came during his time managing the Corporate Business Innovation for Metro Group worldwide. He wants to share his huge commercial business experience and knowledge with corporates and start-ups to bring them closer together in accomplishing a smoother collaboration between the two.

Besides a better collaboration he sees it as an opportunity to help you gain further insight in your organization and support you in improving and accelerating your business.

Bio Otto van Harmelen MSc.

Otto has more than 35 years retail and wholesale experience, worked in around 40 countries allover the globe and lived and worked in the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Czech Republic and China.

He graduated as Master of Science at the Rotterdam Erasmus University. Regularly, he gives guest lectures on Universities and is summit speaker around the world.

Otto started his career in wholesale electronics, followed by working in retail at the British Shoe Corporation in his home country the Netherlands. The last 27 years he worked in wholesale/retail for one of the top 10 retailers worldwide METRO GROUP. For this multinational he worked in many different fields, countries and management levels.

For multinational SHV Makro he set Office Centre / Staples and developed the METRO Corporate University. He trained and coached country boards and operational management in more than 35 countries and set up training campuses in Germany, France, Russia and China.
He was in the Management Board of METRO Czech Republic, Slovakia and MAKRO UK as Procurement and Merchandising Director.
As Regional Officer for Europe and MENA he was responsible for developing and implementing strategies for procurement, customer and own brand products in more than 15 countries.

Moreover, he was responsible for the development of the Corporate Business Innovation at METRO GROUP, where he managed business innovations and start-up integration.
Lastly, Otto conducted feasibility studies for countries in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa.

To conclude, Otto van Harmelen brings industry insight for start-ups and new corporate business integration, by international business consulting and executive training and coaching. He can improve your operating model to be more flexible, scalable and customer oriented, and accelerate (international) expansion, business results and revenues.

Otto van Harmelen worked in

Countries Otto van Harmelen worked & lived in

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