2_4_DiscoverBenelux_Issue16_April2015_ALL_Q9_Scan Magazine 1 20/03/2015 20:35 Page 29
Discover Benelux | Special Theme | I am Dutch, Female & Successful
These combination boilers for central heating and water for household use, always maintain a storage tank of three litres that produces warm water instantly. When depleted, the heat exchanger automatically takes over while keeping an even temperature and pressure. “We continue to improve and perfect our design. The new generation of heat exchangers will be even better and we are increasing our warranty to 25 years,” Brouwer says. “The boiler is very modular in its design, with clear components so it’s like a ‘plug and play’ product.”
Long-term quality While the Coopra boilers sell for a premium price, it certainly is an investment that pays off. As they are easy to install, require very little maintenance and last almost a lifetime, their boilers invariably turn out to be much cheaper than competitors in the long run – and are certainly more reliable. “On top of the inconvenience of having no hot water, fixing a broken boiler can get expensive really quickly,” she continues, “considering the cost of new components and an engineer, but also the cost of your own time for having to take a day out of work for example.” The Coopra boiler works on all types of gas, so it makes a perfect export product. The company is not just successfully doing business in the Netherlands but also abroad, particularly in Germany, Italy, Poland and China. “We actually invest very little money in promotion, it is the quality of
the boiler that does the advertising for us. It is a product that sells itself,” Brouwer adds. Coopra started out as an organisation that bulk bought electrical and domestic supplies for the government in 1916. At the start of the privatisation wave in the 1990s, Brouwer’s father – who was the director at the time – bought the company from the shareholders. “At the time Coopra was very much involved in the energy business and was asked to develop a boiler that would fit in a kitchen cupboard and that could be installed by one person. Eventually this became our main business, and the heat exchanger is now our core product,” Brouwer says.
A leading lady Being the female head of a company in the engineering sector certainly makes Brouwer stand out. While she says it is often challenging to navigate in a male-dominated world where gender stereotypes are still visible from time to time, Brouwer says there are also clear advantages. “I do get some stares when I walk by in my high heels and with my long hair but usually, as soon as people realise I have a lot of technical knowledge, any preconceptions will quickly disappear,” she recounts. “Being the only woman in the world – as far as I’m aware – in charge of a business that makes boilers makes me unique. In Holland I have been awarded with a spot in the ‘TheNextWomen100 2014’. Certainly
everyone remembers who I am and this definitely helps. Particularly in China, they are always very proud to work with me. I now also have a Chinese name which translates as ‘Lily’, which stands for purity, happiness and forgetting problems,” she concludes with a smile. coopra-aht.nl
Issue 16 | April 2015 | 29
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and France.