Looking back, looking ahead!

by Dec 28, 2017News

Interview with managing director Chris Kooijman

Celebrating Eco Outdoor’s 10th anniversary is a great moment to reflect on the last 10 years and discuss what might be ahead for the company. We interviewed Chris Kooijman and asked how he looks back on 10 years Eco Outdoor.

Where did it all begin?

I have always dreamt of starting my own company, but you need to come across an idea or product you believe in. Back in 2005, I learned about artificial grass

for landscaping. Soon after that I got in touch with the people of Royal Grass and immediately saw the potential for the Malaysian and wider Asian market. That was the moment that things fell into place; I found a great product and I believed in the opportunities it would offer. It took me over one year to get things up and running. 2007 was the year that I started selling artificial grass.
How has Eco Outdoor developed over the years?

We initially focussed on artificial grass for the residential market. In the first few years we worked hard to educate the market about the benefits of artificial grass.Those were exciting years. You can believe in a product, but at the end of the day the market needs to be ready to buy. Through each project, we advanced our technical skills and step by step we widened our solutions scope.

How did the scope of projects change?

Through our clients we got exposed to more complex and challenging projects. We were asked to install artificial grass on metal roofing, we built specialized systems for play and school areas and installed complex drainage solutions.This resulted in a growing demand for a different type of solutions. That’s why back in 2009 I started to search for a partner in the area of green walls and water management systems and established a partnership with Atlantis Corporation from Australia.

It is great to see that the solutions we provide are complimentary to each other. Our current portfolio includes artificial grass for landscaping, golf putting, playgrounds, school fields, water management systems, roofing systems and vertical gardens.

How has Eco Outdoor become an established name in the Malaysian market? 

Looking back, I truly believe that the strength of our brand is based on the relationships we have developed with our clients. Many of our clients have been with us from the start. This gives us confidence that our solutions and way of working are valued. Each time that we are offered more complex and challenging projects, we grow and learn, and are challenged to come up with new and better solutions.What role have your partners played?

Our partners Royal Grass and Atlantis have supported us from the moment we have started working together. Both partners offer high quality and innovative products and keep on improving their products based on the feedback they get from us and others in the partner community. The latest introduction of the Atlantis Gro-Wall® Slim Line system (picture on the left) is a great example of this, as well as the products Royal Grass has introduced in the area of school fields and playgrounds.

What’s ahead? 

In the next 5 years, the scale and complexity of our projects will keep on growing. For each solution there will be a next step to take. Moreover, having done recent installations in Hong Kong, Cambodia and Thailand and with a large condominium installation coming up in Indonesia, we will broaden our international scope and focus on new and challenging projects in the Asian region.