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Team Talk - Meet Dave Bakker, Chief Executive Officer

22 November, 2022

Dave Bakker had a passion for air travel since owning a top gun poster in his room as a young boy.

CEO in front of aircraft engine

Dave Bakker had a passion for air travel since owning a Top Gun poster in his room as a young boy. Amsterdam born, throughout his childhood and into adulthood he focused on becoming a pilot in the Dutch Air Force but also found out he had quite the knack for all things technology and business related.

After passing multiple tests for the Dutch Air Force, his final test required a lot of studying where he quickly learned his eyesight was weakening and was unable to continue with the Air Force. He went to university and studied economics, and his true knack for technology grew when he started a business selling PCs among students in university! Within this first business role, he reflects, ‘I made as much money as I spent, so net-net it was a zero gain but what made the real return on investment was the experience and knowledge I gained as a business owner.’

After graduating from University, Dave took his knowledge to Escom, a German technology retailer that was later in bidding wars with his first long-term employer, Dell. He recalls that at some points working at Dell felt like getting his MBA, “I ended up spending 10 years at dell, it was one of the best decisions career wise for me,” says Dave.

It was here where he earned the position of Head of Asia Pacific, overseeing hundreds of employees, and he learned a lot about being a manager of employees. One of his key messages that he took away from working under Michael Dell was, “There are very big things you can do in your life and relationship with your employee, but also a lot of small things you can do, and it really matters.”

When a recruiter for SITA contacted Dave, explaining to him that his love for aviation and air travel could be combined with his technological expertise and business management skills, along with an offer he couldn’t refuse, he decided to take on the Senior Vice President for Global Services role, and led it for 5 years. After that, he became President for Europe within SITA where he spent a lot of time traveling, working with multiple CEOs, and he imagines he accumulated an astounding amount of at least 2000 flights in this time period!

As this role came to a natural end with a new CEO and change of company style, Dave worked on his entrepreneurial spirit and worked for some smaller business opportunities. And, after living in eight different countries and banking a lot of travel miles, Dave circled back home to Amsterdam, where he now lives 2 kilometres away from where he was born.

Being an avid traveller, Dave has identified three pain points within air travel that he feels could be solved with technology. First is pricing of flights and everyone trying to guess the sweet spot of time when to purchase a flight. Secondly, is the amount of stress and queues within the day of traveling at airports, and a lack of capacity management. And lastly, is what Dave refers to as, ‘the lottery called ‘is my bag going to be on the conveyer belt when I get off the plane.’”

This, of course, is what has inspired him to join BagsID. He is widely interested in helping contribute to our vision of the baggage journey. In addition, he has loved getting to know the passion of the people working at BagsID. He says, “I like people, I think every decision you make in life should be about the people you surround yourself with, and I really liked the people at BagsID.”

We asked Dave to elaborate on what gets him out of bed in the morning and he answered both literally and figuratively!

“First of all, what gets me out of bed in the morning is a 6-year-old guy called Alexander that needs to get to school,” he gushes about one of his four children, “But I like also having a number of projects and things that I do, and I have the flexibility to work on diverse projects that I love.”

One of the things Dave does not deal with well is that there is so little time in the week, causing him to be what he refers to as ‘hyper efficient’. He says, “Sleep is a waste of time, I want to be more efficient than that, there is so much to do!”

We are happy that you like the people here at BagsID, Dave because it sounds like you are going to be doing a lot for us as our CEO! Here’s to changing the world, one bag at a time. Stay up to date on future Team Talk interviews and other BagsID news by following us on LinkedIn or visiting www.BagsID.com.

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