Interview with Krijn Degenkamp

123BigBags finds its place in the City House on the Kruiskade

This year 123BigBags moved from the Schiekade to the Kruiskade. We spoke with CEO and owner Krijn Degenkamp, who founded the company in 2016. Seven years after its launch, 123BigBags employs twelve people and is housed in a large office in the City House.

13 October 2022
By Lisanne Van Beurden

Below you can read the story of 123BigBags, in which Krijn talks about his vision for the company, how the company started, his international team and the move to the new office.

Can you briefly tell us about 123BigBags?

Krijn: “123BigBags is an online webshop for various bags for use in the construction, waste and recycling industry. Our goal is to allow more and more types of waste to go through the bags. By keeping the world clean, we make our customers happy. That is why 123BigBags provides the right bags for the right waste. To make the goal concrete, we want to have 123 million waste go through the bags by 2032 - exactly in ten years' time."

“Most SMEs are increasingly recycling their waste. It is no longer of this time to throw all waste together in a steel container. Recycling is going to be worth more and more and 123BigBags plays a major role in that. We see our company as the engine of this recycling trend.”

After a short break he continues: “What is nice to see is that a lot of waste fits in one cubic bag (90x90x110cm) and it is used by all kinds of organizations and people. Fishermen, for example, like to use our cubic sacks to store plastic from the sea. They then hand it in and receive a subsidy from the government for it.”

CEO and owner Krijn Degenkamp of 123BigBags.

Can you say something about the 123BigBags team?

“We are a very international team. Our largest sales markets are France, Germany and England. We focus on all Western European countries. Now there is a French, Italian, German, South African, Swiss and Vietnamese working in the office. That is why the official language in our office is English.”

You have recently moved to a new office in the City House. Why did you choose this location?

“First, we simply needed more space. We rent it for the long term and it is really rented for growth. Now we are a team of twelve, but I expect this to expand quickly. Of course you don't want to be hindered by the building you're in."

“It is also a beautiful building. We sell bags, but because of our webshop we are actually an IT company. That is why we need highly trained staff. We don't sell such a sexy product as what Oger sells," Krijn refers to his neighbours downstairs, "but by housing in such a beautiful, centrally located building, we naturally attract better staff."

“Because we are in such a beautiful location, a stone's throw from Rotterdam Central, our staff comes from all corners of the country. As a result, we do not have to offer them a petrol-guzzling car. That way we are a bit more sustainable.”

The 123BigBags team during their daily standup meeting.

"You allow yourself a nice workplace, but you especially want it for your employees."

“The entrance is very nice and the office is beautiful. Everything has been renewed, with a new floor, new ceiling and for the first time we have air conditioning. In addition, we now also have an archive room and a large kitchen.”

“Recently, an intern came in and said 'wow, how great to be able to do an internship here' and that's what you do it for in the end. You allow yourself a nice workplace, but you especially want it for your employees.”

What do you think of the Kruiskade and its surroundings?

"I like it a lot. For example, the team can take a walk in the centre in the afternoon. Our female colleagues from the sales and marketing department love to get a sandwich and visit the shops. Then they just go back to work.”

“I always come to the office by electric bicycle. After a 20-minute ride I put the bike in the bicycle shed and then I'm working in the heart of the city.” Krijn continues: “In addition, it is simply the potential that this area has. Manhave Vastgoed is working on a very large project across the street: The Lobby. A new store will also be built below us. In a year's time it will be the most beautiful street in Rotterdam and we will already be there.”

Entrance of the City House.
lovely bright meeting room in the 123BigBags office.

Do you want to say something about the interior?

“In our office you will also find many plants, a pool table, a large screen and lots of space. There are two meeting rooms and an archive room where all the bags of the website are located. That way I can quickly grab such a bag and explain it to the employees. I didn't have this in the previous office.”

Krijn in the archive room.

Thanks for the tour and your time, Krijn!

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