Same same, but different – An interview with Herre Roelevink from our Strategic Partner Manifera

Culture differences can have a large effect on the commercial success of your company. For instance when you offshore your software development activities, which means you have a team of developers working for you on the other side of the ocean, your employees become geographically dispersed . Of course it’s no news that people in different countries react to inputs differently, communicate differently, and make decisions differently, but to avoid miscommunication between the head office and the regional units you have to be able to adapt, according to our strategic partner Manifera, an international software development company. Watch their video below.

We have asked our strategic partner Manifera (ADB-DutchCham member for over six years) for some more background info on how they handle cultural differences, what they do and what they can offer our members.

How did you end up founding your company Manifera?
Herre Roelevink, founder and managing director at Manifera, started his company six years ago in Singapore. After having worked in IT his whole life ( e.g. software development, developing radionavigation systems at Continental Automotive) he took on a new challenge after hearing people talking about a shortage of experienced software developers in The Netherlands and in other countries. At that moment in his life he thought it would be a good opportunity to take on this new adventure and started to travel to countries like The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to source for the best matching developers. He was lucky to be able to take over a team with developers from a former Vietnamese company, of which all team members still work for Manifera.

Keeping our cultural differences in mind, Europeans can be quite direct, which clashes sometimes with the way ASEAN countries approach things, but Herre can honestly say that the Vietnamese can also be quite direct. One of his Dutch clients was completely surprised by the directness of one of his team members during a project meeting indicating that the proposed plan by the client was not feasible.

What do you offer your clients?
To expand our client’s software development capacity in an easy and cost-effective way, Manifera can provide you with offshore software developers who act as your own extended team. You will have full control of the developers and you will work with the developers directly and daily.  For many of our international long-term clients we are a reliable partner in software outsourcing. Our clients are from Europe, USA and Asia and range from SMEs to MNCs. Outsourcing provides our customers many advantages, like flexible up/down scaling of experienced software developers, easy access to additional skill-sets and attractive pricing.

What do you do about the possible cultural gap between the different teams?
Our experience with many cultures and our western management makes them well prepared for working with clients from many countries. We are aware that for each partnership we have to get familiarised with each other. Our experience with many clients show that after working with each other for some time and openly discussing the way of working, we can continuously improve the process of working between our client’s team and our client’s Manifera offshore development team. This way we can work more efficiently with each other and reach an optimum functioning global software development team.

Can you elaborate on one of your successful projects?
Manifera successfully launched VitiKart, the first fully fledged online Market place for Fiji. VitiKart was developed for Vodafone Fiji and is an e-Commerce marketplace consisting of a web shop and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Many Fijian merchants have onboarded on to the platform, selling their various products successfully to the Fijian people.

Manifera has designed and developed the complete VitiKart platform after having won the e-Commerce challenge as run by the United Nations Pacific Financial Inclusion Program last year.



Do you have a SME company or smaller company and a shortage of skills or technical knowledge or looking for an extension of your development team, please reach out to Herre Roelevink to talk about the possibilities. 

Herre Roelevink: +65 9853 2842



Watch the video by Manifera on cultural differences and how to work with that: