Entrepreneurial stories

"Although CM.com is an international company, our roots are still in Breda"

Describing the CM.com headquarters as modern would be an understatement. More of a tech campus than just a regular office building. As I step inside, the signs of a profitable tech startup are evident: stylish furniture in soothing colors, an abundance of modern art, a cozy lunch space and luscious plants in every corner. CM.com is now an international company with offices in 28 cities all over the world, from Johannesburg to Singapore, from Marseille to Tokyo. But it is very much a company firmly rooted in Breda. It was founded here in 1999 and still uses the city as a testing ground while working with local businesses to pilot new services. CM.com is also a magnet for highly-skilled professionals. For Cem Turk, a software developer who moved here from Turkey, CM.com was the ideal landing pad. And so was the city of Breda. “When I started, I was one of the few internationals; but during the four years I’ve been in CM, we grew enormously. Now we have more and more international colleagues from all over the world,” says Cem. After our chat, Cem takes us on a short tour of the public areas in this building (there are several buildings, with some parts of the HQ still being refurbished). Yes, I’m still in Breda, but there’s an undeniable tech city feel to it.

Cem Turk Software engineer, CM.com

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what brought you to Breda?

I’m from Turkey, but I’ve been living and working in Breda for 4 years. I work as a software developer for CM.com. 

CM.com is a communications platform that helps businesses grow by providing services for marketing, ticketing and payments. For example, we provided all the services for the Dutch Grand Prix, the Formula One race.

What are the advantages of being based in Breda for a business as large as CM.com?

The company was founded in Breda. Nowadays, we have more than 20 offices scattered around the world, and our HQ is still in Breda. We have more than enough human resources here, and our development teams are based in Breda as well. 

Although we are an international company, our roots are still in Breda. We support local events, such as Breda Live, and we used to be the sponsor of the football team here. We also work closely with local businesses to pilot our new products.

What are your favorite places in Breda?

I like going to the park, visiting the shopping street and having a nice dinner and beers with friends. One of my favorite spots in Breda is Ginneken because I really enjoy the architecture of this neighborhood. 

I like Mastbos because it’s very nice to be in nature and it’s easy to walk and bike there. There’s a small lake inside Mastbos, where you can just sit on a bench and have your sandwiches. 

I like Pier 15 as well. It has a nice skatepark and you can always have some beers there.

In your opinion, what’s the best part about Breda for internationals?

I come from a very big city, and Breda is small, but nice. You can do a lot of things here and there is an ever-growing expat community. 

When I started at CM.com, I was one of the few internationals; but during the four years I’ve been here, we grew enormously. Now we have more and more international colleagues from all over the world.  

My tip for incoming expats is to join the Breda Internationals community, so that we can help each other out. Their events are really helpful in getting familiar with Breda and increasing your circle of friends here.

Author

Mickey Gast

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