Jakob Gielen, Founder, Setlog 

“In what department do you work and what’s your job title?”

I am a member of the Executive Board and responsible for Administration & Finance of all companies of the Setlog Group. Some say CEO, some call it CFO. That’s both right, even if I prefer to define it less narrowly myself.

„What exactly are you doing at Setlog?”

I hold the hand over all the typical commercial tasks around finance (accounting, controlling, financing, taxes, etc.) and administration (purchasing, personnel, law, insurance, etc.). To the latter belong also many organizational things as well as the organization of processes. I am a kind of head caretaker…

“What’s your daily routine like at work?“

Largely determined by others. I see myself as a service provider in the Setlog team around the areas for which I am responsible. This means that I am always approachable, and accordingly I spend a large part of my time talking and clarifying things and topics. This applies both internally and externally. I also spend a lot of time coordinating with Guido and Ralf. We are quite dynamic and corporate management is not possible without them.

“What do you like about Setlog?”

The entrepreneurial challenge, the largely motivated team and the very good prospects. I founded the company together with Guido and Ralf and booked the opening balance at the time. Even though I worked more from a distance for a long time, it is still my baby. And I believe in Setlog! That’s why I’ve been on board full-time for a
good three years now and that’s why I invested in Setlog again. The Cologne ride is crap, but I like being here. And I like the people here…

“What makes the work at Setlog special?”

It’s the mix and the challenge. I particularly like the fact that a good two years ago we decided to give the company a good airing. This caused a lot of confusion, some to the detriment. The Chinese say “renewal requires destruction”. It has been the same with us and I look positively at the future of Setlog. Much of what we do today would not be possible without the consciously initiated change process. And this is not only my personal opinion, you can see it in the company. And you get it reflected in the positive feedback we get – applicants, service providers, customers and, of course, the large attendance at our events, especially the Digital Innovation Ruhr Meetup Group. We do the right things. We are an attractive company and an attractive employer.

“What makes Setlog special for you as an employer?”

Setlog is not just my employer. I have been with Setlog since day 1 and have invested a lot of money over the
years. Guido, Ralf and I have been through a lot together and that has welded us together. I see myself more as an entrepreneur who actively helps to make his company or his part in it successful. This is not primarily about money, but about creating value.

“What are your plans for the future?”

Professionally I would like to help the Setlog group to get where I think it belongs – to the top! That’s why I gave up my position on the GINO board, that’s why I’m here. And I came to stay… All this requires a lot of effort and the effort is immense. And so one of my private goals is to create more space for my family. And if there’s still a little left, I’d be happy to do the things I enjoy doing. This especially includes music and everything to do with it.

“How can someone tell it’s your desk?”

Mostly unoccupied, because I spend a lot of time talking, mostly in meeting rooms or somewhere on the way.
And there is not much stuff on the table, because I am always on my way through (filing and paperwork is done in the Cologne office).

„3 words: why Setlog?“

Team, Perspective, Entrepreneurship

“What hobbies do you pursue in your spare time?”

I like to romp around in the founder scene and am active as a business angel. Otherwise there is not much free time. The few that remains belongs to my wife and my two boys. I have always enjoyed travelling and together with my wife I got to know many countries. With our children we try to keep that up and so we travel as much as possible.

„What’s your passion“

Music! I own countless CDs and also many vinyl discs. I go to concerts as often as I can and last I took the guitar into my hands again after 40 years. Stylistically I am completely open, hear everything from classical music over jazz, rock, pop, soul, funk etc., the main thing is that it is handmade. So musicians with real instruments, which they also master at best.

“How do you deal with challenges?”

Accept them! With the tendency to always see the glass half full. This helps because it takes away the worries. But it has the disadvantage that you occasionally overdo it. Then you have to free yourself, which is sometimes annoying but always involves a lot of work. To me saying no is more difficult than saying yes…