H2O Talent is a genuinely global business. My British colleague Martin Currie just placed a whole project team in the USA from his base in Mauritius. My Portuguese colleague Isa Cruz is based in Spain and is working on roles in Scandinavia, China and Singapore right now.
Being global is kind of a crazy way to serve the water industry though, because generally speaking the water industry is local. As you all know, water is managed at catchment scale, and usually regulated and managed (or messed with) by political actors at the city, regional or state level.
So why are we global? We are global for the same reason Dow Water & Process Solutions is global; for the same reason that GE Water is global. Because if you are selling to a global market you can get enough scale to offer a really fantastic niche product or service that solves a very specific problem extraordinarily well.
Being global creates huge headaches for us, but means that we can focus exclusively on water talent, and be the best in the world at recruiting for water.
The industries that have developed really enormous levels of innovation in the past fifty years have been industries that have generated global scale, and been able to roll out improved standards and innovative new technologies across massive supply chains, leveraging huge amounts of capital. Think of microelectronics, oil and gas, telecommunications, renewables and software.
My dream is to see the water industry build global standards and reap the benefits of global scale. There have been a few steps in that direction, but if anything the tide feels like it is running the other way at the moment. Initiatives like that of Dr. Andreas Hauser at TUV to create global standards for water are certainly a step in the right direction.
In the meantime we will do our bit by providing access for our clients to the global talent pool of water professionals. I am just waiting for one of our clients to ask us to "find the best person in the world for this job" (and really mean it). Then I will know that the water industry is really becoming global.