New vision on life for Jordan thanks to long journey

If you think about KLM, then airplanes, pilots and cabin crew soon come to mind. Good chance that you don’t think about our colleagues working ‘under the wings’. Behind the scenes, in other words. In this series we’ll introduce you to all KLMérs: in the air and on the ground, with and without uniform. Today it’s the turn of: Jordan Wattimena (47), product owner mobile.

Lover of life

‘I’m a true blue, com-plete-ly indoctrinated by the KLM-brand. It all began 25 years ago. I think the organisation saved my life. As a teenager I was caught up enjoying life to the full. I think that’s the best way to put it. I wasn’t putting much energy into school. My family was, of course, dismayed. But we’re a KLM-family, my grandfather’s brother worked at KLM and my uncle too. He was the one that steered me in this direction when he said, ‘just go for it. KLM can offer you a good future with a great job.’

Best workplace ever

Thank goodness I did. For the first six years, I took and processed telephone bookings. After that, I helped to set up Cygnific, KLM’s sales and service centre. Upon returning to KLM, I did schedule maintenance for the distribution channels (just to be clear: this was a part of network, fleet planning) and rolled into e-commerce as website applications manager. I’ve now been product owner and senior analyst KLM mobile for the past six years. This is the nicest place where I have ever worked.


Here, we make the KLM-app and the KLM-housesapp. The latter has really become “our baby”. It is used by the fanatic collectors of KLM-houses. For us, the housesapp is also a kind of testing ground where we can try out new technology. This, for example, is where we began using augmented reality and the scanning of houses with your mobile camera in order to add them to your collection. We learnt a lot here and with these lessons in mind we implemented the technology in the KLM-app. The app now allows you to scan the size of your luggage using AR.

Modern company within KLM

This department is really a very modern company within KLM. We are agile and there is little hierarchy. You are able to do a lot yourself and you have an unprecedented amount of freedom for such a large corporation. I think that our department is a blueprint for the future. This is also necessary to be able to attract and retain knowledgeable workers. Young people now active in the labour market, live in a world where they believe that anything and everything is possible. They think that anything goes and that you should immediately change jobs if you can earn a little more elsewhere or are enjoying it a little less at that moment.

Fricadel boy in the Moluccas

I think I’ve got a good understanding of how the world works. At 18, I returned to my roots in the Moluccas for the first time. We were on a family holiday and I really didn’t want to go as I was a chips-and-fricadel boy then. Wasn’t much interested in the Moluccas at that time of my life. But as soon as we set foot on Seram, the island of my forefathers, something inside me changed. There, I had to go back-to-basics. The people there aren’t rich but family ties are very strong. Sometimes we slept with ten of us in one house and there was usually no electricity at night. Despite this, they were so kind to us. I ended up asking my parents if I could spend the entire holiday there. 

That visit caused me to change my entire view of the world. We are very well-off in the Netherlands; we can think about things from a luxurious position. But if you are born 5000 km’s from here, there’s a good chance that you worry every day about whether you’re going to eat. Since that visit, I enjoy life more. My parents and grandparents made a huge sacrifice to come to the Netherlands and they had a difficult time. But it’s because of what they were willing to give up that we now have it so good here. It has enabled me to give my children a very good life. I will never forget that.’

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