It has been called the first multinational company in the world: the United Dutch East India Company, the VOC. In its time, it was a global business with more employees and turnover than any other enterprise. The VOC opened up the world for the tiny Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands. Founded for the purpose of trading spices from the East Indies, the VOC dominated the Indian Ocean for two centuries from 1602 to 1798. Whether they used the carrot or the stick, the VOC did not fear anything or anyone when it came to gaining the highest possible profits.