Hello Gerrit! Since most of our readers don’t know you, could you please describe your role?Easy-Laser GmbH is the first subsidiary of Easy-Laser AB and my role is to manage this subsidiary in all business aspects. It focuses mainly on the business development, sales and marketing activities in Germany. We want to get closer to the customers in Germany and offer them fast, reliable and comprehensive service and thus develop sales and the strength of our brand. But the role itself is quite diverse. I am sure it will change over time but today, it is mainly about getting the company started and to put it on the right track for a positive development in this large and highly competitive market.
Tell me a bit about your background. What did you do previously?I have been in technical sales for more than 20 years and developed my business skills in the very fast developing computer hardware industry. I was working for different international manufacturers and in different sales positions, from Key Account Sales, Area Sales Manager to Sales Director. My last position was Business Development Manager for STAHL, a worldwide leader of electronic devices for EX-areas in the industry. I was responsible to grow the business in a number of European countries and to develop their subsidiaries and partners. I visited a lot of very large companies and global players, mainly in the process industry. I got to know their needs regarding safety and security, their specific situation in which they must constantly increase productivity, and I got to know a lot about maintenance and topics like industry 4.0.
How did you first encounter Easy-Laser?Basically, at that time, I wanted to find a new challenge. What I did was I simply called Mikael (Sales Manager at Easy-Laser) after having seen a job offering in one of the online recruitment portals in Germany. We then met during Hannover Messe in 2016 for the first time.
Why did you decide to join us?The decision to start working for Easy-Laser was taken after my first visit in Gothenburg in May 2016. I met with Mikael and other colleagues and had an interview with Anders (the Managing Director). I was impressed by the people and the company. The products are of high quality and they are developed in-house. The managers know what they do and have a clear understanding of the market. They have a long-term business understanding and I saw that there is a very positive culture in the company. In fact, it was like a family and this impressed me a lot.
I finally started to work for Easy-Laser in August 2016. The first two months have been very intense. They started with a series of technical trainings and many meetings. Then I had the opportunity to take part in the Easy-Laser International Sales Meeting held in Gothenburg. There I got to know most of the international business partners personally, and I could learn a lot about all aspects of the international Easy-Laser business.
What are your impressions of the company so far?I experience a very friendly and open atmosphere and a lot of support and helpfulness among all colleagues. That helps me a lot on this sometimes lonely outpost in Germany. What I admire is the high level of expertise and experience of so many staff members. That makes us very competitive – and behind the products there is the entire company, a great place to work.
Where do you see the biggest potential for Easy-Laser on the German market?The biggest potential certainly lies in the market for geo systems, especially the segment of the machine tools manufacturers, and the related service companies and end users. Germany is so big in this segment and there are many companies that look for our solutions.
It is clear you will keep yourself busy, but what do you enjoy doing when you are not working?Outside work, my family (dog included) comes first. And then I try to keep myself fit doing some sports like jogging, swimming or biking. But this is not always a joy. What I really enjoy is music and reading fiction and sometimes doing nothing at all, just having a glass of wine out on the terrace on a mild summer evening.
Thank you Gerrit, it was nice to get to know you better. I wish you the best of luck with everything, and look forward to a great year for Easy-Laser in Germany!
In 2017 you can meet Gerrit at these events:
Maintenance 2017, Dortmund, 29-30 March
Hannover Messe, 24-28 April
Maintenance 2017, Stuttgart, 17-18 May
EMO Hannover, 18-23 September
Maintain, Munich, 24-26 October
Or, you can contact him directly at email@example.com