Meet the team
Can you tell us briefly what your responsibilities are?
I look at industry trends and pricing for the Functional Solutions Business Line within the Performance Materials segment. I also help the support sales teams across my region, including China, Japan, Korea, and SE Asia. I work with Germany too — our management and supply technology is based there — and I have some cross communication with the US and South America.
What do you like most about what you do?
I like the challenge and the flexibility, in terms of the job and also work/life balance. I have good amount of autonomy to decide what I want to achieve in the region, of course in line with the corporate strategy. And on the other hand, I appreciate the flexible work culture in regard to the working hours and place — as I long as I get my work done.
Can you tell us more about your experiences with flexibility at Evonik?
Once you’ve demonstrated your skills and what you’re capable of, you’ll be given the opportunity to take on extra responsibility, and define how you want to achieve and manage those responsibilities. You’ll also have more freedom in managing your own workload and time. I have a family, with two kids: 6 and 1 year’s old. Work and family are the two biggest things to me. So, having the flexibility to make special arrangements when I need is very important to me.
Describe you and your team’s involvement with a particular product and what was most interesting about it.
Alkoxides is one of the main products in our business line. It’s commonly used all over the world but in our region there are still some companies that use an alternative product. Recently we managed to turn some major SE Asia companies into clients. The whole process was challenging but fulfilling. You have to understand the customer’s needs, why they’re using the alternative and what Alkoxides can bring to them. We established the right connection; got access to management, production and key decision makers; and presented a holistic pitch that gave them reasons why our products would give them the edge.
Can you tell us more about the opportunities for development in your area?
Evonik has a School of Sales, a School of Marketing and other training and development programs. I participated in the School of Marketing; a global program with courses like pricing, marketing, sales, and customer service.
In the annual appraisal and planning with your supervisor, you can discuss what areas you want to improve and plan accordingly. The company’s programs and courses are available to all employees. You simply register to the School of Marketing and get approval to join. The pool of trainers is international, and includes experienced colleagues and external professionals.
The program starts with Fundamentals modules, which are more theoretical. Then you move on to Advanced courses that are more application focused. Working in teams you propose a project for the business, and then the trainer, experts and consultants help you to apply what you’ve learnt as you bring the project to life.
What do you find most challenging at Evonik?
Our customers. They work in dynamic, volatile markets — and we need to be flexible with our solutions. For example, one of our materials in Europe has a fixed quarterly pricing. However, in Asia the market’s small, and customers need monthly updates of prices to reflect the changes in the market. So, we had to come up with pricing strategies that met their more-fluid needs.
What kind of characteristics does a person need to do well at Evonik?
Team spirit, dedication and the will to meet challenges.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of joining?
Establish a strong network within the company as you work with different teams. You never know when you’ll need to call on them. Secondly, be proactive, embrace challenges and find solutions.