How do you feel about your first 20 months as general manager for the sales and service subsidiary of IMA DAIRY & FOOD in Russia?
I feel enthusiastic but challenging at the same time! The pandemic started three months after the business launch, which was a serious challenge. But strong and passionate support of the IMA DAIRY & FOOD Group allowed me to stay positive and optimistic about the business. But strong and passionate support of the IMA DAIRY & FOOD Group allowed me to stay positive and optimistic about the business.
I also feel proud to offer the best European technology in Russia. For me it’s not only about the business but also about respect to our customers, to CAPEX Owners who get the machines that would serve for 20-40 years, respect to service engineers and operators who work with the most safety and operator friendly machines, and love to consumers with the best quality & safe control.
Which area of activity do you like best in your new position?
I enjoy ambitious targets, the processes of building new business cases, communication with customers and new team motivation.
How big is the team in St. Petersburg and which professional fields are served here?
There are five of us: Oxana is our accounting support, Anastasia is responsible for spare parts delivery & customer relationship, Maxim and Dmitry are reliable and highly experienced service engineers, and I’m in charge of sales & management. There are two more people in our team in case we need urgent support in translation or service, Lubov and Andrey.
Therefore, we are able to offer a full range of services – machine supply and maintenance, complete customer support taking into account the peculiarities of the local legislation, prompt technical support, spare parts supply, etc.
Which are the main markets you serve with your team?
I would point out the following major markets: Baby food, the changeable and demanding market of healthy food for our younger generation, dairy and fruit desserts market and non-dairy yogurts and desserts, a relatively new but rapidly growing market for modern consumption.
How is communication between the Russian subsidiary and the production sites?
Our communication is based on confidence, support and respect. It is great when everyone can feel as a part of a family.
What are the steps from the initial discussion to the purchase of a machine?
Sometimes there is a long way from the initial discussion to the purchase of a machine. I do my best to find a machine based on the customer’s requirements and budget. After the machine is approved, it is necessary to agree on the sales terms with all the relative departments of the customer – CAPEX Owners, Management, Financial and Legal Team, Security Team, Marketing Team, Project Technical Team and even Logistics Team. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind IMA Dairy & Food Holding policy, so it may take time to find a compromise.
What makes Russia an interesting market for IMA DAIRY & FOOD?
Modern trends in food and strong relationships with top players.
How do you see the future of German packaging machines in Russia – also related to the market?
I am reasonably sure that German machine-building has a great potential and will not be substituted in Russia. At the same time, I’d like to point out that the market is flexible and changeable.