"This is one of the most innovative companies in the world."
Describe your journey with the company so far, your current role, and what excites you about working here.
I joined the company about eight years ago in the Czech Republic, working as a sales rep covering the hotel sector. I encouraged hotels to choose Cafitesse systems for their breakfast service and conferences, and after a year I became Hotel Channel Manager. I later moved to Slovakia to open up the market and establish a network of Full Service Distributors (FSDs), with a programme of technical, sales and target-market training. I then took on the role of Field Sales Manager, covering Slovakia as well as part of the Czech Republic, with ambitious sales targets. At the end of 2011, I moved to the UK to take on responsibility for the UK's FSD partners. I love the team spirit we have in the company, and I enjoy working with professional people who are passionate about the products and what they do. People here always go the extra distance to help customers and solve any issue a customer may have.
As a Sales and Distribution specialist, what do you see as the benefits of working within D.E MASTER BLENDERS 1753?
We focus on building good relationships with our customers to create a united front, so that we can really understand the needs of their businesses. We want to be true business partners, and work in a more flexible approach which enables us to achieve that. The team spirit can be seen throughout the company amongst all the countries, which enables colleagues to support each other and exceed challenging goals.
What are your career highlights?
Lyreco, the company that supplies hundreds of office products, has its distribution HQ for the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary in Slovakia, which presented us with a huge sales opportunity for SENSEO - our single serve coffee system. I persuaded the company to include the machine and coffee supplies in Lyreco's catalogue. Sales have been fantastic and we won the Lyreco Best in Category award ahead of our rivals Nestlé, and Coca Cola. It taught me that when we work with our customers to ensure we have the right products available, we can do extremely well. It also taught me never to give up on a good idea.
Do you have any advice for today's graduates - the leaders of tomorrow?
First, always think about our customers, and what they want now, and in the future. If you want to change the coffee industry – and you can if you work here – first you have to understand how the industry works, so you need patience at the beginning. This is one of the most innovative companies in the world; with a lot of opportunities making a real difference.
How important to you are the company's core values?
Innovation is very important for our future, and there are plenty of good ideas in the pipeline. If we demonstrate our values every day, we will improve satisfaction among our customers, they will want to stay with us and more customers will enjoy our service and products.