Ian was the very first employee when Corroventa started out in the German market almost exactly 30 years ago. He was hired to set up the German sales office in Düsseldorf. At first it was only himself, working in a shared office, but soon two more colleagues were hired, a secretary and another salesman,
– It was an interesting time, we had zero customers when we started out, and this was before the internet took off, so I spent my first time period at the post office going through the yellow pages, looking for companies which could be our prospective customers. Today we have hundreds of customers all over Germany.
The business grew quickly and within the first five years Corroventa had to move twice, and in the first ten years more offices were opened on the German market. Today there are three Corroventa offices in Germany – in Berlin, Ulm and just outside Düsseldorf.
From England to Germany
Ian grew up in Southampton England, but has spent most of his life living in Germany. He moved there when he was 23, with the intention to stay for ten years, but he is still going strong after 40 years in the country. Ian can now celebrate 30 of those years being spent with us at Corroventa, as an integral part of the business’ development on different markets around the world.
In his role as Manager of Emerging Markets he has been part of opening up several branches around Europe e.g. United Kingdom, France, Poland and Austria.
– Corroventa for me is a company that I have watched grow from 5 people to around 70 now. But it still has a small company feeling, the communication between the branches in different countries and the head office in Sweden, as well as with the customers is important. Most of the ideas for our machines come from our customers. Every time we interact with them, we collect information, and that info is passed on to the R&D department and they can then use this information to develop machines meeting market requirements. Basically, every time we go into a new market, we change the way they dry buildings there through training and more advanced equipment.
Celebrating 30 years at Corroventa
For someone who has spent much of his life at the same company, there is one memory that stands out for Ian. When he first started working at Corroventa he spent four weeks in Stockholm, working as a drying technician. It meant carrying machines around the city, up the stairs in one five story building after the other.
– Even though we had fairly light machines, it became clear that it would be good if they became even lighter. It was an important eye opener because I realized the people who decide which machines are preferred, are the people using the machines in their day to day work.
There is a reason Ian has stayed with Corroventa for such a long time. He points out the innovation and communication as important factors for the company’s success, but also as important reasons to why it has never been an alternative for him to go somewhere else.
– My advice to anyone starting out with us is to be a team player, and to look after your colleagues, the people working for you, and with you, are your capital. Share information and ask questions. Exchanging interesting experiences is what we learn from and how we evolve as a company.