Elin Boije af Gennäs was recently appointed as Volvo Penta’s new Sales Manager in the Nordic and Benelux market units for the industrial segment. With both a technical and sales background, Elin is determined to deliver high quality products to both new and existing customers. “That way, we will make our product offering even stronger and ensure that Volvo Penta is a force to be reckoned with in the industrial segment.”
Hi, Elin! You are fairly new at your position as Sales Manager for Market Unit Nordic and Benelux. What are your expectations for your new job?
As Sales Manager, I am responsible for industrial engine sales in the Nordic countries and Benelux; I just started in February. In my role I will spend much of my time working with our existing businesses, as well as finding new customers and reaching an even broader market. I have a great team of sales representatives and application engineers who work closely with our customers on technical solutions and installations. My ambition is for us to present Volvo Penta as one of the top players in the industry and a reliable provider of industrial engines, both now and in the future.
Sales and technology – what are your experiences in those fields?
I studied Industrial Engineering and Management at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden. After finishing my studies, I started my career as an Account Manager, where I gained valuable knowledge and experience in the world of sales. I learned how to work with large customer accounts and how to seek out new opportunities, and I really appreciated the chance to augment my technical education with my passion for business.
After that, I came to Volvo Penta and began working in business development for industrial engines, in line with the company’s increasing focus in this segment. I worked mainly in Europe with the introduction of our new Stage IV-compliant engine range, which was introduced in January 2014. After focusing on the European market, I switched regions and started working with business development in the Emerging Markets and Asia Pacific.
I have always had a passion for technology and sales, so I appreciate being able to combine the two. In my new job as industrial engine Sales Manager, I get the best of both worlds. I am really passionate about what I do, and people often tell me that it shines through, which is good to hear.
How would you say the industrial segment stands out from the other segments?
There are of course some differences between the industrial segment and the marine segments at Volvo Penta. Our company is well-known for our marine heritage, and we are one of the leading actors in the marine market when it comes to innovation and development. Even if the industrial segment always been a part of our offerings it has been in the background behind the success story of the marine business. Industrial products maybe aren’t as sexy as marine products, but they are instead highly important for many functions in our society. For example, material handling machines in ports move goods from boats to land, mining equipment supply industries with raw material, and construction machines help build our infrastructure. Agricultural and forestry machines are also extremely critical to helping society function. The products from the industrial segment are so important to the world around us. The diversity and complexity is what I find so interesting!
It sure sounds like you are passionate about the industrial products. What are the industrial customers’ needs and how should Volvo Penta work to fulfil them?
In the industrial segment, we sell genset engines and versatile engines for off-road vehicles. These are areas that Volvo Penta is dedicated to and will remain dedicated to in the future. Our customers want engines that are safe, fuel efficient, robust, of high quality and that meet current environmental standards. They also require the latest technologies and a reliable aftermarket and service network. This is what our customers expect and Volvo Penta is known for meeting each of these needs. But it is important to continue developing as a supplier. As long as meeting our customers’ needs is our top priority and we never stop learning and improving, I believe Volvo Penta will be one of the toughest competitors on the market.
How do you motivate yourself and your sales team to reach out to new customers?
I have an excellent, highly experienced team of people who are committed and passionate about what they do, and I want freedom and creativity to be a part of their daily work. I will be as accessible as I can, and provide my support and act as a sounding board whenever necessary.
One of the reasons the industrial segment is so exciting is that we deliver many different products to many different kinds of machines. We provide strong technical solutions, and we work hard to make sure our products suit as many customers as possible. Our high-performing products and our service- and solution- oriented sales team are the greatest assets we have in gaining new customers. As we build the industrial brand, it is important for us to keep up with our customers’ growth and increasing demands, both in terms of technical development and as a partner.
As far as self-motivation goes, I actually consider engines really fun and interesting. I could talk about them for hours! I also really enjoy working at Volvo Penta — I find it inspirational to surround myself with driven people who are committed to what they are doing. That is a huge part of why I like my job so much.
Which are the challenges ahead for the industrial segment?
Some of our biggest challenges will surround the new emission legislation, which comes into effect in 2019-2020. Also, the future for the diesel engine itself is an uncertainty as I believe we will need to look at alternative fuels going forward. Essentially all competitive companies today work globally and are expected to accommodate the needs of their customers, no matter where they are. That is something we are good at and will continue to focus on in the future. My ambition is that we will continue to grow with the initiatives we have put in place so far.
So, Elin, how do you spend your time when you are not at work?
When I am not working, I focus most of my time on my one-year-old son. It doesn’t happen often, but when I do get some spare time, I enjoy sports, particularly kitesurfing and running. Those are two of my passions in life.
Thank you for a nice chat, Elin! You have a lot of exciting challenges ahead and we look forward to following you on your journey. Hopefully, we will see you again soon in our Nordic and Baltic blog posts. Feel free to contact Elin if you have any questions. See you on social media!