At R&M since
Account management, customer acquisition
The story of Christian Inderhaug
Please give us a brief insight into your professional career.
I went to school in Norway and started working early. The biggest electro chain in the Nordics has been my first employer. My career began at the warehouse and I made my way up the system. You could call it "on the job" training, since I have seen several departments of the company and gradually gained my knowledge. After a few years I moved to the capital, Oslo, to start working at the headquarters, where I worked as a sales manager and was mainly involved in managing the suppliers. After some time, I wanted to go back to my hometown Molde and took over the sales and marketing department at ROFI for three years, a company that primarily develops and manufactures protective equipment for the relief and defense market. After a short engagement in the retail chain Rema 1000, I went back to ROFI, which was sold shortly after. Due to downsizing in the company, we went our different ways. So I then took the opportunity to spend more time with my children. 10 months later, when my youngest child was old enough for kindergarten, I got the opportunity to start working with the R&M Group.
How did you hear about the R&M Group?
One of my previous colleagues, with whom I already worked at ROFI and who now works as a project manager at R&M, recommended me to apply for a position as Sales Manager.
Being a Sales Manager in the maritime industry is something special. What are your daily tasks? Which skills do you need as a Sales Manager?
Yes, that's true. In fact, most of the business in the maritime industry results from existing relationships, long-term partnerships based on reliability. Overall, the R&M Group wants to expand these relationships. There are areas of the market that are comparatively little developed by us, although we have been part of the industry for decades. We want to reach new customers, which is a.o. my responsibility now. This means that I look after existing customers and acquire new ones at trade fairs, exhibitions and similar. For that you should be communicative as well as being able to professionally present your company.
What is particularly important to you in your work?
The top priority is customer satisfaction and that the customer feels well cared for. I have a high demand for the quality and professionalism of my work.
Your employees and colleagues are predominantly Norwegians. Are there cultural differences compared to the German culture?
Mh, I think that there are differences. Since I am not often working in Germany, I can’t answer this question in detail. What is striking, however, is that Norwegian structures and hierarchies are much flatter. We have senior managers, but these positions usually only exist on the paper. In our daily work we almost interact on a friendship level. I would say we are more down to earth and modest. We open quickly and are probably a bit more relaxed overall. There is no "you" culture, we use the first name. Whereby we are currently also orientating in the more conservative direction. At least that's my feeling. But that may also be because the maritime industry is much stricter in this case.
How are your colleagues? What makes them special? What do you appreciate about them?
I am extremely satisfied with my colleagues. They are very experienced, always helpful and have an open ear for all questions and stand out due to their great expertise. The market is very extraordinary, and I have not been in the business for a long time, so it's very important for me to have experienced colleagues at my side. On top of that the atmosphere in the office is really good, we work together very professionally.
What was your most exciting project so far?
My most exciting project is the daily work. No day is like the other. Talking to customers, planning calculations, preparing trade fairs, acquiring new customers. All these things described are part of my daily tasks that make my time at R&M so special and exciting at the same time.
What do you value about the R&M Group as an employer?
My tasks, the colleagues and above all the completion of major projects that we have successfully finalized together. You can be proud of that and it motivates you every day anew.
What do you like about the maritime industry?
The particularly demanding market and the people. We must adjust quickly to the new challenges of the respective project or to the requirements of a new customer. In my opinion there is a great technological potential in this industry. Not only in the equipment of the ships, but especially in the construction and development of ships. The industry is lagging somewhat behind, but she has an incredible potential to increase in efficiency one can build on.
© Photo: Silje Paul