Martin has been with Croda since 2010.
Martin has been with Croda since 2010.
I joined Croda on the Graduate Trainee programme. My first role was with the Personal Care team as a Sales Coordinator. The role was an excellent introduction to the sales function. I handled product enquiries, pricing and regulatory enquiries from end customers as well as other Croda offices. The opportunity to interface with other Croda colleagues around the world was particularly beneficial to building a personal network.
Job rotation was one of the key features of the Graduate Trainee programme. The aim was to give trainees a broad-based exposure to different roles and businesses within Croda. Customer Service was my second role. This was the shortest job rotation but yet, it was the most intense experience. I handled order processing, vessel booking, prepared shipping documents and scheduled goods despatch to end-customers as well as to Croda offices around the world. There were always deadlines to meet and failure to meet them would result in real consequences. The role allowed me to gain an excellent insight into supply chain. I was also required to use SAP extensively and this allowed me to learn it fairly quickly, which in hindsight, would prove to be extremely beneficial in my subsequent roles.
The timing for my 3rd rotation coincided with the departure of a much more experienced sales person. It was fantastic, assuring that I was allowed to take on a full sales role relatively early. I relished the experience of meeting customers and enjoyed the excitement of being directly responsible for the sales segment. Croda was willing right from day one, to assign real tasks and jobs which can deliver real contributions (as well as consequences). There was also a mentorship arrangement with a Vice President which meant there was someone to seek advice from.
After completing my Graduate Trainee programme, I applied for a greater sales role to cover the Health Care and Crop Care segment for South East Asia. It was an extremely steep learning curve as I had to learn pretty quickly to grapple with the technical demands as well as the greater commercial complexities. I was required to travel extensively within South East Asia and to meet with customers, distributors, traders and competitors. The cultural diversity and the different stages of market development between each country meant I had to be extremely malleable in designing and adjusting my mental approach. I was also responsible to drive our participation in exhibitions and to conduct customer seminars. The job required me to work independently and this also meant there was a huge degree of freedom and autonomy. I will say the experience has been extremely enjoyable as no two days were quite the same!.
I assumed the role of Industry Sales Manager and on top of my existing roles; I was given the opportunity to be the coordinator to help drive our activities with certain global key accounts for the Asia Pacific region. I also undertook responsibility to drive our Asia Pacific fish oil business. These opportunities gave me increased exposure to manage more complex businesses as well as to work extensively with other Croda colleagues around the world. I also now have line management responsibility as well as working with local sales managers to drive market development.
Following a re-organisation to the sales structure to accelerate the growth in Asia Pacific, I was appointed as the Business Development Manager – Crop Care. I really enjoyed working with the regional team to improve our Crop Care performance.
In this new role, I am responsible for setting and delivering on the budget for Crop Care Asia. This is an expanded responsibility and requires dealing with increased complexity and working within a matrix structure. This role allows my work to have greater impact as I drive new developments and also work alongside regional colleagues to achieve more! Many businesses globally are looking towards Asia for growth. In Croda Crop Care, we have the full trust and support of the global team. This empowerment allows us to develop and implement strategies & action plans that are relevant & effective for capturing growth in Asia.