With many years of experience within business analytics, Jiri Novotny joined SKODA in 2007 as responsible for the business management worldwide, located in Czech. His career within the Volkswagen Group took a turn in 2011 when he went over to the sales division. Today, he is located in Sweden as Head of Sales Operations Steering at SKODA Sverige.
The relocation to Sweden has been everything but challenging thanks to the SKODA team. The working environment is very open and it is clear that respect is the common ground. Jiri's experience comprises several different actors in the processes – dealers, importers, and manufacturers – all working closely together.
– The local SKODA team has been very supportive and they are well-experienced business-wise which has made the collaboration easy. The organization is overall very transparent which I appreciate, Jiri says.
The former title as Country Sales Manager for foreign markets in the Czech implied an overall responsibility for planning and securing the sales volume and financial results. It was implemented through close cooperation with the importer. The role in Sweden does not differentiate business-wise much but has provided Jiri with a wider perspective. Success within sales management requires hands-on experience as well as an understanding of the local needs of all actors within the business.
– Besides receiving a broader view of the business by working in different environments, it is also a huge bonus for personal development, Jiri continues.
Jiri has made an interesting career journey within the Volkswagen Group, which he also describes as one of the top advantages with the company. There is room for development if the employees aspire to, but the individual ambition is vital. Volkswagen Group has a clear approach regarding development possibilities either if it is relocation between countries, among the brands or inhouse.
Besides providing development possibilities, the company is committed to being an industry leader in the new technologies field which is another strong asset of how to attract and motivate the employees. The company cherishes the employees’ quest to climb internally; of which Jiri is a clear example.
– I would describe Volkswagen Group as a transparent employer regarding what is expected from you and in exchange, you are provided with a strategy of how to achieve your goals. That approach is straightforward and very motivating, Jiri says.
There is naturally no international guide to follow once you work long-term abroad but the adaptation phase makes everyone stronger and more perceptive as for reading intercultural differences between the lines both in the business and in the out-of-office life.
– The new ways of doing things that you find good sharpen positively your mindset. That comes automatically, no effort is needed there, Jiri continues.
When Jiri is asked to name a top thing about the Volkswagen Groupso far he enhances the company culture as a very good experience.
– The combination of SKODA culture and mindset of my colleagues are key elements for creating a unique team spirit that could be recognized very well back in the Czech as well as here in the team of SKODA Sverige. This enables me to take on business challenges knowing the networking base is top, Jiri says.