Interview with our sales manager
Who are the people behind the scenes at Marahrens?
Today on the World Maritime Day with the topic "Empowering women in the maritime community" I'd like you to meet our power woman Päivi. She is the sales manager in the ship division and told me what her working day looks like and what kind of superhero skills she would like to have.
Hello Päivi, I'm glad you took the time. Why don't you tell us about yourself?
My name is Päivi Mäkinen, I was born in Finland, I have been living in Germany for 30 years and I have been working in shipbuilding in various positions all the time. I have been the sales manager at Marahrens for eight years now.
When did you start working for Marahrens and why did you join us?
It's been a long way. As I said, I have already worked for a few other companies that had something to do with shipbuilding and interior fittings in shipbuilding. Then Mrs. Marahrens-Hashagen [CEO of Marahrens; editor's note] found me through a mutual acquaintance. Right at the first conversation here in Bremen at Marahrens, we visited the production. I found the whole topic very exciting and I felt positive vibrations in the company. Everyone greeted each other friendly, there was simply a good mood and I thought to myself: "Ok, maybe I'll change one more time in my life". I was already over 50 years old when I started this job as my last station. I still find it exciting and still feel comfortable here after eight years.
What does a typical working day look like for you? Does that even exist?
Now my working day has got a bit more structure. We have had branches in the USA and in Finland for 2 years now, both of which are very successful and work independently, so it is no longer necessary for me to travel frequently in the USA. There we have a colleague who takes very good care of the business and Finland is also in very capable hands. I have now also got a new colleague who supports me here in Bremen and therefore I rather have a supporting and leading function from the office.
My day at work actually starts at home. I sit in my armchair, drink two cups of coffee and already answer the first e-mails. So, it is possible that e-mails come from me already at 7 am, even if I am not yet in the company. The same is true for the weekend. I check my e-mails regularly because sometimes there is something that you have to answer immediately. I'm not only dealing with Europe, but I'm also dealing with US-American and Chinese topics. Sometimes they require an immediate reaction.
What I also do is to guide my colleagues in sales a little and I have a lot of customer contact myself. I always try to know where new projects could appear, so I read a lot of newsletters, etc. Then I also make the initial contact with the potential customers. My job is generally to make sure that we get requests. I then accompany the project until the order and afterwards it goes over to the project department. Besides I have many other topics that I deal with: trade fairs, new developments, trends, what is happening on the market…
Why do you like working at Marahrens?
I find the business field very exciting because nobody pays attention to a sign and you don't actively perceive a good sign. A good sign is where it should be, in the format and with the information that are necessary.
It's exciting because we deal with quite a few different customer groups: architects, interior designers, shipyards, shipowners, and so on. That makes it kind of exciting. Of course, I also try to support my colleagues in commercial matters. So, my whole area of responsibility is quite diverse.
I also think the company is great, we have a healthy development in progress. Besides it's very good that the third generation has now joined the management and we have a healthy mix of older, experienced and younger people. I like working with people very much. I think it's good.
What do you do first thing in the morning at work?
I'm drinking a cup of coffee laughs. We Finns are world champions in coffee drinking, this is even statistically proven.
What do you do in your spare time?
I like to travel or to be in nature and do Nordic Walking. I also like to read in Finnish, German and English. These are my moments of relaxation. I also like listening to classical music.
What's your favorite food?
Fish. Sashimi, sushi, that way. But sometimes I also like a good steak with a nice glass of red wine.
What would your dream vacation look like?
In any case, a city holiday in Europe in a smaller, older city. Bratislava, for example, is still on my list.
What superhero power would you like?
I'd like to live forever and never die. I enjoy life and I am satisfied.