Hello Jane, nice to meet you.
Please tell us about your previous experience in software field?
I joined Magenta in May 2016. For the year prior to me joining I worked for the multibillion pound medical devices company, Medtronic. Before that I spent over 12 years working for the routing and scheduling software specialist, Paragon Software Systems. I left Paragon to pursue my dream of working for a big corporate, I was about to turn 40, my children were growing up so I felt that it was time to make my big move. Unfortunately I hated it; life at a big corporate did not suit my personality or working style. I found it far too restrictive and controlled – as a marketing manager I feel that flare and creativity are essential skills that I love using.
I live in the South East of England in the county of Surrey with my husband, two children, dog, two cats and four gerbils! I studied (although it was many years ago now) at the University of Southampton where I graduated with a degree in Geography…. Something anyone who knows me finds very entertaining as reading a map is not one of my strong points!
Would this man be a «crazy Russian» like I’d been warned about
How did you know about the Magenta Technology? Why did you decide to join our team?
I had heard about Magenta during my time at Paragon but didn’t know much about the business. When I decided to leave Medtronic I was keen to move back into technology and utilize my 12 years of logistics industry experience. Fortunately my old Paragon PR agency were now working for Magenta and they told me that you were looking for a new marketing manager. I was delighted to be invited for an interview and it was a very easy for me to make a quick decision when a job offer was made. For me, coming back into the logistics optimization sector, was like coming home. I am a self-confessed ‘truck spotter’ and find the whole area of logistics optimization strangely interesting.
During the interview process I met Mark, Lexx and Anton. My ex-managing director at Paragon had warned me against speaking to Magenta….. “they are all Russian you know” was what he said. So, with a certain amount of nervousness, I travelled to London to meet Anton for an interview. Would this man be a ‘crazy Russian’ like I’d been warned about (forgive us Brits….we have very little understanding of how great Russian people are). Anton presented his vision, I was won over, a job offer was made and I accepted. The rest, as they say, is history.
What tasks or challenges do you have now?
The biggest challenge for me is to satisfy the needs and demands of both product directors and their teams, supplying them with the marketing support, and ultimately business leads, that they need to meet target. This year we have ambitious growth plans. For Maxoptra we are trying to increase our presence in the smaller fleet market and for Echo we are working hard to raise brand awareness within what is a very tight knit industry. For Echo we recently carried out a rebranding initiative and took part in a big exhibition – I am pleased to say that both tasks delivered the desired result and we have seen an increase in the number of incoming leads.
Fortunately I am very lucky to have an amazing team – Ilya, Sasha, Natalya, Artem, Larissa, Alexey and now my new UK team member, Nick. We’re a strong team, and a close one too, something that I’ve worked hard on; after all it’s challenging to maintain team morale and performance when you have people in the UK, Russia and, up until recently, Thailand.
It was a challenge for me personally when I started working with so many people based in Russia and around the world. The language barrier, and time difference, do present challenges. But through perseverance and patience on both sides it seems to be working well. Trips like this week to the Samara office make a real difference too. It’s so great to spend some time with colleagues, both in and out of the office. It will definitely help both Nick and I when we get back to the UK. I also know that it was not an easy time for my team and I want to thank them for their patience and willingness to be a great team.
What will help you to reach such ambitious goals?
Having my new team now in place will be a huge help. There is a lot of work to do – with four new team members joining since I was last in Samara in June 2016, I now feel that I have strong support and a great team of forward thinking employees who will help meet our ambitious marketing goals for this year.
I also can say that we are showing good results and great progress. The first quarter of 2017 has been amazing! For Maxoptra we have seen more than 30 new organisations sign up to the service, which equates to a 15 per cent growth. We have secured some significant overseas contracts and strengthened our position in the UK. That motivating us and make us confident that we have all required experience and knowledge.
What would be your wishes to Samara team?
One thing is very important for all our team members. We can be successful if everyone understands what value we add to our clients and inline his daily work for maximize this. That is why I am very keen to answer any questions about client's business our USP and so on. I am very keen to keep people growing. So I wish we grow together :)
I wish we could spend more time together. It is interesting, when you come here you realise that the Samara team has the same frustrations with the UK team as we experience working back in the UK. Just getting together, sitting down in the office, and going out for dinner, makes a big difference. Getting to know people on a personal, as well as professional level, is a big help and I wish we could get together more.
Definitely we should spend more time sitting together and I plan to visit Samara regularly this year.
I would also like to thank everyone for treating us so well during our visit – great people, great food, and many happy memories!