Insight MTU: Jan Steenbock
We spoke with Jan Steenbock, Vice President Marketing and Sales for the region Far East Asia since 2010. Together with his team, he takes care of all the sales activities in countries like Greater China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, just to name the major ones.
I started working for MTU as an intern back in 1994 while I was studying aeronautical engineering. I loved the work in this business, so I stayed as a student trainee until I graduated.
My first “real” job at MTU was in the engineering department where I stayed until 2000. After that I started my sales career. In the beginning, I was only responsible for sales in China as Deputy Area Manager. At the time, China was a separate sales region. It was a fascinating time because I was part of the project team that set up MTU’s new location in Zhuhai, a joint venture with China Southern Airlines. After it was established and operative, I helped the team there to build up their own marketing and sales department and transferred all China related business for Zhuhai to that sales department.
In 2008, I took over the responsibility for all the customer support of MTU Hannover as VP Customer Services. The job then was more focused on running the internal coordination of the customer services organization, an interface between the sales staff and their colleagues in engineering. In 2010, I went back into sales to take over the newly established sales region Far East Asia, which I am still running today.
At the moment, we are a team of three people for the region Far East Asia, two people located abroad in Asia and the US and myself in Hanover. I am planning to expand this sales force with someone located here in Hanover, so this person can also act as a backup for me.
Customer and shop visit acquisition and the development of sales strategies are only a small part of the job. We are looking for someone who is open-minded and can get used to the internal processes at MTU fast. This is helpful as he or she would also support the sales people located abroad and travel to designated customers to sell the products of all MTU Maintenance locations, not only for MTU Maintenance Hannover. He or she should also be able to co-ordinate or run project teams for the preparation of maintenance contracts for potential or existing customers.
I am looking for a flexible person who likes to travel and is interested in the Asian culture and able to cope with their specific needs and requirements. Excellent English skills are a must, of course!
Good question! From my point of view, the Asian culture is totally different from the Western culture, although you cannot restrict Asia to “one” cultural region. There are so many different countries, religions, histories – let alone the size of the region! Flying from Hong Kong to north-western China takes as long as flying from Frankfurt to New York.
There is one thing that I think is unique in all the Asian countries: The people are extremely friendly – and this is honest friendliness! Everybody has a smile on their face. In the western world you can make friends easily, but you can also loose them easily again. In Asia it is more complicated to build up relations. However, once you have established a relationship, it will last for a long time.