Interview #3: STEFAN VOGEL, Country Sales Director Germany

What is your role within the LEBON group and how long have you been working there? 

I started as the German sales director at the beginning of 2017. My current and future goal is to establish a German sales team and to introduce the “LEBON” brand name on the German PPE market.

Why did you decide to join the LEBON group? 

At my previous company, I had already worked with the LEBON group for many years,  which was always a very positive experience as LEBON has always been a very trustworthy and efficient partner. Moreover, I gained insight into how LEBON operates and into how ambitious the team is. Even though I knew that it could be challenging, I decided that I very much wanted to join such a team and company with the additional appeal of LEBON being a producer with its own facilities.

Can you tell us about a typical day in your professional life? 

To be honest, I have no typical days, most of the time I have to react to the current situation. Visits, meetings, phone calls with customers, solving existing problems, talking with my team, planning the next weeks, planning future strategies, staying in contact with my French and Luxembourg colleagues, taking care of many little things to do with the German team, always very interesting and diversified days.

What are your current challenges within the LEBON group and your future plans for the German team?

In order to promote the LEBON brand name, strengthen our presence in Germany and multiply our distribution channels, I need to find the right distribution partners for different areas. At the same time, we have to stay in contact with the big end users on the market to be aware of all the new requirements they have. To achieve this we have built a motivated team which we are looking to expand further over the coming years.

Why is it important for you to work in an international company? 

For me, it was a great opportunity to learn about the different PPE market situation in each country. Also, whilst we may all be Europeans, it’s still surprising what big differences there are to discover. On the flip side, one can sense that over recent years the European distribution constellation has increasingly evolved to become a big European/worldwide player and we have to find strategies to work with them in a positive atmosphere on a long-term basis.

And it’s important not to forget that, personally speaking, it was a wonderful step to communicate on an international platform with my colleagues in each country.

Has COVID-19 had a significant impact on your way of working and how are you coping with the changes?

Just like most companies, we are currently working mostly from home in order to minimize the infection risk. Furthermore, our sales team is not able to visit our customers in person. However, we have come to realize that the contact via web conferences can help us to stay in touch easily with our business partners.

What qualities do you think you need to have to become a sales manager?

To become a sales manager you should definitely be skilled at organizing and juggling multiple tasks at the same time, whilst having a good understanding of human nature and not being afraid to make fast, sometimes also unpopular decisions. Knowledge of the market and an extended network certainly don’t hurt either.

Finally, how do you feel about the LEBON group?

I am very optimistic that we will grow further in the next few years and establish ourselves as one of the biggest glove manufacturers worldwide. Our international team benefits from great team spirit and I hope we can see each other this summer for our European Sales meeting.