Thursday, February 2, 2017

The People of Wavin: Tony Äijö from Wavin Finland

A company is only as good as the talent it employs. As an international company, our Wavin team is comprised of diverse, forward-thinking men and women who possess a wide spectrum of skills. To show the faces behind our company we’ll be sharing the stories of dedicated Wavin employees. Today, we present you: Tony Äijö from Wavin-Labko Finland.

Tony @ Work 

What brought you to Wavin and what are your most important tasks?

I came to Wavin Finland in May 2000. I’m responsible for domestic sales, together with my team. Our task is to sell/promote all products in our portfolio (eg separators and waste water treatment products) to customers in Finland. I’ve been in my current job less than 1 year. Before that, I was responsible for production, purchasing and logistics.

We decided to get some more intel on how Tony Äijö is able to keep up with managing the sales in the whole Finland area. This is what Marketing Manager Jenni Eikrem, said:

“Tony has a couple of secret weapons (in addition to his positive attitude). He has a car that he named Muumibussi (Momin bus), a loyal companion on his trips! He likes to try new things, like new tools and IT systems and is adopting them really fast. This helps him to achieve what he needs to achieve better and faster. Another trick up his sleeve is that he does not “waste” time, but makes the notes directly to CRM or other systems – first to the notebook and then to PC. He has right attitude, but also the right methods and tools – that is how he copes with managing the large sales area and team. He gets so many things done, I sometimes believe Tony was born with at least 25 hours in his days...“

We heard you are filled with energy!

Nice to hear! My "motto" is that every new day comes with new possibilities and I try to remember to have fun when working. I believe positive energy within yourself creates positive energy to others around you. 

Finland is huge with winter darkness and snow. How do you cope with that?

We have 4 area (N-S-E-W) sales managers who take care of their “own” customers. The longest distance from our headquarters (in Tampere) is to our Oulu sales office, where only 2 people work. It's ~ 500 km from Tampere to Oulu and that's not much if you see how long a country Finland is (by road ~1400km). Normally I take the train / airplane when I visit Oulu.

I travel a lot by car, and so I usually leave very early in the morning or I drive out the day before. We travel mainly to the Helsinki area, which is 2,5 hours (in one direction) from my home (during winter). Travelling by car in the summertime is quite pleasant, because we have really nice scenery and the sun shines a lot. But… in winter, it is dark almost all the time and roads are often icy, so you need to drive slowly and carefully - even with my winter tires with spikes!

Is there something that happened 'on the job' that you will never forget?

One time, we created a new construction of a compression tank. It was really exciting, almost like in a “Mythbusters” when we did blew a up big compression tank with high vacuum.

Excuse me? You blew up a compession tank? How did that happen?

We had an R&D project to develop our GRP tank construction. We did a study together with the university and one part of the study involved testing the GRP tank with vacuum. We did the tests with 10m3 tanks with as much vacuum the tank could take.... until it blew up. Best results were ~-0,85 bar. When the tank blew up with high vacuum, there was a big "Boom!" And at the same time, the big tank jumped up. When this happened on the first test, there was shocked silence and then everyone started laughing.

How important are your direct colleagues?

Colleagues are important as we cannot have any good results without the whole team. 

And it goes both ways. According to Jenni: “Tony expects us to put an equal amount of effort to the table as he does himself, which sometimes is difficult for the rest of us since we can't keep up the “forever-positive” attitude as he can. We are Finns you see – we are not born that way! Check out the cartoon series, Finnish Nightmares, and you’ll understand exactly what I mean!”

Which remarkable colleague would you like us to interview next?

Iñigo González. He really works hard to get new business possibilities and supports others.

Tony @ Play 

You and your wife have 4 children; they must be a big part of your life?

They are the most important in life. Our children are Jeemil (boy) 6, Jella (girl) 8, Jooa (boy) 10 and Jasmin (girl) 16.

What are your family's favorite activities?

Football, travelling by caravan, playing PS4, downhill skiing. Just being together, watching TV, cooking on the barbeque with friends…

We heard you are into karaoke? How did that happen?

It was my mother… she sang (and still does) from time to time.  Actually, it’s really fun to sing with friends and enjoy a few beers. :)

What is your favorite song to sing along with?

Mostly I like to sing Finnish songs from the 80´s. Sometimes I try to sing heavy metal songs from the same period… I enjoy this.

We also heard that you are into football/soccer. Tell us a bit more.

Actually I´m just following my children with their hobbies. Also, we have our own goal post in our yard and we play there from time to time. Both of my sons play football for our local team.

You are praised for being a 'people' person. Why would people mention that?

Difficult to say. My collegues could maybe give a better answer. One thing, maybe, is that I´m open to other people’s ideas and I feel that all people are important and equal to each other.

We asked his colleagues and here’s they said: "Tony is an engaged person who will do the best for everyone – for Wavin, for customers, for people he works with and for his family."

Some said you can get a bit goofy, why would they say that?

I want to have some fun every single day!

And we hope you do to! A big thanks to Tony for partaking in this employee interview. We hope you continue to spread that positive energy around !?