For this week’s #featurefriday we had the chance to speak to Ivan Turk, Regional Managing Director - South East for Nefab Americas. Nefab is a multinational industrial packaging provider founded in Sweden, and the company is also corporate member of SACC-GA. Read on about Ivan’s background and journey at Nefab, as well as the company itself, and much more, enjoy!
Background and Career
Ivan is originally from Madrid in Spain, where he graduated with an MBA from IE Business School. It was 14 years ago Ivan’s journey started with Nefab as a Salesperson in Spain. Since then, he has taken on various roles not just in Spain, but also for Nefab Corporate and Americas. It was in 2013 Ivan first moved to the US when he was relocated to Chicago, IL. A year later, he joined the South East US region with head office in Norcross, GA as their Sales Director.
- I have been with Nefab for all these years because of all the opportunities I have been provided, which have allowed me to grow tremendously along the way both professionally and personally. I feel very grateful for this and enjoy the fact that I get to work with people from different countries and cultures.
In January 2016, Ivan moved on as Managing Director - South East, the role he is currently at and which he explains does not go without challenges.
- Coming from a sales background, the largest challenge in my current role has been to get up to speed on the sheer operational side of our business. Manufacturing is one of Nefab’s key competencies, and is a critical component to deliver on the commitments to our customers. At Nefab, we do have a strong focus on continually improving our operations through more efficient, innovative ways of doing things.
Having lived and worked in both Spain and the US throughout his career, Ivan has experienced differences in the business culture between the two, which is also something he needs to consider being located in the US.
- Overall, everything in the US moves at a faster pace. For instance, when working through a project, the planning stage usually takes longer in Spain compared to the US, where decisions need to be made almost instantly, right or wrong. Then, if that decision does not turn out as expected, it is fine to simply adjust along the way. Whereas in Spain, the execution stage may go a little more smoothly as there has already been a lot of thought put into the different possible scenarios you might run into.
Nefab is a Swedish-based company with headquarters in Jönköping, Sweden. The company specializes in packaging solutions for the Telecom, Energy, Vehicle, Healthcare Equipment and Aerospace industries. The Nefab Group has approximately 2,600 employees and a revenue of USD 450 million in 2017, with a presence in over 30 countries. Ivan explains what he thinks are the factors behind the company’s global success.
- I think Nefab’s total cost approach is a large factor of our success. We can greatly reduce the total cost of logistics for our customers through a smarter packaging solution. I also believe our engineering capabilities and ability to solve our customer’s packaging problem by supplying the complete solution that will fit their needs is a part of the success. Moreover, our presence in over 30 countries allows us to work with global companies, and provide them with technically complex packaging solutions with the same quality standards, no matter where.
Nefab are corporate members of SACC-GA, and Ivan explains how the Swedish heritage is something Nefab is proud of, and is also present in the company culture.
- We are proud of our Swedish heritage and believe that SACC-GA is a great platform to promote the Swedish culture. It also allows us to get in touch with other Swedish and European companies, share experiences and learn from their successes and challenges with doing business here in America. Furthermore, Nefab’s core values are Simplicity, Respect, and Empowerment, which I find to be very representative of the Swedish people – being humble, down-to-earth, good listeners, and always willing to provide autonomy to facilitate developing yourself.
Relation to Sweden
Ivan himself have lived in Sweden and probably been to more places in the country than most Swedes have.
- I had the opportunity to live in Jönköping for six months when I was a trainee at Nefab AB. It was a great experience that allowed me to learn more about Nefab and the Swedish way of doing things. I am lucky that I have been almost all over Sweden, from Riksgränsen up in the North down to Malmö, and from Gothenburg to Stockholm.
In terms of the Swedish traditions, it is clear that Ivan enjoys the ones related to the warmer months of the country up in the North.
- My favorite Swedish holiday is Midsommar, it is definitely a one-of-a-kind party! I totally recommend going to a Midsommar party in Sweden – lots of fun! Here in Atlanta I really enjoy SACC-GA’s Sweden Day as well as the events that are hosted along with other European chambers of commerce. They are all great for networking, meeting very interesting people, and having a good time!