With more markets in Asia moving towards higher quality solutions for water pipes, the region is prime to be “conquered” says our “SuperSealer” for June, Business Development Manager for the AsiaPac region, Martijn Boerma. However, trust and building a successful track record must come first.
Who are you?
Martijn Boerma, 43, Business Development Manager for Asia Pacific.
How long have you worked in this position and what are your key duties?
I’ve been doing this since March 2013, so slightly over 4 years. My key duties are to look after our current customers in the Asia Pacific region and to expand our business there by convincing more pipe producers to start using our seals.
What are the key challenges you face in your job?
In Asia, it all comes down to trust.
My main challenge is to gain the customer’s trust so that they will take the step of investing in the superior quality of our seals. It is very easy and tempting for a customer to opt for a cheaper (often local) alternative, but it is up to me to convince them that choosing our seals will benefit their business in the long term. The successful track record that we have been building up over the years helps me to accomplish this.
How is business in your area is evolving? How are you preparing for this?
I predict that more and more markets in Asia will move towards higher quality solutions for water pipes. We already have a strong market share in countries like New Zealand and the Philippines, and it is my job to “conquer” the other main markets in the region. The biggest challenges are China and India, and we need to increase our efforts and resources spent on these countries.
Another development that we see right now is that more and more pipe producers are venturing into PVC-O technology in order to take on the dominant Ductile Iron pipe producers. We want to support these players because we are confident that we have the best seal in the world for these pipes: Angerlock!
Finally, I think we will see a shift from pure specification selling to pipe producers to more consultative selling. That means that we support specifiers, water companies and consultants at an early stage of infrastructure development. This transition will require time and resources but I think it will definitely be worth our while.
Finally, tell us what do you like the most about working with Trelleborg?
What I like most about working for Trelleborg is the freedom I have to set my own agenda and while Trelleborg provides me with all the resources I need to do the job successfully.
What’s more, before I joined Trelleborg, I held various marketing and sales positions at large B2C (business-to-consumer) companies. It was just about maximizing sales and profit -- and building relationships with customers was quite a struggle.
After switching to Trelleborg’s B2B (business-to-business) environment, I find that potential customers are actually happy to see me because I can help them improve their products and business.
What do you do in your free time?I spend most of my free time with my wife and three (soon to be four!) kids in Naarden, where I live, or on the lovely island of Vlieland in the North of Holland. If I have time, I like to go to an Ajax game or have a few beers with friends. I try to stay in shape by boxing and/or kickboxing twice a week.
Read more about the commited employes of Trelleborg's pipe seal operation. All interviews with the people behind the company at a glance.