General Manager - Retail NZ — Landpower, Christchurch
How and when did you start your career in agriculture?
I first joined the agricultural industry when I worked for PGG Wrightson back in 2015 managing the rural irrigation business throughout New Zealand. I then joined the Landpower team in February of 2018.
What roles and experiences have led you to where you are now?
Throughout my career, I have had a range of experiences that have led me to where I am now. After leaving the air force, I went and studied engineering as well as completing my MBA. I have spent 20+ years in the aviation industry, both here and overseas, where I was a General Manager for a joint venture aviation company in Greece. I have also worked for Air New Zealand as the Business Unit Manager for two of their jet engines overhaul lines as well as the Air New Zealand Blenheim Safe Air General Manager. I have also spent several years in manufacturing, project management and engineering.
What do you love about our industry?
What's nice about agriculture is that people live and breathe it and they’re passionate about it, unlike some other industries where it is very transactional. People who work in the agricultural sector are passionate about the industry, the people and they have a strong empathy for our customers. Farmers can’t turn off at 5 o’clock and go home and our team understand that and this drives a lot of what we do.
What advice would you give to someone thinking of working in our industry?
Come and try it. Agriculture is an industry that has always been here and it will always be here. We will always need food, which has to be grown. Farm equipment is getting more and more technically advanced and requires regular maintenance from highly trained technicians. It is a strong, secure career path.
What do you love about the company?
The people, definitely the people and we have some fantastic people in the business, that's what so neat about it. The culture, it comes from being a family-owned business. This is a business where you can make a difference. It’s a business that is constantly changing and evolving. No two days are ever the same. If you like to be challenged and being involved with people, who are completely passionate about what they do, or you like to be a part of a team who want to support their customers, this is the place to come.
What do you feel are the key reasons you’ve stayed with the company?
I think Landpower and CLAAS Harvest Centre is a company that really cares about its employees. I like the culture we have here. I think it's a company that offers endless opportunities and the ability to self-direct when needed. Also, I like that we have the ability to come up with ideas or initiatives and to be able to put those initiatives forward and quickly act on them.
How have you seen the company develop over your time with us?
Landpower is a company that is constantly looking at how we can be better at what we do. It's a company that is always looking to change and to innovate and we are always looking to come up with initiatives that will stand us apart from our competition. There is always a new goal to be working towards. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our customer service, the way that we interact with customers, the performance of our teams and its exciting. We aren't a company that just sits back and rests on our past performance and we have experienced really solid growth in the time that I have been here. It's nice to work for a company that is growing.
What do you think the future looks like for the company?
Given the company’s ambition for growth I think we will see a continual push to grow our market share. I think we will also see a continual push to drive and improve our processes and the adoption of new technology. One of the nice things about Landpower is that we have amazing technology, systems and processes which will only continue to improve in time. But these also reflect Herby’s passion for having the best systems we can find to optimise the business.
What training and development have you undertaken with us?
In my time with Landpower I have done tractor training, as well as completing a coaching course recently. Hopefully in 2022 I will be starting another degree of Organisational Behaviour while continuing to work. I think you have to keep the brain going so it’ll be nice to be back in that educational environment again.
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