Internal promotion may seem difficult, but it’s not impossible. Mark von Rotz proves that, who wrote his Bachelor’s theses for 2Service in 2013. After finishing his Bachelor’s, he started his career as Account manager. In this role he learned a lot about the company by doing marketing research for new business. He promoted fast pace to Manager Marketing & Sales to Sales Director to COO. He’s now responsible for a team of 34 FTE’s. Would you also like to meet our other colleagues? Click here.
How did you find 2Service?
I was looking for a company to write my thesis for and saw a vacancy of 2Service on the NET Portal of HAN University of Applied Sciences. A healthcare facility offered me a spot too, but I decided to have conversations with 2Service. After a pleasant first meeting with Remco I chose 2Service because it’s more money and sales driven and that fitted me better as person.
What was your main goal back then?
Graduating was my main goal. I really didn’t know what I exactly wanted to do after that. During my Bachelor’s I learned about Sales and Marketing and therefore I didn’t know what I wanted to do. After finishing my thesis, I wanted to experience what fitted me better, and Sales was, more than Marketing, the answer.
Why did you stick with 2Service after graduating?
I really enjoyed my time at 2Service because of the nice vibe. After graduating I couldn’t stay at 2Service so I moved with my girlfriend, who is now my wife, to the other side of Holland (Zwijndrecht) because she found a job there. Then all of a sudden, Samsung came up with a new project and then 2Service wanted me in the team as a project employee. In this role I did research if it was realistic to use vans as a workplace to repair smartphones on every location.
After a while, there was potential for Samsung smartphone parts in the Benelux. My colleague Martijn Hamer and me went with our information to every repair company to introduce them to 2Service.
Your career took a fast space from intern to account manager. What kind of memories do you have of that time?
I really liked it because it was totally new for me, as well as the company. Also, we didn’t enter the Benelux yet. For many companies we did cold acquisition. Many companies didn’t even know there were original parts. It went really fast, there was a lot of growth and success. Every month we did better than the one before and that was really nice. There were a lot of new things to do, new brands and products. As account manager I enjoyed having contact with the customer the most and was the challenge for me to get as much out of the collaboration as possible. The fact that Samsung had a certain constraint was difficult. We were limited to the Benelux and weren’t allowed to sell outside of it. That’s why we contacted Samsung regularly to let them know that there was a lot of potential. Samsung Benelux was not interested in the beginning.
When did that change?
In 2015, Samsung announced that we were allowed to enter Europe with the products. Shortly after that, one of the biggest challenges of all times came because Samsung had a lot of shortages and because of that, we couldn’t deliver displays for a really long time. This was quite a difficult time for me personally, as well for 2Service. 2Service could grow further when Samsung improved their supply chain. In a short period of time, there were a lot of new colleagues. This is when Remco asked me to be manager of the department. Of course, I took this opportunity and became manager. My Bachelor’s was quite easy for me and just when I really started working, I discovered that I was really good at my job. When you’re good at something, the chances are that you like it and then your ambition will grow. From that point I saw that I could be of great contribution.
Then you grew from Manager Marketing & Sales to Sales Director, how did that evolve?
The company grew enormously. Kay started as account manager and Maarten became account manager. Because of this I took role as Sales Director, a role that fitted me well. I like to make decisions for the whole department and on a strategic level. I always look for more and I’m not easily satisfied, especially when it’s about the results. What I like most, is networking with customers and suppliers. In our market, account management is really important and customers can be supplier or the other way around.
What is the biggest challenge in this role?
What I found most exciting was having less positive conversations. Giving people compliments is of course fun to do, if someone does it less, it is more difficult to indicate. I still find that very annoying, but it will be easier. In the beginning I was a bit more evasive and because of that I could sometimes surprise people unpleasantly. Now I always try to inform employees as soon as possible if things have to be done differently, that makes it a lot fairer. As a result, employees also have the opportunity to start an upward trend earlier.
You were not in that position for long either, because your next step in your career was already there: a position as COO. What seemed interesting to you about this position?
I find the operational part extremely interesting! I am interested in all aspects of the company and therefore I can actively contribute to improvements, with help of managers. As a result of my growth, I have experienced everything within the company from back in the days to now and I have played an active role in many processes. I have also pioneered in many roles together with Remco. Mistakes and shame make you wiser, I always say. As a result, I am aware of all aspects in the organization like no other.
Who are the people who have had the most effect on you when it comes to your career and personal growth?
Remco the most. He has offered me many opportunities! I was quite young when I started and now I am COO at a fairly young age. Enough employers do not dare to give such an opportunity. You often hear: you have no experience or you are too young. He did give me that chance and I am very grateful for that. This gave me the opportunity to grow as I have now. I also benefited a lot from conversations with customers and suppliers. Every conversation you enter you try to look at the person in front of you, you learn from that! At a quite young age I sat at the table with Samsung employees or large customers and suppliers. Those people had years of experience in their positions and the industry, I have learned a from them.
How has the company changed in recent years?
We have grown enormously in recent years and the professionalization has been gigantic. At first, many things went wrong or in an outdated way and it took a lot of time to get this to the desired level. Now we are there and we have changed into one of the front runners in our industry in Europe. I am quite proud of that.
What would you like to see changed in the future and how do you want to do that?
Actually not that much. I am happy with how we are doing and am happy with the people who work for us. We are of a nice group of people with all the same goal. In the coming period we have to be very sharp, keep looking for improvement and not wait and sit to think that we are already there. The market is constantly changing and we certainly have to keep up with that.
There is a friendly atmosphere, but now and then the team of mine could be a bit more competitive. So that we can all go the extra mile to outdo the competition. I hope that within five years we will be in a nice, sleek building and have grown to a group of 100 employees. Hopefully we will be the absolute leader in Europe and we will then have countless new product groups. In some groups we are now still a small player, such as accessories and devices.
Okay, so you have a clear goal for what the organization should look like in the next five years. How do you see yourself in five years?
Good question. I feel very good in the place where I am now and of course I have only just arrived. In this position I have a great influence and can help in all departments. In this position I can indulge my commercial heart and I have plenty to do. When the company grows, my activities also grow, which is great fun. Remco is still my manager at the moment, he is young and I expect and hope that he will stay for a while!
What do you want to pass on to people who also have the ambition to get a promotion with their current employer?
What bothers me enormously is that young people often expect to be promoted quickly and then actually see how they can fill this out. You must first demonstrate your worth before you are worth a promotion and not the other way around. So push the boundaries, show that you want more and have a serious opinion. I myself have often gone too far when it came to my job description to show that I wanted more for the company. There is certainly room for this within 2Service, but you have to show yourself that you are ready for the next step.
What are your personal motives in daily life?
Getting the most out of everything is something that typifies me. I always want to be the best, both on a business level and in my personal life. For example, I always want to be slightly faster than last time while running. Sometimes I benefit from this and sometimes I suffer from this trait. Within a commercial institution such as 2Service, this institution helps me a lot. I never need targets and always try to achieve the highest possible result on my own.
What makes you a good leader?
It’s hard to say about yourself. I always try to listen to everyone and take all opinions seriously. I am open to everything. The best ideas often come from places where you don’t expect them. I always try to be honest and transparent and want to create support. This way you get people together the best and you get the most commitment from your colleagues. I want people to see their own value, because every position within the company is important! I hope that we can allow even more people to grow within 2Service and hope that our team is and remains ambitious, for the company but above all for itself!
Do you have questions for Mark or other questions? Let us know in the comments.
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