Today, the AsstrA-Associated Traffic AG corporate group has over 40 offices across the EU, CIS, Asia and the USA. The company continues to gain momentum and open new branches every year. When a new office is launched, the first task is to select a capable leader who will create a well coordinated team for the region. The heads of AsstrA's European offices share their experiences forming and motivating multinational teams in their respective regions.
Born in Hungary, Botond Kovacs-Mate started his career in Warsaw as a Sales Specialist focused on the Hungarian market. The current regional manager of AsstrA in Budapest strives to develop his management skills by sharing experience with his colleagues from other European offices. From his first days at AsstrA, he noted the company’s team spirit, solidarity, and focus on shared goals.
“When choosing team members, I give preference to Hungarian candidates. Proficiency in the language, understanding of the local clients’ mentality, and how business gets done locally are the undeniable advantages of Hungarians,” notes Botond Kovacs-Mate.
Czech Republic Regional Manager Tatyana Serikova joined the company in 2010 as a secretary in Minsk. She considers this to have been her best career move ever.
“After a month of work, I knew not only every employee in the Minsk office but also their internal telephone extension numbers by heart.”
According to Tatiana, intuitive empathy, listening skills and a sense of humor help solve even the most difficult problems. Resilience to stress and a knowledge of internal business processes are essential qualities for branch management.
“A candidate’s professional capabilities and personal qualities are key factors in recruitment decisions. In other aspects, we welcome diversity. That being said, in Prague we prefer to have locals working in the local market. A good, properly selected team creates a healthy and lighthearted atmosphere in the office. Everyone wants to come to work, trusts each other, and understands common goals,” comments Tatyana Serikova.
Vilnius Branch Manager Vilius Augulis has been in logistics for 25 years, and this year he is celebrating 20 years of work at AsstrA. During this time, this field has changed a lot thanks to the development of information technology. However, requirements for personnel remain unchanged.
“The company values versatile ‘warriors’ who know several languages and commit themselves to achieving goals. Transport managers have to make quick decisions, be responsible team players, and have an accountant’s understanding of finances related to the job,” says Vilius Augulis.
Alexandr Monsh, Branch Manager in Magdeburg and Hof, started his career at AsstrA as a member of the Groupage Cargo Department team. He considers the selection of personnel to be the key to effective management. He considers every application, regardless of whether it is from an expat or a local candidate; everyone has a chance to prove themselves within the company.
“In 25 years AsstrA has gone from a small firm to a corporate group with offices in 23 countries. We have European quality certificates for many of our services. I am proud to have been part of the EU team for 16 years now,” says Alexandr Monsh.