NAME: Robert Grozdanovski
FIRM: Volvo Trucks UK & Ireland
JOB: Managing Director
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST EVER JOB?
I spent some summers as a teenager/student working in the Volvo car assembly plant in Torslanda, Gothenburg. My best year was when I got promoted to drive the finished cars off the assembly line for distribution around the world. I recall the excitement when my first 760 GLE in US spec came off on the line for me. I wanted that short drive to last forever.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE BUSINESS?
After some work as a civil engineer involved in infrastructure projects, in 1997 I joined Volvo Bus in the product development team. A few years later, I moved to Volvo Trucks as a sales engineer.
WHAT DOES YOUR JOB ENTAIL?
To set the strategy and direction for Volvo Trucks here in the UK & Ireland together with my management team and our dealers. We aim to drive our business performance towards reaching our common objectives and ambitions, whilst ensuring our customers are successful in their businesses. It entails regular interaction with our staff, dealers and customers, as well as liaising with Volvo Trucks and the Volvo Group, being the interface between the headquarters and the market.
HOW WILL YOUR JOB/BUSINESS CHANGE OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS?
Our business is about to enter a period of change. In addition to Brexit, increased connectivity, digitalisation, automation and electro-mobility, we will see a lot of changes to our industry in the foreseeable future. However, the main challenges for us within the next two years will remain pretty much the same: how the economy will develop, how the truck market will evolve, decisions like whether we need to open a new workshop at a dealership here or afford a nightshift there.
WHAT OTHER JOBS HAVE YOU DONE?
During my university studies, I worked as an LCV driver at weekends and holidays, delivering bread for a local bakery in Gothenburg. It was great for a student, providing extra money and free bakery products!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG PEOPLE JOINING THE INDUSTRY?
Our industry is great and enables us all to live in the modern society we all take for granted. It provides the opportunity to meet with an incredible amount of people from all types of industries and with all kinds of backgrounds and experiences.
HOW DO YOU RELAX?
I have always liked sport and nature, so being out on a long bike ride or long walk is a great combination of relaxing and training. Being out on a boat is another nice way to relax.
FAVOURITE HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
I like sun and water, so I appreciate going anywhere where these are available. The archipelago outside my home town of Gothenburg with all its small rocky islands is an amazing way of enjoying a nice summer day. I also like enjoying many parts of the former Yugoslavia, which have always been special to me. The weather, atmosphere and the food is still a hidden secret for many western Europeans.
I like reading books from many of the Scandinavian thriller writers, such as Stieg Larsson, Jo Nesbo, Jens Lapidus and others. It is a nice way to relax for me. Currently I am reading Jo Nesbo’s The Thirst.
I am an ‘all-eater’, but stuff from the 80s and 90s tend to remain my favourites.
FIRST CAR AND COST?
My first car was a brand new Renault R5 GTE and cost me 90,000 krone (£7,500) back in the early 90s, if I recall correctly. Nicely styled, with good acceleration, it was a great car back then.
A red Ford Mustang from the late 60s.