INTERVIEW WITH Guangyao Shan - interfood beijing
the chinese dairy market is changing from time to time and we need to constantly position ourselves to stay on top of the market.
Hi Shan, could you please introduce yourself?
My name Guangyao Shan, I am 30 years old and I am working for Interfood China. I live and work in the Chaoyang District in Beijing, China, where I’ve been living the biggest part of my life. Except for my educational studies, because during that time I was living in the USA. At the University of Missouri-Saint Louis I’ve obtained my Bachelor of Science, specializing in Finance and International Business. This turned out to be the perfect step towards a career as a Dairy Trader. Now, almost 7 years after joining Interfood as a Dairy Trader, I am still very happy with the chosen direction for my professional career.
What was your motivation to start a job at Interfood?
I always had the urge to work in an international environment, plus I have faith in the future of the dairy market in China. Interfood has been in the business for almost 50 years and has great a reputation in the world. But the company doesn’t feel that old, it feels like the mind of Interfood always stays young and ahead.
Since you’re working for Interfood for a while now, what’s your favorite thing about Interfood?
Like mentioned, Interfood has a great international exposure and the team consists of young and innovative minds. This allows us to use the best of our potentials. Interfood encourages its people to speak up and to embrace positive changes.
About your job at Interfood, what does your average working week look like?
Personally, I spend 40-50% of my week travelling. We are encouraged to communicate with clients and suppliers because that’s the best way to earn trust and get close. Communicating in real life usually works better than just sending emails or having telephone calls. For the rest of my time I stay in the office in Beijing, dealing with the daily operation(s).
What do you like the most about your job?
What I like the most is the fact we get to speak with people from different origins and backgrounds. This really opens up my mind and I’m feeling honored to have the possibility to continuously learn about other cultures. At Interfood we have a saying; trading is never boring, you always get excited about the market movement and you should always know what to do with the huge portfolio of products.
How about your work-life balance?
Interfood is a family owned company, and like its nature, Interfood cares about the lives of its employees. We all know family remains the most important thing in life, which never is a problem for the company. Without our families we couldn’t accelerate like we do and that’s why our families also contribute to the success of the company.
What is your best memory of your time at Interfood up to this day?
I still remember the Interfood Academy I attended almost 7 years ago. A group of young and fresh people from all over the world gathered in Bladel, the Netherlands, and Interfood prepared a series of classroom and practical training courses including trading, logistics, finance and technical service. Within 6 weeks we all learned the basics to become a trader and to get familiar with the rest of the company. The group got along with each other very well. 7 years later, we are good friends and we still contact each other from time to time.
Since you started at Interfood China in 2012, what can you tell about the development and growth of our China offices?
We used to be a representative office in China, but with the business going forward and the change of strategy, we became a legal entity in China and started to work with a lot of new business models we had not worked with before. Nowadays, our business is steadily increasing every year, and the business models are being perfected as well.
More about the growth of our China offices. What are the plans for the future regarding recruiting new team members?
We are always keeping an open mind on recruiting talented members for our team. As part of the APAC region, we are closely working together with the other offices to search for people who have ambitions in the dairy market and are looking for a platform to develop their potentials. We are looking for multiple new team members for roles such as trader, logistics coordinator and technical support coordinators. For more information about our vacancies, please have a look at our website or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you see any other upcoming developments for the China office?
Except for searching for talented people, which is key, we are still trying to improve our China business strategy. The market is changing from time to time and we need to correctly position ourselves to stay on top of the market.
Today we see ourselves as a service provider rather than simply a buyer and seller of dairy products. As a result, we need to constantly exam our models and see where we can add value to both our clients and suppliers. Since we only trade dairy products, we also need to look deeper into these products, show our expertise and find the right match between customers and suppliers.