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Sales Office in the Balkans in a Rough Patch

The requirements for an Interim Country Manager were complex but clear: Knowledge of local culture as well as experience in both business management and lobbying.

The subsidiary of a Danish company in a Balkan country lost their local manager. She decided to move to the United States without notice, so the situation was urgent. Several key employees were headhunted by a competitor taking advantage of the chaotic situation, and clients were trickling away. In addition, inventory was a mess and invoicing was lagging.

The Danish parent company contacted Nexus in order to get an Interim Manager to take control of the office immediately.


Three Candidates Were Identified through WIL Group

The job entailed important contact with local authorities, which required political skills and local knowledge, both linguistically and culturally. So Nexus contacted partners in WIL Group, and within a few days three candidates fitting the job profile were found.

Nexus quality-assured the candidates through interviews and references, so the client was ensured the best starting point for solving the task.

The best of the candidates were presented to senior management at the company’s Copenhagen headquarters and the selected candidate started promptly afterwards in the Balkan office.


Local Attachment and Solid Qualifications

The candidate had both local attachment, experience running a national organisation of sales and service and relevant experience with regulatory contact.

In addition, he possessed solid skills for both understanding the business in depth as well as the strategic challenges, as he held an MBA from INSEAD and was trained as an engineer.


Back on Track

Within a few months the situation is now under control. The new Country Manager has hired new sales reps to substitute the ones that left and has a handle on cash flow, invoicing and inventory.

Customer drain has stopped, and the local organisation is motivated again, because they can see that things are moving in the right direction. Furthermore, the political lobbying will be carried out in cooperation with a local expert.

You get your hands dirty getting a small national organisation back on its feet:

"There are lots of hands-on tasks. It is not a job for someone used to having a lot of other people doing things for them," says the Interim Manager over the phone from the Balkans.

The task is on the road to completion: "I'm not satisfied yet, but now at least we have an overview and a handle on things," he concludes.


CEO of the Danish Company Relates:

"We were in an emergency situation in the Balkans, where the local manager did not have a handle on the business and organisation. The manager got a quick exit, and it was imperative to quickly introduce a strong leader with the necessary business background.

In cooperation with Göran Johansson and Nexus, we defined the profile and set the process in motion. Within a very short time, we had three good candidates and got a great profile to fill the post as Interim Manager.

The plan was:

1) to immediately take control of the organisation locally, and

2) evaluate the prospective possibilities.

Now, five months after the need arose, we have employed the Interim Country Manager to lead the office in the Balkans permanently."

Nexus Interim Management A/S
T: +45 7022 6555

Kompagnistræde 13, 3.
DK-1208 Copenhagen K

Ny Banegårdsgade 55, st.
DK-8000 Aarhus C