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Head of Sales and Technical (BEng: Chem Eng – Fine / specialty chemical manufacturing sector), Ref: 1195641 – Online Interview Questions

Ref: 1195641

Nationality: South African - dual citizenship
Highest Formal Qualification: BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering
Annual Package Range: ZAR 851 000 - 950 000
Total years experience: 11-15 Years

Head of Sales and Technical

Current / most recent job title?

Director – Sales and Technical

1. Primary purpose of current/most recent position:

My primary purpose and my job is to unlock new business opportunities and explore growth avenues and implement growth strategies for the business. This is achieved by meeting and developing relationships with new customers, identifying new areas of business for existing customers and expanding our supply network to subsequently support this growth effectively.

2. Core elements or functions that must operate effectively in order to achieve primary purpose:

1. I need to be self-driven and motivated to achieve my targets.
2. Flexibility is paramount as the goal posts do change more often than one thinks especially as and when you deal with different individuals at varying seniority levels within an organisation.
3. Strong / competent partner network in order to deliver the required solutions.

3. Description of self, along with greater purpose and passions:

Chemical engineering professional with diverse industry experience and a proven ability to conceptualise, design, engineer and sell engineering solutions in the fine / speciality chemical manufacturing sector. Completely self-motivated with a natural ability to bring and drive change within an organisation. Tackles issues head on. Currently seeking a new opportunity to join an innovative organisation that requires a strong dynamic and technical individual.

4. Ideal business title: 

Lead Chemical Engineer ;
Process Development Manager ;
Process Engineering Manager / Director

5. Key responsibilities and accountabilities of ideal position:

– Development of new / novel processes which includes for R&D and Pilot studies / trials to proof the concept.
– Identify areas of improvements at customer’s sites and manufacturing works.
– Development of company strategies to break into new markets or gain market share.
– Develop the plant process flow and layout and perform design calculations to size equipment such as vessel, heat exchangers, pumps, piping, etc.

6. Skill area of competence:

– Design and engineering of gas scrubbing / cleaning plants (wet systems) for the removal of pollutants from exhaust gases.
– Design and engineering of forced circulation evaporator / crystalliser plants in the waste-water treatment sector.
-Design and engineering of batch chemical processing and manufacturing plants (coatings, ink, agrochemicals etc.).
– Experience in wet milling / grinding
– Experience in packaging processes (filling, labelling, palletising etc.)
– The above includes contributions at all stages (sales, design and commissioning) of the project and across disciplines (mechanical, E&I etc.).
– Business development, that is, growing customer bases, qualifying and signing on new strategic partners, negotiating of commercial terms with existing partners etc.

7. Career summary:

6 years chemical engineering contracting experience, mostly in the steel and PGM refining sectors.
5 years sales and engineering experience in the fine / speciality chemical manufacturing sectors (coatings, agrochem, pharma).

8. Achievements: 

  1. Rebranded the business from being an equipment supplier to a process engineering partner by securing 3 off design and build contracts for manufacturing plants in the fine / speciality chemical sector with total project values ranging between R15m to R25m.
  2. Assumed direct control of the company within the 2019-2020 financial year and have steadily improved bottom-line performance of the company (+5% over a 3-year period, to date) and boosted profit margins by approximately 77% in comparison to the 2018-2019 financial year and maintained this margin in the 2020-2021 financial year.
  3. Successfully negotiated with one of our long-standing partners to expand our agreed upon area of business to exclusively represent them in Southern Africa. As a result, a door has been opened for the team to increase sales for this portfolio by +/-30% in comparison to previous years sales figures.
  4. Successfully signed on a new supplier of a key commodity which has the potential to grow the company’s turn-over by +/-10% in the current financial year and subsequently +/-3% to 5% per annum in future.

9. What do you absolutely love doing?

I love identifying and assisting to solve engineering problems which mainly comprise the design and engineering of equipment and plant solutions. I also very much enjoy closing deals and the negotiation process that goes with this.
In my free time I am mostly always reading up on latest innovations and trying to visualise how these technologies can be introduced into our local market to solve existing problems. This is how I satisfy my creative side.
As I say on my LinkedIn page, chemical engineering is my passion and my life.

10. Ideal company (culture and values):

I would love to work with and for a company who values technological innovation and disruptive strategy with creative- and purpose-driven cultures. In terms of company values, the following are important to me; innovation, integrity, respect.

If you are looking for a chemical engineering professional with diverse industry experience and a proven ability to conceptualise, design, engineer and sell engineering solutions and who is completely self-motivated with a natural ability to bring and drive change within an organisation – and tackles issues head-on, then do get in touch. 

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