Skip to content

The Professionals: Colin Cassells

In this interview, our Head of Food for Australia reflects on his career trajectory and the inherit challenges of transforming the business, in a very unique market. 


As the Head of the Food business for Australia, Colin not only oversees a diverse team but has also embraced the formidable task of revitalizing the Australian food business and reconstructing the Electrolux Professional food brand in a country as expansive and diverse as Australia. 

Despite facing unique hurdles that require innovative thinking, Colin and his team remain dedicated to overcoming obstacles, focusing on flexibility, leaner processes, and customer-centric approaches as they navigate challenges and strive for success. 

You are our Head of Food for Australia – what does that job entail? Tell us more about what you do! 

As the Head of our food business in Australia I oversee thesales team, as well as our business development managers and account managers that are customer-facing on the road. I get to wear many hats on a daily basis, with financial management, teamwork, building confidence, and setting high standards all being crucial parts of my job. I tend to spend most of my time leading the team from the front and meeting with our customers, partners, and strategic partners to help boost our reputation and growth in Australia and drive our Business Area with a forward-thinking strategy. It’s quite an exciting role!

What route did you take in terms of studies and jobs to where you are today? 

I always had a passion for sales, and I started my career as a sales representative for a homeware company from China, managing national sales in Australia. After several years, I moved to a publicly listed Australian company specializing in hardware and consumer goods. Seeking to shift to a more business-to-business role, I joined a telecommunications company, before having the opportunity to join Dyson as territory manager focusing on consumer products. 

After about four years, I joined Fisher & Paykel in another B2B role, but then Dyson invited me back to launch the Dyson Airblade hand dryer, where I spent ten years building the Airblade business. 

In 2019, I moved to New Zealand to restructure Dyson’s Professional division and later helped with the consumer side. Finally, I joined Electrolux Professional, focusing on chains and beverage sectors, managing key accounts like McDonald’s and KFC, and developing new business. After about three years, I took the challenge to transform the Australian business – and that’s what I’ve enjoyed doing since! 


What do you love about the role? 

Theever-evolvinglandscape of our business has always sparked my curiosity and it’s whatkeeps me energized to this day. I’m also deeply committed to driving positive change at Electrolux Professional, and that has also been immensely motivating to me. Coming up with innovative waysof tackling complex problemskeeps me focused and engaged.  


And, on the other hand, what are the biggest challenges?  

We’ve been on a journey to relaunch and rebuild the Electrolux Professional food brand in Australia, which is an extremely vast country with a very diverse food market.  In 2022, I took on the challenge of leading this major transformation of our Australian Food and Laundry businesses, which involved outsourcing logistics, modernizing our digital systems, relocating our Head Office, and onboarding a new team.  

While we’re still in the early stages of a complex process that has been undoubtedly challenging at times, we’ve dedicated all our efforts to being flexible and to find smarter, leaner ways to improve and we’ve been exploring entirely new business approaches, balancing new developments, and strengthening our customer relationships and partnerships. Our focus remains on being customer-facing and customer-obsessed every step of the way! 


What advice would you give to people wanting to work in a position like yours? 

Throughout my career, I’ve found that actively listening and being open to my customers and team members is crucial. I also learned that approaching sales with the mindset of being a guest in the customer’s business is a way of showing respect and humility – and it’s also important to embrace the fact that you may not always have all the answers right away – and that’s okay! Sometimes, it’s better to take the time to research and come back with informed solutions, and this approach can really help to build trust and credibility over time. Continuous improvement is also key, so always look for new and better ways to do things while keeping an open mind. Lastly, keep an eye on your competitors to understand their strategies, but don’t become overly fixated on them. Keeping this balance can help to inform your own approach without becoming distracted.


How would you like to develop further in your role or potentially do something completely different? 

I see changes as opportunities for fresh challenges and valuable learning experiences and I’m eager to deepen my expertise and expand my skills. Ultimately, my aim is to bring value whatever I do, whether it’s diving into more intricate projects, mastering new tools or techniques, or pursuing additional training and certifications.


Tell us about your experience of working in a multinational environment and the opportunities that exist within the company? 

Over the last 20 years, working for multinational organizations has given me valuable insights into the dynamics of a global workplace. I’ve learned to appreciate diverse perspectives, communication styles, and work practices, all of which have helped me thrive. Collaborating with colleagues from various backgrounds has been key to my professional growth, expanding my knowledge and skills. 

Throughout my journey, I’ve been deeply grateful for the ongoing opportunities provided by Electrolux Professional. I’ve been given a platform to nurture and advance my career, and the resources needed to succeed. I’m extremely grateful to work for a company that values and supports its employees. 


Why choose to work at Electrolux Professional Group? 

if you are driven by innovation and a desire to make a real difference, Electrolux Professional is the perfect fit! We are all about creating a dynamic work environment where truly diverse and international teams collaborate, and everyone’s ideas are valued. Beyond the ample opportunities for professional growth across various sectors, our commitment to sustainability and the chance to contribute to game-changing solutions are truly inspiring reasons to join us. So, if you’re passionate about creating meaningful change, your talents can certainly help us shape the future. 


Check out our global career site, if you aspire to pursue a career similar to Colin’s.