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The Professionals: Paolo Schira

2006-Ljungby-1He heads up our Commercial Organization in Europe and describes himself as sociable, passionate and very Italian. But over his years at the company, Paolo also absorbed and learned from the many cultural nuances that make the organization richly diverse.

Tell us briefly about your career at Electrolux Professional?

I joined in 2006 as a Product Manager for tumble dryers – a role that was based in Denmark for a couple of years. Since then, I have covered many different roles across products, segments, countries and business development before taking up my current position last year.

It’s something I’m proud of – always venturing out of my comfort zone and taking on new challenges. For anyone that is open-minded, there are plenty of opportunities to grow and develop at Professional.

What conditions are most effective for your learning & development?

Curiosity is the trigger. Never stop being keen to learn and try new things, know yourself and what motivates you and relentlessly look for external input and feedback. Read a lot and ask a lot of questions – there is a whole load of knowledge out there.

2008-Japan-1As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I was in love with the idea of being a doctor, which relates to the sociable nature of my personality – interacting with people, understanding people and being connected. My career took a different route and I studied engineering but still, as a sociable person, interacting with people – customers and colleagues – gives me energy at work.

What has made you stick with Professional over the course of your career?

There is a solid foundation in terms of respect for people and a genuine interest in working together – that had helped me to enjoy it every day. We are not a perfect company but the culture is very strong and the ability to work across culturally-diverse teams is one of our biggest strengths.

I can be typically Italian with my gestures and drama to convey my feelings, but in terms of reasoning I am more linear and straightforward, like my US colleagues. I also think a strong asset is our Scandinavian heritage which is hard to beat in terms of a focus on diversity and inclusion.

How does Professional appeal to the likes of Millennials and Generation Z-ers entering the job market?

It’s a question we are invested in because it’s important for us to stay relevant. We have been attentive with our smart-working policy in responding to new ways of working. The pandemic has shown that our industry is attractive because it’s crisis-resilient and, even though hospitality took a severe hit, we are a solid company.

We’re a B2B manufacturing hard products but we are connected by emotion, especially in food service since food evokes a lot of emotion. In laundry, we also did a lot during the pandemic around hygiene in hospital operations. We have a strong sense of being purpose-driven that resonates with everyone, especially with today’s younger generations.

Electrolux Professional launched its new Guiding Principles earlier in 2021: be bold, build trust, be customer obsessed and act sustainably – which speaks loudest to you??

Customer obsession. By putting ourselves in the shoes of a customer, we have a very powerful way to prioritize and constructively challenge old ways of doing things.

Customer obsession is a powerful lever for us to move faster in the right direction – a favorite expression of mine is: ‘Good is good enough, perfect is too late’. I like things to keep progressing at pace and ensure we keep the customer front of mind.

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