Five minutes with Mazen Abou Chakra
Mazen Abou Chakra, export sales director, Kärcher Middle East
What does your role involve?
My role requires that I focus on every aspect of the export process of our sales to the rest of the Middle East from our regional headquarters in Dubai. I am in charge of sales and sales development for the region – including Iran and Egypt, but excluding Saudi Arabia – in the following categories: standard business dealers that carry commercial and off-the-shelf products; professional floor care; engineering solutions; and consumer home and garden products.
What do you love most about your job?
Firstly, my job requires that I travel to a variety of countries. Through this I experience different cultures and have gained knowledge on how to work with specific cultural traits when doing business. Secondly, I enjoy the diversity of our product line – we have everything from a home vacuum cleaner to automatic car washes. Finally, Kärcher is a great place to work: I enjoy its organisational culture.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
Customer service! Sales and service are closely entwined in the way we approach our customers. From our perspective, we strive to ensure the customer is always satisfied, but this is a round-the-clock job, and sometimes even if the customer is 99% happy, the remaining 1% can cause issues.
What has been your most memorable project so far?
I’ve had many memorable projects over my eight years at Kärcher, but what takes top prize is the installation of automatic car washes in Oman. Six years ago, we entered the automatic car wash industry in the sultanate and since then, we have grown tremendously to lead the market in the country. We continue to grow in this area in Oman, adding about 10 car washes annually.
Where do you see the FM industry in five years?
According to some studies, the world is set for a boom in construction which will add buildings to our current landscape. More buildings mean more requirements for FM. Another trend may be a turn to professional cleaning to accommodate the fast-paced working environment. As standardisation of cleaning systems and solutions spreads, we may see single- and SME-owners turn to professional cleaning as it becomes more efficient.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
During my spare time I like to unwind, relax, and switch off. I try my best to get away from the hectic and sometimes challenging nature of my job, and recharge. To help me with this, I watch TV. Having the TV switched on helps me switch off and relax!