The Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Sweden is delighted to welcome Alfonso Pardinas, the new General Manager at Sika Sweden.
Alfonso is a Spanish citizen of the world having started his journey in Spain and taking him across two continents. Follow Alfonso’s journey with the infographic below. Alfonso’s work motto – “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships”.
Two quick questions.
1. How has your experience in Sweden been so far and how do you experience Nordic Culture?
- Having lived and worked in Tanzania for nearly 4 years, landing in Sweden was as expected, quite a dramatic culture shock. My wife and I have experienced quite an extreme weather change; from over 30 degrees and many hours of sunlight, to under zero degree temperatures and darkness…although we are already getting very excited about the spring and the endless summer days.
- On the other hand, and despite COVID restrictions, we have managed to adapt to the Swedish culture quite rapidly; I am really enjoying the “Fika breaks” and the very efficient Swedish bureaucracy; everything in Stockholm is managed through an app on your phone!
- Managing Swedish people is as you can imagine quite different from managing Tanzanians. I am still trying to adapt to scheduling meetings to discuss about when to schedule the next meeting and the culture of reaching a unanimous consensus before making a decision. I am very happy to see how most Swedish citizens are concerned about the environment and the approach towards sustainability.
2. What are you’re biggest challenges, opportunities in Sweden and how has Corona affected your business?
- Sika celebrated its 70 years doing business in Sweden in 2020, and although it was indeed a very challenging year for our industry, for our customers, and for our organisation, we have managed to “navigate through the storm” and finished the year with very good results, both in revenue and in profit.
- We are indeed still facing a lot of uncertainty and it is still not clear how the market will react once the vaccination campaign is fully implemented. We do however remain optimistic that once the worse of the pandemic is left behind, the construction and manufacturing industries will benefit from public and private sector investments to revamp the Swedish and Nordic economies.
- The biggest advantage that we have is our clear focus on R&D, on sustainability as well as our very diversified product portfolio. This business approach has allowed Sika to not only cope through the 2020 global crisis but to even come out stronger, given our customers the confidence to trust in our solutions and services.
- COVID-19 has forced many companies and sectors to accelerate their digitalization process but at Sika Sweden, we were quite ahead of the trend when the pandemic started; we already sell many products through our own E-shop, we have implemented a very professional digital knowledge center platform in which both our customers and employees have done many online courses, webinars, and e-learnings and we will start trading through Amazon in the coming weeks.
On behalf of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Sweden, we once again welcome you to Sweden.