Interview with Jan Lok – Managing Director BU Global Sales
COVID-19 does not care about national borders. And CRV’s Global Sales people know what that means better than anyone. Jan Lok, managing director, sees that this situation requires a different approach. ‘We can no longer visit the farmer as we would ordinarily. Communication is key and the role of social media is rapidly increasing.’
The measures to combat COVID-19 have an impact on everyone and everything. This also applies to Jan Lok’s work, as managing director of the Global Sales business unit. Working with a team of six area managers, Jan serves numerous distributors and subsidiaries around the world.’When this situation started, we actually saw an increase in semen sales, and to some extent that is continuing currently. Our logistics centre has been exceptionally busy during the last few weeks. Perhaps there was actually a bit of hoarding behaviour. ” Jan says in regard to what has happened. ‘Distributors and livestock farmers want to maintain their semen supplies, and that is understandable.’
What are we doing to help our distributors and subsidiaries?
‘The most important thing is to maintain the supply of semen. We are keeping intensive contact with all our local distributors and colleagues. We are letting them see and feel that we are there for them. And I notice a lot of appreciation in this regard’. ‘What everyone needs now is as much information as possible, and this is an area in which we are seeing social media channels being used ever more intensively. We were already using those channels a lot, but now we are using them even more. We are not only using it to inform everyone about the situation, but also to occasionally add a cheerful note. Sometimes it might be just a little thing such as a beautiful “graphic image of social distancing” with a cow and two calves. But many people even find a little thing like that quite wonderful. ”
What is the effect of the crisis on Global Sales employees?
‘Naturally, each of these are people who want to make contact with colleagues, distributors and livestock farmers around the world. They usually travel a lot. Fortunately, they now have plenty to do, because, as I said, semen sales are even a little higher. They have a lot of contact with each other via telephone, skype or other modern media. And the index run is coming up, which is always a busy time. The most important thing is that we must support and help each other.
And how does it affect you?
‘Well, normally, I get the jitters when I have been stuck in the office for two weeks in a row, and I want to go out and about. But now I am at home with my wife and two daughters, who now also live there. And that is going well, although I do notice that it is much more intense than I had previously thought it might be. So, work and private life are merged. Now and then I have to force myself to do something different, and not just sit at the computer all day. Just to take some time working in the garden, a bit of running, etc.’
Finally – What spirit do you feel within CRV?
‘I sense a great feeling of togetherness. Naturally, everyone struggles with the crisis and figures out how to deal with it in their own way. But there is really an atmosphere of us all just having to get through this!’