The one who wishes, will find possibilities – the one who doesn’t, will look for excuses! That’s the everyday motto in both business and life for Julia Rahula, Country Manager at Greencarrier Liner Agency in Tallinn, Estonia. She has more than twelve years of experience in the shipping industry and strongly believes in the power of team spirit.
Hi Julia! Tell me about your job as a Country Manager. What does that involve?
My job as a Country Manager involves quite a wide range of tasks. I’m responsible for overseeing both processes and people, including day-to-day business decisions related to customer relationships, daily operation issues and staff related tasks, to the planning and execution of Greencarrier’s global policies and strategies.
Our office here in Tallinn is quite small with only seven employees, so naturally I’m involved in all of our business activities on a daily basis. It’s a constant balance between developing new businesses and attracting new customers, while at the same time keeping existing customers happy and satisfied.
What’s the biggest challenge in your job?
We’re living in a rapidly changing world where the biggest challenge is to keep up with market and industry changes. Today, customers require daily updates and excellent service. Finding the best customer solution sometimes means that you need to find compromises between all parties. These are choices that we need to make every day together as a team. It also puts pressure on how we continue to develop our business in order to constantly be moving forward, which it’s absolutely necessary. Otherwise you can’t stay alive in today’s tough competition in the container shipping industry.
What qualities are useful in your position, do you think?
I believe it’s important to be confident and calm in every situation, have good communication skills, be result-oriented, have ability to delegate (to develop further business) and at the same time have a sense of humour, a positive attitude and the ability to inspire others. As my job strongly involves communicating with people, I believe it’s important to be a good listener, open minded and proactive.
Which part of your job is the most fun?
Working with a variety of people with different personalities and backgrounds is something that I value highly. Greencarrier is a multicultural company, and it gives me a great deal of pleasure to meet people from different countries and continents, share new experiences and create new opportunities.
The team spirit that we have is also something that I appreciate. At our Estonian office we have the tradition of celebrating all our victories and achievements, even the small ones. With our employees, we share our experiences and what we’ve learnt along the way to success. This brings us together, creates motivation and inspiration, generates new ideas and keeps the spirit up. By doing this we live the Greencarrier values.
You have more than twelve years of experience in the shipping industry. What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt along the way?
The most important thing I’ve learnt throughout the years is that we’re working for a rapidly changing industry, which requires that you’re quick, active and flexible. I’ve also learnt that you need to lead your team by example. With a good team you can achieve high goals.
Greencarrier’s promise to the market is “Yes, it’s possible!” How do you work with, and live up to this commitment, in day-to-day business?
We try to never say no to customer’s requests or needs. Even if we can’t offer them the services they require, we always try to find an alternative, and perhaps, even better solution. Sometimes it’s only a matter of helping the customer get in touch with another Greencarrier division. Consequently, by the end of the day the customer is happy to stick with us, as we’re doing our very best to help them. Having the right attitude when communicating with customers will help you find a possible solution for every customer need.
So, what do you do when you’re not working?
When I’m not working I’m trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends, especially my son Darian who is five. Together we like to travel, play games, cook and many other things. I’m happy to see him grow and be a part of it. I also try to find time for my hobbies, which are ballroom dancing, downhill skiing and jogging. This year I started playing golf as well. All these activities are quite time consuming though, it would be great to have more than 24 hours a day to manage! I try to maintain an active lifestyle, while at the same time find a good balance between my job and private life.
You sound like a busy woman for sure, Julia! Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Now, keep up the good work being a Country Manager, and good luck with playing that golf!
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/Josefine Widegren, Greencarrier AB