Interim sales manager Argo Sildvee believes that a successful interim has to enjoy the work with people and to manage to perceive the bigger picture. These skills are fundamental. Reaching out to Argo we have tried to find out if it is true that every situation or circumstance hides an opportunity that may benefit our company to the edge.
What is your background? How did you become an Interim Manager?
Unconsciously, I was working as an interim manager from the year 2008. Although, until the year 2016 I was calling myself a freelancer sales manager. When I met Interim Agency Velström Vallner Tohver I have found out, that my profession actually carries a bit more modern naming.
My story began in Keila, where I have been working as a sales manager Saajos AS, selling doors for vessels. Since then I was mainly working with international companies, which were focused on shipbuilding.
What were your Interim jobs – in which companies and on what kind of positions?
My job is to sell. Throughout the year I have understood that the main skill is to see the bigger picture and to bring the right people. I know that everything has a designated time and place and sometimes, you just have to wait for all puzzle pieces to come together. At one point, I have opened the French market for Saajo. Therefrom, I have been managing TNF Inexa AB European sales and communications with Asian factories. Then, I moved on.
I was with T-Tammer when they were making their first steps in the maritime industry until the last project at Velvet OÜ. There I had an opportunity to learn how to sell the design to the world and what does design export mean. However, it is not as easy as it seems from first glance since it is much easier to export the physical product. Besides the job at Velvet, in the April of 2020, I have launched an ambitious project for exporting companies and fortunately, I was not alone. As a result, we have EMI, the company of absolutely different format which brings together the best service providers and product creators in Estonia as well as the best customers in the world.
Tell us about your current jobs and goals.
My goal is to bring Estonian producers to the international market so that they can learn what exports mean, what fair competition means and what a fair price is. In other words, cut all the “middlemen” and allow customers to communicate directly with suppliers and vice versa.
How did the pandemic influence your work and activity?
The years 2008-2010 were the years of growth for me since they were very volatile. This crisis has made me grow yet again. Nowadays, we have more jobs and opportunities that we can realize. This crisis has brought an enormous amount of opportunities, which we are currently trying to take advantage of.
What experience and worthwhile lessons has the job of Interim manager given to you?
The opportunity to work according to the circumstances, the opportunity to share my own experience with more than one company, the opportunity to grow independently as well as to develop the skills of maintaining the balance between the several projects. I have learned to wait and digest the thoughts instead of rushing and making mistakes. Definitely, I had to learn how to become more of a team player. To be honest, I am a stubborn wolf who often acts on his stomach. Most of the time my character does not let me down!
“The opportunity to work according to the circumstances, the opportunity to share my own experience with more than one company, the opportunity to grow independently as well as to develop the skills of maintaining the balance between the several projects.”
What part of the Interim manager job is the most interesting for you?
The opportunity to work with a large number of people. To see the world from different perspectives. Product sales are one playground while selling a service is completely different. One very interesting aspect is staying in between of the different fields and at the end to conclude yet again, that Interim job implies working with people.
What advice would you give managers, that are considering to hire an Interim or to work as an Interim?
The Interim manager gives the company a quick injection of the knowledge and experience that is needed at the moment. It can be a great CEO who visits you once a week, an IT manager or a slight bit “mad” salesman Argo. Use the expertise of your field to take your business to the next level.
It is worth to become interim if you feel that you have something to give. If you have something that others need since it is extremely nice to be patted on the shoulder for that one day, week, month or year that you have been working for that company or another.
“The Interim manager gives the company a quick injection of the knowledge and experience that is needed at the moment. It can be a great CEO who visits you once a week, an IT manager or a slight bit “mad” salesman Argo. “
When your current job is done, what’s next?
My current job is EMI. Where to from here, is still unknown since better and even more exciting years are yet to come. Though, one thing is certain: in the future, I want to reach a point where the world’s best salesmen are selling/representing the world’s best companies from Estonia.
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