For many of us, working from home has become the new norm. But when it comes to managing people whose focus is on customer delight, that can be much trickier. Let’s catch up with Farah Mourali, whose customer orientation, team spirit, and passion for what he does drives value for our company and our clients.
Taking the Scenic Career Route
Farah is our Swedish sales manager for Automotive Refinish, based in Gothenburg. He is responsible for leading the sales operations directly, through a team of PPG professionals, as well as through a network of distributors.
Having worked in a majority of functions at PPG – technical, sales, marketing – I have had quite a panoramic view of the company and the industry.
Farah joined us in 2007 and has since been working his way through the organization. He initially started as a color support manager, and then became responsible for color IT and all its related tools and training in Scandinavia.
After his next task of managing the creation and deployment of a digital body shop management tool, Farah introduced MVP Business Solutions into Scandinavia. This led to him leading sales in Sweden, despite initially having no sales experience, which he has been doing successfully ever since.
Managing a Team During a Period of Uncertainty
This past year has been a challenge for Farah in terms of managing his team from a distance, during a period of uncertainty. He’s #PPGProud they were able to deliver satisfying results despite the difficulties.
He believes communication is key during a period like this and appreciates how his company has demonstrated excellent outreach with periodic video updates from the leadership, leading by example.
But the most important learning outcome from this last year was when he realized he was not the only one having to limit his travel and manage from a distance.
Instead of looking at it as a limitation, I saw it as an opportunity to create new ways of doing business.
Reaching Goals with Well-defined Steps
Farah places enormous value on his team of professionals and all of the Scandinavian organization, who he truly believes is committed, hardworking and always “running it like they own it”.
He is a strong advocate for building bridges and trying to understand how colleagues are likely to perceive the challenges you face as a team.
Farah is always forward-looking and chasing opportunities in the market. His knowledge about our business is a great asset as he’s challenging the ways of working in a constructive manner, which is necessary to succeed. This combined with his customer orientation, going the extra mile and great teamwork create the perfect combination for the Scandinavian Refinish team to win in the market.
Farah during the MoonWalk™ by PPG demo
“The funny thing with color”, Farah explains, “is that because of our biological differences, we all perceive different colors differently. That does not mean you’re wrong but my perception of blue can be different from someone else’s. The same goes with taste. So just knowing that fact can tell you how differently we all can interpret the same message or issue in front of us.”
His tip for managing a team with big goals to deliver on is: Make sure to have a common understanding on where you are and where you want to be going, try to celebrate the small things and always work toward goals with well-defined steps.
Keep the customer in focus and try to go beyond in terms of creating value. Try to understand how you can have a positive effect on your customer and his customer as well.
Going Home Happy Each Day
Farah has an interesting and positive approach to that difficult-to-maintain work-life balance.
During the busier periods, you sometimes have to work extra hours. But if you work two hours overtime doing something you love, at least you come home happy. Happier, perhaps, than if you were to come home early from something you’re not enjoying.
Loving your work as much as you love your free time is a great way to achieve that balance.
Farah says to us all looking toward a new year full of new opportunities:
Go for it and make it happen, the opportunities are out there but you’re going to have to look for them.