Next Stop: Ukraine


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Greetings from Kiev!

This week on the Lantmännen trainee blog: Sebastian makes his third appearance – this time from Ukraine.

After a great summer filled with various vacation activates, it was time to get back to work this week. For me that meant packing my bags, downloading Duolingo, and getting on a plane to Boryspil Airport in Kiev. My dear trainee colleague Johan was here during his third trainee assignment, and after hearing his wonderful tales about this magical place, I simply had to follow in his footsteps.

As I am writing this, I have only been in Kiev for five days so I don’t have a firm grasp of this city quite yet. My first impression, however, is that Johan was right about this place – it has great people, beautiful scenery, and amazing food. I cannot wait to explore this country further over the next three months.

The main reason Lantmännen sent me to Kiev, though, was not to develop a deep appreciation for borscht, but rather to develop a business continuity plan. Lantmännen is the Ukrainian market leader in breakfast cereals and all products here are locally produced. That means that Lantmännen has a factory as well as a sales/marketing office in Kiev.  

Creating a business continuity plans means working with the local operations director to ensure that the local business can get back on its feet as quickly as possible after major interruptions. In order to do this, I will first need to identify potential risks that could lead to major interruptions, such as natural disasters, loss of utilities, or major machinery breakdowns. Then, I will determine what the most critical business functions are and how said risks could impact each critical function. Finally, I will develop strategies for each critical business function to get back to normal after potential interruptions. Doesn’t it sound fun?!

Since I only have three months to accomplish all of that, I should probably get back to work now.

Until next time!

З повагою,

Себастьян

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Change Management Training


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Hey!

This week’s blog is written by Sebastian. I wrote my previous blog post in the fall when I was placed at AS-Faktor working in business development, but a lot has happened since then.

After Stockholm, I went to Unibake in Copenhagen where I worked on a project for their fast foods division. I looked at the northern European market for hamburger and hot dog buns to find out what opportunities Unibake have to expand in the segment. Did you all know that Lantmännen Unibake is the market leader for fast food buns in Sweden with Korvbrödsbagarn (read: MAX Friscobröd) and has a big presence in Norway, Finland, and Denmark? I keep thinking that it would be amazing if you could find our delicious buns all over the world though. Well, maybe one day…

Now I am at Lantmännen’s energy division, which just expanded by acquiring a British company’s factory outside of Norrköping. We are famous for our imagination here at Lantmännen (not really), so we decided to call the new company “Lantmännen Oats”, as the factory refines oats. The energy division also consist of “Lantmännen Agroetanol” (ethanol), “Lantmännen Aspen” (alkylate fuel), and “Lantmännen Reppe” (gluten, starch, and drinking alcohol).

Instead of joining one of these companies, I was fortunate enough to work with the energy division’s management team in Stockholm. I am “uppe i smöret” (“up in the butter”), so to speak. On a daily basis, I am helping out where needed, but I am mostly working on a market analysis for starches and the integration of “Lantmännen Oats” into Lantmännen. I also get to sit in on a bunch of meetings to really understand what happens in a management team, which is really cool.

The trainees in beautiful Skåne

However, this post was supposed to be about the training we just had about change management, and not about me. The topic of change is both incredibly relevant and interesting. We got to learn about useful theories on change management, and lead change through simulations and real life scenarios. A lot of the issues we came across were very relatable, as they are issues we all continuously face in our projects. Change is truly a part of everyday life, at least here at Lantmännen, so learning how to deal with it will probably have some pretty fantastic consequences.

We took the time to excercise a lot during the training. Here Johanna is trying to kill us with a cross fit workout.

Learning about change was great, but it wasn’t even nearly as good as meeting up with the whole trainee-gang at a vineyard in sunny Skåne. Summer finally arrived! We always have a great time meeting up, and even if we learned that there perhaps is a reason to why Sweden isn’t famous for wine, the beautiful scenery along with the company made these three days absolutely amazing.

Until next time!

 /Sebastian

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My time at AS-Faktor in Stockholm


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Hello readers,

If you read the last blog post about all the fun times we have had in Stockholm, you have already heard a little about me. But since that post was really just an excruciating cliffhanger, hinting at the story of my life, I thought you would want to hear more. So here it goes!

My name is Sebastian and I am of course a trainee at Lantmännen. My first rotation was at AS-Faktor, a subsidiary to Lantmännen that sells the very well-known products Salovum and SPC-Flakes (they are not very well-known, but you should definitely google them). AS-Faktor has conducted a bunch of research studies over the years together with universities in Sweden on a protein called Protein AF. There is an amazingly well written Wikipedia page about the protein and all is amazing capabilities if you want to learn more about it, which you should.

At this point you are probably asking yourself – what does this have to with Lantmännen or agriculture. Fair question. The protein comes from specially processed oats and as you know, Lantmännen really does everything you can think of with grains, so really, this makes perfect sense.

My role at AS-Faktor is in business development of foods with special medical purposes (Salovum & SPC-Flakes) and functional foods. This role fits me well, given that my both my bachelor’s and master’s degree is in business and economics. Basically, I have been figuring out how to sell products that are really good for people for the past few months. My biggest project has been developing a new concept for diabetics based on some exciting research from Göteborg Universitet. I have analyzed the market, created business plans, made sales material, done costs analysis’s, some classic SWOT’s, and much more.

 

Me along with Mikkel at a career fair in Lund!

One of my key learnings from my first rotation is how exciting it is to turn scientific research into financially stable products and concepts. Creating strategies for products that can bring a lot of value to people’s lives has been an incredible experience. Doing that togehter with all the great people at AS-Faktor and at HQ in Stockholm has made my first rotation even better.

I am actually writing this post on my final day in Stockholm and it is with mixed feelings I am moving on to Unibake in Copenhagen next week. I have had a great time in Stockholm, but I am of course super excited about taking on new challenges (like understanding Danish) over the next few months. But more of that in my next post.

Over and out!

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