The Proactive Approach & Surpassing Expectations: Q&A with Lennard Bester, Business Development Manager
We recently caught up with our BD Manager, Lennard — discussing his career path to date, the FIS difference and how we help clients navigate key challenges.
Lennard Bester, FIS Chemicals Business Development Manager
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FIS:What was your career path before joining FIS Chemicals?
Lennard: After Uni, I decided to go travelling and joined Qatar Airways as Cabin Crew. I represented both them and Etihad Airways at a later stage in a journey that’s lead me to many different countries, cities, cultures, and people.
In total, I travelled for just shy of 5 years before entering a career in sales back home in Johannesburg, South Africa. The mining industry is one of the biggest markets in South Africa and my initial experience was as a sales rep for a hydraulic component manufacturing company, serving Sub-Saharan Africa as OEM to many of the large mining machine manufacturers.
After that, I joined another OEM in overhead cranes (Verlinde Cranes) within the same industry, again serving Sub-Saharan Africa.
From there I came to the UK in the middle of the Oil and Gas slump of 2015 so I managed a bar in Aberdeen through its renovation and re-launch (The Adams Lounge/Hawthorn Bar). I took my first job in Oil & Gas at Sureclean as a Business Development Executive in the Specialist Cleaning & Topside Decontamination/Waste Management industry, serving Operators, Tier 1s & service companies.
I was head hunted by MSIS for the same role, then Denholm MacNamee bought over MSIS. After that, COVID hit and that led to being made redundant.
I briefly re-joined Sureclean before Gordon contacted me with an opportunity at FIS, and here I am!
"Our products deliver exactly what the customer requires, often exceeding expectations. Combine that with an extremely experienced and efficient R&D team, you’re onto a winner."
FIS: Can you tell us a little bit about your role as Business Development Manager?
LB: I had worked with (FIS' Financial Director) Gordon Davidson at MSIS and he explained that FIS were looking to develop products for clients in the specialist cleaning and waste management industries and my various connections in the industry meant it made sense to join the team to support this growth area.
Since then, we have brought on major waste treatment and specialist cleaning clients and developed products for these industries. As we had already served some of the contractors in the cleaning industry with other products, we have been able to expand our offering and solidify these relationships with bespoke products.
FIS: What draws clients to work with FIS?
LB: Our professionalism and proactive approach. For years, our customers have received prompt and thorough service from FIS. Our products deliver exactly what the customer requires, often exceeding expectations. Combine that with an extremely experienced and efficient R&D team, you’re onto a winner.
"The world is moving towards a Greener future and our customers are moving with the times. We offer various solutions that are environmentally friendly and help decrease the carbon footprint of large work scopes."
FIS: What are some of the common challenges that FIS clients are facing at the moment? And how do we support them?
LB: The world is moving towards a Greener future and our customers are moving with the times. We offer various solutions that are environmentally friendly and help decrease the carbon footprint of large work scopes.
Just recently we had a customer whose project included a vessel cleaning scope onboard an offshore asset in West Africa. The key challenge there was that the operator had certain restraints in their overboard discharge permit and required a non-toxic, non-acid-based solution that was also not harmful to marine life.
FIS supplied a bespoke product that not only cleaned the vessel to exceptional standards, but also surpassed the expectations of the operator. For many years, they had been unable to enter this vessel prior to this decontamination, and now they had access again. The chemical product had reduced the LELs to a level where vessel entry was permitted, and inspections could be done.
This was a great result for all, and a perfect example of how we can help clients overcome such obstacles.
FIS: How do you like to relax outside of work?
LB: I enjoy sports, playing cricket for Stoneywood Dyce Cricket Club and captaining the first team in the Eastern Premier League. I also love golf and spending time with my partner, our French Bulldog and friends & family.
FIS: Are there any particular personal or professional goals you've set for 2023 and beyond?
LB: My goals are to build on the success I’ve had thus far and expand FIS Chemicals' product offering in my line. I also hope to grow existing accounts and bring in new customers to our business.
On a personal level, life is good. I want to continue being the best dad I can be to my daughter, who is 7, and enjoy life with my loved ones. Some say: ”You only live once”, I say: You only die once, you should live every day.
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