25 years – we’re just getting started

Pedro Jose Hernandez Aliaga

Overseas country manager
Euro Pool System
Spain

My work involves lots of international travel. I must have visited over 20 countries since I joined the company six years ago. And they’re mostly places outside Europe: South America, Africa, Asia. Which means I get to meet people from really different cultures all the time, and that’s always interesting.

Every week is different, and since I don’t like routine, I usually find myself eagerly anticipating the week ahead on Mondays. It helps that the company is growing so rapidly, because it means I’m never short of new opportunities.

The way we collaborate stretches right across borders. So it doesn’t really matter if my colleagues are in Germany, Poland or the Netherlands — we’re open with one another, and give each other the benefit of what we know. I like that; you can relax when you know that no one’s hoarding their knowledge, and that they’ll give you whatever you need if you ask.

Despite the different cultures and backgrounds, the working methods aren’t much different from one place to the next. This might be because the company’s culture and philosophy have slowly filtered through to the rest of the organisation. Considering the size of the network, I think that’s remarkable.

That doesn’t mean you don’t notice that people don’t have a different way of thinking as you move between cultures. Of course they do. Spanish history, culture and climate are all very different from the history, culture and climate of the Netherlands or Germany, and these things influence the way you think. This does occasionally cause misunderstandings. But the more you interact, the greater your cultural awareness, and the more smoothly things run.

It’s a milestone, 25 years. So much has happened since my first day here. I think a lot more changed all the time back then. There’ve been slightly fewer changes as we’ve grown. I’m not sure if one has to do with the other, or if more dynamism is better; it’s just different, that’s all. But 25 years of existence is definitely worth celebrating. That said, it’s also just a step along the way. If you imagine what more we could possibly do, we’re just getting started.