Introducing Voova Group’s new manager:
Here in Pattaya a city that attracts some of the most interesting (and yes, possibly, quite possibly some of the strangest) human characters from all over the world, the amount of stories that congregate in Sin city are indeed as diverse as they are surprising. Thanks to the Trader’s Business Review for August, I got to personally interview a guy so cool that he managed to hide this innate awesomeness in the name of professionalism, a ‘cool-undercover-dude’ if you will. I’m of course talking about Steve Burges, our new sales manager here at Voova Group.
Ever since I first met Steve he has both impressed me and proved, time and time again that he is a great leader: He always listens, never judges and constantly provides great useful feedback, heck, I don’t think a team meeting has gone by that I didn’t learn some useful tip from him. I mean really, he is not my boss directly, but even at a distance you can tell he has some impressive leadership skills that make him a great manager.
So yeah you can imagine my surprise when I started the interview by asking a simple ‘how did you end up in Pattaya’ type of question and got the answer ‘Life had gotten boring, so I gave up my job, gave up my apartment, got a back-pack and bought a one-way ticket to Delhi...’ I will not deny I was rather interested by what followed, hope you are too!
A bit on that crazy story that brought Steve to Thailand
Once you meet Steve you will quickly notice he has a very relaxed, calm and friendly manner- regardless of what he is doing: talking, explaining, walking, whatever. He just seems to maintain a ‘cool as a polar bear’s claws’ status 24/7. Having known this fact for around 3 months now, I was still surprised by the calm demeanor with which he explained how, one day in January 2014, he decided it was time to leave England. He dropped everything he possessed, abandoned his career as an area manager for the Pilgrim Foodservice company and went to ‘see everything he wanted to see’.
After landing in Delhi India a 12 month-long multi-country, multi cultural odyssey started. His travels took him through India, Malaysia and Singapore, then on to Thailand so he could visit neighbouring Laos and Cambodia. Keep in mind that an impressive 365 days passed until Steve found himself back in Thailand (Pattaya city to be precise) in a very good mood, but under the logical realization that his money would only take him so far.
A Sales Manager From Sin City
A job, of course, would solve everything. Steve tells me that when he finally clicked the submit button on his freshly updated online CV, he did so “rather speculatively” but after 4 quick,positive replies to his ads he seemed to have lost his doubts. Steve told me that the other job offers had been FnB related (unsurprisingly given his past experience working for Pilgrim Food Service group and Makro UK companies) so I was interested as to why he would choose a manager’s position in a company which specializes in Media Marketing ?
When we talked about his long term commitment to his new job and city he mentioned he ‘had never ever realized the amount of potential that Voova and Pattaya offer. There’s such a growing need for skilled foreign workers...’he realises how “lucky he was to have started looking around for opportunities at the right time” .
He happily added that his new position seems like the perfect opportunity to ‘drive the business forward” especially now that we [Voova] have gone through some restructuring, to implement the great ideas and products we are constantly creating and make the best out of the ever-growing opportunities South East Asia offers in the Media and Marketing industry’.
Steve’s observations on Pattaya
It was interesting to hear Steve quickly intervening, with all his “mighty positivenes”s, as I described Pattaya as ‘Sin-city’ during the interview. He swiftly shifted attention to the fact that, no matter what the media likes to show about Pattaya, our lovely coastal town does indeed have a huge array of wonderful (and generally fun) options. I am suddenly reminded that ‘Pattaya is not a one-dimensional city’.
Steve said Pattaya should be more widely recognised for it’s epic ‘watersports scene, amazing selection of international restaurants, high-end hotels, family attractions and some of the newly opened water parks that keep making Pattaya a great place for everyone to enjoy’. Of course he did also say the ‘night-life scene’ doesn't exclusively have to refer to the red-district type either, as a music lover himself , he has a lot of praise about the ‘few musical gems’ he has found sprouting around our intricate city.Anyone who saw him dance the night away at the recent Souled Out event at the Access Inn last month can have no doubt as to Steve’s fondness for both dancing and Northern Soul music !
Words of Wisdom From a Travelling Global Professional
The time approached for our meeting to come to an end and so I asked Steve for some meaningful words (pearls of wisdom) from an experienced sales manager, one that, thanks to his love of travel, has become a global professional, the epitome of the modern globalized worker (not too shabby eh?). What did he have to say you ask? :-
“Never be afraid. Life is short, do what you want to do now and never look back at the mistakes you make because you will learn from them. Learn, travel, enjoy!.”Steve Burge
For more opinions and observations from Steve’s experiences you can always follow him on Facebook.
Interview written by Matias Berra