Talking with Head of Sales Bruno: how a startup keeps you young

Colleague Bruno is what we call a ‘seasoned professional’. The fact that he now wants to finish off his career as Head of Sales within a, let’s face it, rather challenging startup culture says a lot about his passion for entrepreneurship. “I dare say my career is made. I love that I can build and contribute at JUUNOO. If I succeed, I will retire satisfied,” Bruno said. But what made him choose a startup? And what role did circularity play in his choice? High time for an interview.

Tell us, Bruno, how did you end up here?

I met Chris through a mutual friend. At the time, he was looking for someone experienced to head the sales team. I felt I could contribute here to accelerate the company’s growth. Chris must have thought the same thing, laughs. It was mainly his persuasiveness and startup mentality that won me over. Chris rightly believes in the potential of JUUNOO and was able to convince me of that very quickly.


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Why did you choose to work in a startup?

JUUNOO is a young company that still has much spontaneity. I sometimes compare it to a chaotic environment, but it also has much energy. And that is precisely what appeals to me. If I compare that to a traditional company that only wants to grow a few percentage points a year, there is a lot more challenge here at JUUNOO. I think that is why many people want to work in a startup. The days follow one another very quickly around here, laughs. The pace is fast, but that gives me much energy. If you need to grow quickly, you need to move quickly.


How do you personally feel about circularity? Have you seen it change over the years?

Honestly, I used to be much less conscious of it. I followed it and read much about it, but it was much less talked about. One of the things that will always stay with me is that back in the day – and I’m only talking about 20 years ago – they used to say on television that warmer winters had nothing to do with global warming. Well, today, we are in a different era. Then you realize it is time to act. We all have to deal with it, especially our children and grandchildren.

When things need to grow quickly, things need to move quickly. That means everyone has to take some initiative. And to me, taking the initiative is fun.

What are you most proud of?

I dare say that the pressure on the sales team has become less intense. That could also be my age: been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Young people like to be coached and supported. They want to learn and make a career, but at the same time need a safe environment where they can do that. I appreciate that way more than people who assume they already know everything.


What do you think is the biggest challenge?

We are constantly challenged to approach the market in a customized way. Just because we want to do something a certain way doesn’t mean it is the right way. That means we sometimes have to adjust. That requires much flexibility from myself and everyone within JUUNOO. I think that is also inherent to a start-up: try, learn and adapt. I do realize that is not for everyone. Still, this high dynamic and being allowed to participate daily in the process is one of my key motivations. My ambition is to eventually take JUUNOO to the stock exchange within about eight years.

What do you think the perfect account manager looks like?

As a young company, we are looking for people with experience in project sales. As a supplier, we have many contact points: architects, building owners, and contractors, all of whom see something different in the circular story. So it is essential to be in contact with all these parties. Therefore, having a network in the construction industry is a must. As a graduate, unfortunately, you still need to build that network. But of course, there must also be a match with our culture and values. If circularity means little to you, you’ve come to the wrong place.


How would you describe the culture at JUUNOO?

At JUUNOO, there is that typical West-Flemish ‘do-culture’, although, at the same time, we consciously try to run the company like a multinational. As a result of this mix, JUUNOO is certainly not your typical SME or family business but rather a startup with American allure. This creates many learning opportunities for our team. The atmosphere here is excellent; we have great fun. And if the pressure does dare to rise, we get support from the other departments.

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Do you have any final tips you would like to share with us?

Never panic; there’s no point anyway. Stay calm, continue to work, and consult with each other.

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