15. January 2016

MARKUS STURM - GRAND RAPIDS, USA

It has been a while since I packed and moved to the US. For me and my family it has been a rather exciting, but also challenging experience.

OUR TRANSITION PHASE

Intense euphoria in the beginning, followed by some short and heavy depression. Especially our 5-year-old had to learn a lot during those days when finding his way to school and his place in a new community. However, we finally progressed in all areas. After some time, our children understood English pretty well and they made their first friends. Together we acquired a first good understanding of our neighborhood, the wider Grand Rapids area and of course the prevailing US way of life.

QUALITY OF LIVING IN GRAND RAPIDS

We were very happy to find a nice, furnished house in East Grand Rapids, a picturesque suburb. We were particularly impressed with the quality of living, as we had a small lake nearby as well as many venues for shopping, eating out and plenty of other spots for some enjoyable hours. In Grand Rapids there were numerous possibilities to also connect with other foreigners or expats, like a German Club or the so-called 3Cs (Coffee, Culture and Communication).

The advantages
OF A 
SMALL ENTITY

Coming from a larger organization like TGW Mechanics, it was very interesting to change into a comparably smaller entity which is being established in an important market like the US. It was a complete change of perspective. Decisions could be made and executed faster due to the less complex processes, people had to wear multiple hats and sometimes we just needed to find a pragmatic workaround in first time situations. However, we also enjoyed the power of this very important sister company, as we worked closely together on most of our projects. To combine the best of the two worlds seems like the golden mean. 

PERSONAL
Experiences:
WHAT is
Different?
  • TIME TO MARKET AND LEAD TIME FOR PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION
    In Austria we always aim for a product that is 110% ready before we launch it.

  • THE US ECONOMY SEEMS TO MOVE FASTER
    Decisions are purely measured based on cash effect or the effect on profit and loss.

  • SYSTEMS INTEGRATION BUSINESS IN EUROPE IS BIGGER
    Therefore, we are currently broadening our capabilities and building up the needed team.

  • POTENTIAL IN THE US MARKET
    We are well on the way and have the big advantage that we can take the learnings from others in order to take one or the other shortcut.

  • SUPPORT FROM INTERNATIONAL COLLEAGUES
    We get support whenever we ask for best practices, specific documents required or just some simple feedback on certain issues.

Insight
Markus Sturm, Chief Executive Officer
TGW Mechanics GmbH
"Our new life
in the US
has surprised us
in various positive ways
and we are looking forward
to our future adventures here."
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