Interview – Aurélien Claeys, Regional Director of TIMAC AGRO BeLux

Aurélien Claeys, you are currently Regional Director of TIMAC AGRO BeLux. What aroused your interest in the IBL Program?
There are principally two things that I can put my finger on. The first one is the opportunity to join a Group that works towards sustainable and precision agriculture. Its industrial footprint and potential development are great. To work for a firm renowned in its field is an opportunity and the IBL Program lets us seize it. The second thing is the quality of the program itself. To integrate a subsidiary with a high level of responsibility while being coached at head office as well as in the field is a huge advantage.

What is the greatest strength of the IBL Program?
The greatest strength is the fact that we learn by doing. We are integrated into the core of a commercial subsidiary as Regional Director, working with local experts who are available to help us evolve our relationships with farmers, technical sales representatives and distributors. We are allowed to prove ourselves progressively with maximum support.

What have you learned from the weeks of training at Saint-Malo?
Above all, it allowed me to discover the Centre Mondial de l’Innovation Roullier and I was very impressed by it. A unique centre of innovation dedicated to the world of Animal and Plant Nutrition. In addition to the opportunity to access this exceptional venue in the world of agri-feed supplies, I was impressed during the weeks of training by the human contact created with the other participants and the chance to be able to share our daily experiences. We are confronted with the same difficulties and having this network is very important to me. We are therefore supervised at three levels: the formal and the theory plus the practical training which are essential for me, the local aspect and the actions we have to implement in the field, and lastly the natural aspect. The “natural” aspect refers to the relationship that we form with the team. We were able to discuss things together informally and this was a rewarding experience.

“I’ve always wanted to occupy a position of responsibility with a P&L to defend.”

Experts support the candidates. Can you say a few words about yours?
I work with Alain Gaupin, Sales Director, who I hold in high esteem. I have great consideration for him, not only for his professional credibility and his long history in the firm, but also for his enthusiasm, which he knows how to transmit to others. This kind of person instils in you a passion for the profession. I like learning by his side and once more, it’s an opportunity offered by the program: to be able to evolve alongside people who have proved their worth and to pass the baton on to future generations.

You are reaching the end of the 15-month IBL Program. How would you assess this experience?
Thanks to this experience, I was able to become aware of the reality in the field and what TIMAC AGRO represents in Belgium and to other subsidiaries in Europe. From the outset, I was able to take part in the subsidiary’s strategy and understand how it works from the inside. I’ve always wanted to occupy a position of responsibility with a P&L to defend. This is the case today. The track record is therefore very positive as I’m reaching my full potential due to this experience.

What are the next challenges you are going to take up?
In a few months, I’ll have the immense opportunity to support development in two countries, Latvia and Lithuania, as Zone Leader. This new responsibility is an exciting challenge for me and I can’t wait to meet it. Once again, this attests to the dynamism of TIMAC AGRO and the impact of the IBL Program.