Sontay is continuing to evolve as a business and has recruited a new graduate area manager for the Midlands and South Wales region. Yousaf Waheed will be in the driving seat for this role, bringing years of experience with him and plenty of fresh energy too. Here, Yousaf explains what attracted him to work at Sontay and his plans for the future.
Q: Welcome to Sontay, Yousaf! What have your first few weeks been like?
A: It has been non-stop! The team at Sontay kindly put together an itinerary for my first four weeks. For the first half I have been transitioning to the role – sorting out the admin, understanding the business, learning about the HVAC industry and the concept of BMS and peripheral devices. It has been fascinating to discover how instrumental these devices are to a building’s function.
As well as getting to grips with Sontay’s processes, I have been focusing on the customers, especially the ones I will be looking after as area manager of the Midlands and South Wales regions.
Marco – who is now moving on to become area manager for the north – and Phil Berry, UK Sales Manager, have been the best mentors and have really shown me the ropes when it comes to who our customers are and the relationships we have with them. I’ve been doing this during the past two weeks. I’ve also been able to see Sontay’s products in action; the technical expert, Tony has been super helpful and has taught me a great deal about sensors.
Q: What drew you to Sontay?
A: Without a doubt, the family aspect. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly.
I’m born and bred in South Wales and moved to Birmingham in March 2020 as part of a family move. My parents wanted to be around their grandchildren.
You can’t always hear my accent, but it definitely comes out now and again! I am so excited to be managing current and prospective customers within these areas. South Wales are where my roots are and my family are based in the Midlands. I’m a local boy with a big heart and can’t wait to be working with Sontay’s clients.
Q: You have a background in finance. How will this aid your role as an area manager for Sontay?
A: Although I have a degree and over three years’ experience in finance, my gut was telling me I had to move into a sales position. I am still passionate about everything finance-related, but over the past few years, I realised I have the type of personality that is very sales-oriented. I love challenges, meeting people and exceeding KPIs, and unfortunately, I wasn’t realising my potential while I was working in finance.
It didn’t happen overnight and it was difficult to change careers during the pandemic. But I was committed to going into sales. I appreciate Sontay for giving me this opportunity to be within a role I’ve wanted for a long time.
I have plenty of transferrable skills that I will bring to this role. I’ve worked on systems including SAP and Oracle – they are essentially CRMs – and I was able to master Sontay’s NAV system within a matter of days!
Everything in life is part of a learning curve. I am excited to be starting this new chapter here at Sontay.
Q: What do you hope to achieve at Sontay?
A: I think what’s unique about me is my finance experience, which I see as being important in a sales role. I understand every business has a turnover and overhead, and can see how businesses can improve efficiencies to drive down costs. Then they can spend money elsewhere in the business.
I feel confident about taking over this region from Marco and will do all I can to keep the customers happy. My long-term goal at Sontay is to help grow the business and be a loyal asset to the company. Sontay invested in me and I want to invest in them. My sales career is beginning in the right direction with Phil, Marco and the rest of the team supporting me.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: My dad. He has guided me through the good and the bad. When times get tough, you know who your true ones are. Dad supported me during my career change – he said if I want it badly then I should go for it.
He really is a great mentor. He came to this country with nothing; set up his own GP practice, got business partners and has nursing homes around the UK.
Q: What do you get up to outside of work?
A: Now, please be warned – these are my roots talking! As I am from South Wales I am really into my quad-biking. I love it. I’m also a regular gym-goer and have recently started doing classes at a boxing academy too.
Over the past year I’ve got into property development and began a YouTube channel to document my journey and my tips-and-tricks. Seeing these properties transform into beautiful homes is so rewarding.