Emile Bloemen is CRO at Volo, a multichannel ecommerce software and service that is building the world’s most successful community of online multichannel sellers.
How did you get to where you are today?
Born and raised in Holland, I studied International Business. My first big role was working for a software company in the US, responsible for US East Coast Sales in the 2D design market for six years. I then went to work for 3D CAD SolidWorks, now a Dassault Systemes company, where I set up a business unit in the EMEA and moved Cambridge. After five years, I started to see the ecommerce market grow rapidly alongside cloud technology and went to Digital River and then to Hybris, now an SAP company, where I was responsible for its cloud offering – growing the cloud business unit value to 100 million TCV. Hybris was a really exciting place to work – when I joined there was 100 people and a year down the line we were hiring one new person every day. Then I started thinking about working for a smaller company with interesting technology at its core with the market potential to grow. That’s why I was attracted to Volo – the tech and the market are right and I’m really excited to be a part of that.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishments to date?
Setting up Hybris Cloud from the ground up as an on-premise software business to a business with a cloud offering with significant revenue was a real achievement. Furthermore, setting up a business unit in EMEA for SolidWorks was an achievement and great fun. Both experiences contributed to what I’m now trying to do with Volo.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned over the years?
When pushing boundaries, challenges come along, and I firmly believe you always need to push your limits to make a real impact. Mistakes aren’t all bad as they help guide your decisions. Sometimes you end up not taking the right decision, yet as long as you can identify mistakes quickly and rectify it fast then it’s fine. When it comes to culture there are a lot of artificial cultures out there, but the Hybris environment was great, and the people were fantastic. It’s all about the people you hire, so make time for that because you know when you have a good person in front of you or not who fits in with the team and with goals.
- Focus: Everything is about your customer and target market – always keep that end goal in mind especially when it comes to sales.
- Urgency: At times, you can get distracted by small things in the business, instead you need to keep emphasis on your sales numbers and solutions for the challenges ahead.
- Confidence: Trust your experience and pro-actively use that.
- Another practical one is stop sending long emails: A few word emails are fine. You need to free your mind to think creatively about challenges in front of you – be yourself in everything you do and don’t be afraid to make decisions.
What do you think are the key things to focus on to build a truly transformational team?
You need independent thinkers that want to work together on a positive cause. People that can contribute and are not afraid to challenge decisions.
Why did you use Kommol?
Kommol has an extremely good network of tech companies. Michelle and the team are really pleasant, and they give you the space to approach companies on your own initiative.