As the new leader for Food Solution Sales, Timo Pajari is responsible for Valio’s offering of high quality, fully traceable Finnish ingredients and solutions for the global food industry. And that’s no small job. Products range from powders to butter and cheese, with powders being the biggest product group for Pajari’s globe-trotting team. In fact, Valio is one of Finland’s largest food exporters, and currently exports to around 60 countries worldwide.
Pajari, who joined Valio in May 2018, is clearly proud to have come home to a company that represents the very best in Finnish values, quality and heritage – and he’s also not shy about his relentless focus on both knowing and meeting his customers’ needs.
With classic Finnish directness, Pajari also knows how to get to the point: “We don’t try to be all things to all customers. At Valio, we know our personal strengths – so we focus consistently on specific segments and pay close attention to where our offering best supports each of our customers’ needs. Really understanding how our products can support their success defines how we approach all of our customer relationships.”
Pajari points out that each of Valio’s product focus areas closely align with the company’s core values, reputation and advanced expertise, noting that, “for example, baby food fits well with Valio’s well-earned image as a company known for its consistent high quality and trustworthiness.”
Other focus areas include special nutrition, dairy, bakery, confectionary and lactose free, and Pajari enthusiastically underlines how in each of these, his customers appreciate the quality they’re based on: “Value! Value! Value! This is what our international B2B customers respect about Valio.”
Of course, every customer is different. Pajari explains that “existing customers value our level of service, while our new customers tend to be focused how we can lift their businesses. But in every case, our first job is to truly understand how to help their specific business, and to do this we first have to understand market needs and significant trends.”
Asked how his own style is fitting with his new employer, Pajari’s response is predictably straightforward: “Personally, the joy I get from my job is in working closely and directly with our customers. I also like a very structured approach – in my case this means bringing a clear process to engaging our various markets. Valio places great emphasis on being ever more customer-centric, and this suits my own style perfectly.
Our standards are high, in part because our customers demand it
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