🏡 City: Warsaw
💼 Job title: General Manager Poland
🎓 Studies: Economics, University in Szczecin, Logistics University of Technology in Poznań
🔮 Languages: English 🇬🇧, Polish 🇵🇱
👣 How do you commute to work? On foot
✈️ Travel dreams: For the last few years I’ve been thinking about a trip to Africa. I want to visit beautiful wild nature in the national parks in Kenya, hike on Kilimanjaro and then take a rest at amazing Zanzibar beaches
🎬 Favourite film: No one favourite movie, but I am a big fan of old Polish comedies!
📌 What does a typical day in the life of a general manager look like?
There is no typical day of a General Manager’s life. Since I joined Stuart in September 2020, every day has been different and unexpected things can always happen! However, to make my life more organized and simple, I try to always follow the same daily routine. The key is to wake up early—around 6 AM—so I have enough time to drink coffee at home, relax and prepare mentally for a busy day. Since we rent a co-working space, I enjoy a 30-minute walk to our office in the morning. I start with reviewing my tasks, building a plan for the day, selecting the one or two most urgent actions which have to be finished that day and then get started with my work. I check all my emails and our performance results as I’m still managing the Operations Team. Then, I have my regular calls with the Finance, Legal, BizOps, Product and Marketing teams.
Since our Polish team is pretty small, I’m involved in the majority of activities! A big portion of my time is dedicated to the recruitment process. We were looking for a Head of Sales for over three months and because of that, I had the opportunity to meet a lot of interesting people from the startup field. This is something that I really enjoy—getting to learn from a diverse group of people and gaining insights about how the market is growing and what the trends are. Last but not least, I also develop the business, building a strategy for the market to grow, looking for potential opportunities and reaching out to new clients. During my day, I also have a couple of calls with clients as well as internal and external stakeholders.
📌 What are the most exciting challenges you have faced while building Stuart in Poland?
Building a company from scratch is definitely a great challenge. When I joined Stuart a year ago, few people in Poland had even heard about Stuart and our services. The Polish market is very competitive nowadays. According to experts, Poland is perceived as one of the EU markets with the highest growth potential. As a result, we are seeing a rapid expansion of many startups related to Stuart’s solutions like dark restaurants, e-grocery, q-commerce and dark stores. Such companies are making huge investments to promote themselves and acquire courier partners. That’s why, especially at the beginning, the biggest challenge was to encourage couriers to work with us and convey why we would be a good fit for them.
Secondly, it is a challenge to find a niche for ourselves because we are slightly different from the other delivery companies. B2B delivery services are quite new in Poland. Of course, signing new clients when brand awareness is still developing requires creative thinking. However, it is definitely exciting to take on these challenges! Since existing express delivery companies in Poland do not have the infrastructure and technology to match our quality standards, Stuart is able to offer a lot of added value and cost-efficiency.
📌 What is the best professional lesson you have learned during your career so far?
This question is very interesting—and at the same time difficult, because I would say there are a lot of professional lessons that I have learned during my career. But the most important one is the ability to take a calculated risk and try new things.
Whenever I'm making a decision, I make sure to collect all the information needed to assess the risk and reach a conclusion accordingly. Taking risks is the only way to move forward! If you don’t take risks, then it is possible to miss out on a lot of good opportunities. Get as much information as you can, assess every scenario and make a decision. Even if the assessment was wrong and you lose time or money, you get unique learning which will help you in the future.
Another lesson connected to this I’ve learned is to always have a Plan B, in all areas of life! I have learned the value of diversifying risk: it’s best to have a Plan B, because Plan A may not necessarily go as expected. For example, I am trying to build teams that can multitask so that everyone is able to take over a colleague’s responsibilities if required.
📌 In your opinion, what are the most important values a company should encourage?
A company should promote diversity in the workplace. Of course, there should be a diverse workforce in terms of age, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientations, gender, gender identity and national origin that bring diverse viewpoints and perspectives to the company. But I also believe that some companies make the mistake of concentrating hard on finding individuals with profiles that fit perfectly to the role. I think that they should also focus on hiring people from different business backgrounds and fields, rather than based only on a specific skill set. People can bring different perspectives, personalities, management styles and ways of communication that could be beneficial to the company as a whole and fuel growth.
📌 What do you like to do when you’re out of office?
Cycling. Usually, I try to be an active person. It was super difficult during this COVID period and lockdowns, but in 2020 I went on a trip and met a professional cyclist. I realised there is a community of cyclists which is really nice and that motivated me to buy my own bike. I thought that I could definitely attempt a 100 kilometres Cycling Rally next year and then kept extending the distance I covered. So now I try to cycle regularly and find it very relaxing.
📌 As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think this is connected to my previous answer. As a child, I always wanted to be a sportswoman or athlete. My favorite sport was volleyball and I drove my parents, neighbours and everyone around me crazy with it. We used to live together with my grandparents in the suburbs of my hometown, Szczecin, and I would play at home with my younger sister. Later when I grew up, I started to train in school and continued it in secondary school. Volleyball has also taught me a lot. I learned how to be systematic and disciplined, and how to work towards a goal. I was also very ambitious! Of course, I loved competing and winning.
📌 What’s your favourite thing about your current city?
Currently, I live in Warsaw and I like the city for a variety of reasons. First, it offers everything that a big city could offer. We have a wide selection of bars, theatres, cinemas and restaurants. On the other hand, there are also a lot of green places, which I really appreciate because I can go for walks and bike rides. There are many parks to relax in, the riverside where you can sunbathe, go kayaking or even take a cruise. In the evenings, you can always find a good place to get a drink and go out with friends. I also think that the quality of living here is very high and fares pretty well in contrast to other capital cities. And to top it off, we’ve recently opened our amazing new Warsaw office! We’re really looking forward to having the team working together and welcoming visiting Stuwies soon 🙂
Interested in joining the Stuart team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions.