Unlocking Innovation: An Exclusive Interview with CTEK's New CEO, Henrik Fagrenius
What initially drew you to the field of technology and innovation, and how has your journey led you to your current role as CEO of CTEK?
I started studying at Lund University, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering since I have always been very interested in technology. After starting my career as a buyer at Scania I realized that it is the combination of technology and business that I love and that I have worked with pretty much my whole career. I also enjoy the role as a leader where you have the opportunity to influence and improve how things are done and develop people and see them grow.
What motivated you to join the company and take on the role of CEO?
CTEK is a great company with a great history and competent people. The company has so much potential and there are so many opportunities.
What’s your initial impression of CTEK?
It’s still early but I think CTEK is a vibrant company. It’s very entrepreneurial, lots of knowledge, great people and so much potential. I see a bright future and we have a good foundation moving forward.
How would you describe your leadership style, and how do you plan to inspire and motivate the employees at CTEK?
As a leader you need to explain the mission and make everyone understand why and where we are going. But before doing that you need to have credibility and be a member of the group and understand where we are right now. After the mission is clear to everyone you need to empower (delegate, make sure there are the right conditions) to make things happen and make the most of the organization and then keep on challenging and inspire to make sure the company keeps on developing.
As a leader, what values or principles do you hold dear and consistently apply in your decision-making process?
I am fact based and I do not jump to conclusions. I try to listen to different opinions, be consequent and if you fail, fail fast and then change. Be accountable and take ownership.
Outside of your professional endeavors, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy engaging in to unwind and recharge?
I like to exercise, both running, swimming and bicycling. I read quite a lot when I have the time. I spend also time with friends and family. I’m happily married with two twin daughters that just turned 20.
Continuous learning is key to personal and professional growth. Are there any books, mentors, or experiences that have played a significant role in shaping your leadership journey?
I have had the privilege to have many great managers in my career that I have learnt a lot from. I have had a mentor early in my career that also helped me to make some good choices. Working abroad has also developed me a lot, I’ve lived in India, Germany and England. I was three years in India to start up Scania there.
As someone with extensive leadership experience, what advice would you give to aspiring professionals looking to advance in their careers and take on leadership roles?
Don’t spend too much time on planning your next step, make sure to execute and deliver in your current role and you will be noticed. Always come up with suggestions on solutions when presenting a problem, that shows that you have thought it through. If you want to become a leader you must know yourself, both strengths and weaknesses. Jump on the opportunities that come in your way, you never know how many opportunities you get.
Work-life balance is essential for well-being. How do you manage to balance the demands of your role as CEO with your personal life?
When you work a lot, you need to make sure it gives you energy. I get a lot of energy when meeting different people in different countries and sharing ideas of how to improve things. Then for sure I need some rest from time to time and I am very good switching off and on and be present when I spend time with my family.
Lastly, what excites you the most about leading CTEK into the future, and what message would you like to convey to the company's employees, partners, and customers?
CTEK is a great company with a great history and there is so much potential going forward. We have so much knowledge and we are working in segments that I think have a bright future. We need to choose where we should put our efforts and make sure that it counts and that we are successful. There are so many opportunities and so many areas where we can apply our knowledge and that gets me excited. The challenge will be to choose the right opportunities and make them flourish and profitable.