Hellmann Globetrotters: Markus Fellmann
Markus Fellmann – a real Globetrotter at heart – has already worked for Hellmann on three different continents. In 2002, he started as Branch Manager in Los Angeles, which counts as one of the biggest harbors worldwide. After five years, he moved with his family to South America to become Hellmann’s Country Manager Chile. There, he obtained vast insights into the Latin American market and especially into transport solutions for perishable goods. In 2013, Markus went back to the US, where he was based in Miami as Global Vice President Hellmann Perishables Logistics. After a short excursion to Panalpina, he decided last year to start once again a new chapter with Hellmann in a new country: as Managing Director UK.
It’s sure to say that this Globetrotter story has given me itchy feet again – take some of your time and escape from never-ending lockdowns into Markus’s exciting life.
What motivated you to move to the UK?
My passion for other countries and cultures. Already in my childhood I loved to travel to foreign places. Later, when I started my apprenticeship in Hamburg, I spent my first weeks working in the department of telex communication of an international logistics company. It was exciting to see messages coming in – and to be connected 24/7 – with the entire world! Quickly, I knew that going abroad was my destiny! So it happened that I had my first relocation in 1988 to Stuttgart. I know, that’s still Germany but – trust me – for a northern soul like me, Stuttgart was indeed quite a cultural adventure. Mind you, a good start being close to customers and taking care of transports to and from the German and European Seaports – And this was just the beginning! Throughout my career, I had the opportunity to move to a lot of different places. Starting in Toronto – where winter had taken on a whole new meaning – to Los Angeles – where the sun never sleeps – followed by fantastic years in Santiago de Chile and Miami.
With my new position in the UK, my family and I are happy to discover another country, well and Europe as a whole, together. But also looking from a professional perspective the UK is simply exciting: Hellmann has all product offerings and a great geographical coverage from the very north to the very south of the country, with connections to the European mainland. A fantastic base to build on – and perfect conditions for – a thrilling work environment, which motivated me right away.
Has it been easy for you to integrate into your new work environment?
Definitely! Thanks to a great onboarding, the integration could not have been smoother. When I arrived in September – one month ahead of my official start – I had the chance to talk to a lot of colleagues, who updated me on all relevant facts in advance. This way, we could create a strong basis for a flawless start in October. The fact that there was no language to learn made it easy to integrate into the team. – A team of very skillful specialists bringing all the ingredients to do great business! Luckily back then, the Corona restrictions were not that tight yet, so I could introduce myself to all branches in person – except Manchester unfortunately. At last I got to know everyone by now via TeamsWhere is home for you and what do you miss most from there?
After all, Germany is my home country, Hamburg my home city!! Normally, I would also define home as the place where your closest people are – in my case my wife and children who are currently in London. However, since we talk about what I miss from home, let’s focus on Hamburg.
Naturally, I do miss some family gatherings such as birthday parties, anniversaries or confirmations, etc. Even though we have been trying to join the important events, we could not always make it. – In these moments, I try to remind myself of the positive aspects of living abroad. Otherwise it can get quite tough to miss out on so much. But well, you can’t have everything all at once, can you?
Besides that, the German cuisine is worth to mention when talking about things I miss. Above all, I am a big fan of “Curry-Wurst” [Editor’s note: A German fast-food dish consisting of sausage seasoned with curry sauce], which you can find in Germany basically at any corner. Thinking of food, I also miss a big slice of “Lübecker Marzipan Torte” – a super delicious marzipan cream cake originating from the town “Lübeck” which is about half an hour drive from Hamburg.
What do you love most about living in the UK?
Without doubt the country’s diversity. On the one hand, the larger British cities are very multicultural. Anywhere you go, you find very dynamic and diverse people. However, when you drive to smaller towns you come across rather rural and traditional structures. What I try to say is that you can have nature, big city, tradition and international flair all in one. – Isn’t that fantastic?
Besides that, my wife – who is Canadian – my daughters and I really enjoy a good gust of wind once in a while. So, for us the coastal area with its refreshing and “wild” weather is simply splendid. Especially Dover appeals to us. There is a fabulous castle from which you have an amazing view to the harbor, not to mention the so-called white cliffs (chalk formations) where you can walk for hours without getting tired of the scenery. If you are lucky and the weather allows, you can even see Belgium, France and the Netherlands. – When that’s the case, we enjoy the view the most!
How does a perfect day-off look like for you in the UK?
In a best-case scenario, my perfect day-off starts with preparing some nice food immediately after waking up. – And with nice food I mean everything which belongs to a proper weekend breakfast!
Normally, we plan to do an activity for one day of the weekend. Of course, London – with its endless hidden secrets – is always an option. But we also really like to visit other cities, such as Oxford, Bath or Brighton just to name a few. After a long weekend walk with our Yorkshire Terrier Prinz, we like to complement our tour by dining in a local pub and later – as the day draws to an end – to sit back and relax at home watching a movie together or reading. It is good to be in the UK!