Cem Senkaya

Location Van Leeuwen Germany
Position Regional Sales Manager
Employed by Van Leeuwen sindce March 1998
Age 47

Regional Sales Manager Cem Senkaya is focused on Van Leeuwen’s growth in South Germany, particularly Bavaria, where he works on developing sustainable customer relationships. ‘Doing business here revolves around trust.’

Cem Senkaya celebrated his 25th anniversary at Van Leeuwen on March 1, 2023. In 1998, he started working at RÖSTA, Röhren- und Stahllager (later Benteler Distribution) in Munich, which was acquired by Van Leeuwen in 2019, and developed himself at a rapid pace. ‘When I was thirteen, I moved from Istanbul to Germany,’ says Cem. ‘In 2009, I returned to Turkey to establish Benteler Distribution’s Turkish branch. It was a large project and a unique opportunity.’

Cem enjoys making a contribution to the development and growth of a business. Once he finished his task in Turkey, he started working on his next challenge. Since 2013, he has been Regional Sales Manager at Van Leeuwen Germany and works from the branch in Munich, where he once started out as trainee. In this role, Cem is responsible for Van Leeuwen’s key accounts in southern Germany.

Trust as a basis

‘Doing business in southern Germany revolves around trust,’ says Cem. ‘My focus is on developing and maintaining long-term, sustainable relationships with customers. This is an ongoing process of asking questions and listening. By immersing yourself in their business processes and long-term objectives, you can provide much more added value. Our customers appreciate that we contribute ideas, that we go beyond delivering a quality product. In other words, everything does not revolve around proposals and contracts – although, these are of course important as well – but around commitment and sticking to your agreements and schedules. That creates trust.’

Open and sincere

Cem characterizes the business culture in Bavaria as open and sincere. He also sees these values reflected on the work floor. ‘We work as a single team. Of course, there is a hierarchy, but regardless of whether you are a manager or trainee, we listen to each other and are open to feedback. This way we create a workplace where young people want to and can develop themselves. I consider that very important. After all, I also started off as a trainee.’

Beyond Bavaria

In Cem’s view, the close international cooperation among the branches is what typifies Van Leeuwen, and this is and remains a strong trump card. ‘We are responsible for our own region, but we can always count on the support of colleagues in other branches,’ he says. ‘We do not keep our cards close to our chest. Sometimes, a project requires very specific knowledge and experience that may not always be available in your own team. In such instances, colleagues are always prepared to share their expertise. It is good that the openness that we so highly value here, is also present internationally.’

According to Cem, Van Leeuwen’s international character also contributes to promoting trust among customers in South Germany. ‘Because I am focused on the key accounts, I work with people in large, international companies. They very much appreciate that I continue to be their contact when they are planning to expand their cooperation with Van Leeuwen beyond the region and across national borders. The strong relationship developed over the years, gives them the confidence to take the next step. The consistent quality of our products, no matter where they originate from, only serves to strengthen that confidence.’