“Large corporations do not deal with change easily, whereas at MET, rapid change and reaction to problems is in our core DNA. We adapt fast, and that brings with it a certain level of stress and challenges at times, but it is exciting to see the change you implement actually happening in real time so quickly,” Klaus summarizes the last 3 years he spent at the Swiss-based company.
Klaus Reinisch joined MET Group as Chief Sales Officer in December 2020, and he feels that the company has gone through a tremendous shift during the last three years. “We have really stepped up to a different level since I joined and are now in a different category – facing larger competitors, chasing larger targets, and with ambitious growth targets but also much better financial results,” he stresses.
Growing up close to Graz, Austria (where Arnold Schwarzenegger is from, he quickly adds), Klaus realized very early that small town mentality was not for him. After turning 18 years old, he left Austria and has worked abroad since. “For the last 32 years I have ventured around the world, exploring different cultures and learning different ways of doing business.”
He studied and later worked in the US for over 10 years, moving around the country from California to New York and in-between. He then moved back to Europe, spending time in Moscow and London in what he calls the “golden years” of the global energy industry. Then three years followed in Abu Dhabi, as well as many years commuting between Kuala Lumpur and London, and finally a stint in Kyiv before moving to MET in 2020.
“After all this globetrotting, the opportunity of running the European Sales Division for MET Group came around. I told myself it is time to settle back in Europe, and what better place to be than the heart of Europe, Switzerland,” says Klaus.
Having seen all those diverse cultures and backgrounds, he feels that the best place to deploy his multi-cultural and diverse skills is at MET Group. “The opportunity at MET is truly unique. No better place where you really can have an impact, where you really can make a change.”
One thing Klaus has really loved at MET is that even though it is now a very powerful European player, it is still at heart a very flat and hands-on organization. “Everybody can talk to the Group CEO with new ideas, this is not yet a place where you have to go through layers and layers before you can achieve change. I have seen my ideas implemented very quickly and without much bureaucracy, which is rare in such a large and growing organization nowadays,” he emphasizes.
Although the last 3 years were full of challenges, the Group Chief Sales Officer says that the company really thrives in the face of a series of crises. “That is something MET has always been known for, but now I had the chance to experience it first-hand. We came out of Covid and went straight into the European energy crisis. I have not seen or come across any company that deals with existential threats better than MET. Everybody rolls up their sleeves, gets on with solving each business challenge one by one, and decisions get made very fast,” Klaus recalls, adding that other companies did not adapt the way MET Group did.
“When many companies were struggling for survival, we also faced the same challenges, but we used this as an opportunity to change MET and launch it to a new level. You would not recognize MET Group from what it was before to what it is now in terms of results and achievements.”
The other thing Klaus Reinisch – responsible for the Western and Eastern European Sales at MET – is proud of is the rapid growth of the company. MET Group expanded into large new markets such as Germany and France, and many other new European countries will follow shortly. “This kind of growth is fascinating. MET is growing geographically faster than ever, the customer base we serve is growing, and the brand is growing. There is still a lot of room for us to grow in Europe, but also in other markets,” Klaus states.
Right now, he would like to make sure that Western Europe steps us and scales up, becoming a long-term foundation business for MET Group. The number one challenge that Klaus mentions is the need for increased digitalization of all processes and interactions – with automation, scalability, and big data also being essential for the future success of MET. “We know what works, the question is: how do we make it scalable, more automated, more efficient?”
In 5 years, he would love to see MET break its boundaries and really do something big outside Europe as well. The company is already exploring opportunities in Asia, for example. “I am sure that MET Group will outgrow its European roots in a few years. The skills that we learned and perfected in Europe are not applicable in Europe only. This kind of drive, the entrepreneurialism, the talent, the adaptability, and the quick decision-making will help MET in any global new markets,” Klaus Reinisch predicts.
“MET is not just a corporate name that you put on your CV. Everybody here has a story to tell – it could be a wonderful or a really challenging story, but it is certainly a story that marked you and made you who you are. Reconnecting with people who all went through a similar story, who experienced the MET culture, and who went through the rapid changes with MET – this for sure leaves a long-term impact on everyone who was ever part of the family.”
“MET is not just a corporate experience; it is a different kind of animal in terms of culture. Everyone I talk to says ‘oh, my time at MET was certainly not boring, not ordinary’ in a good way. Sharing this experience in a club like the Alumni Club just reinforces this bond of being part of the MET family for life.”
“I have also always believed in giving people a chance to change their minds and maybe come back to MET for another go, because the people who return usually bring back new and different views and skills they learned – skills they maybe would not have learnt at MET.”
“All the former colleagues who helped us to get where we are today deserve real credit. I see it like building a house: some construction people who laid the first bricks might have left, others stayed on and kept on building, and the house is growing bigger and stronger. Maybe you laid the foundation originally when the company was set up, with huge risks being taken to make MET truly independent and successful. Without these people, I would not have a chance to do my current job and a chance to succeed, so it’s a way for me to say thank you to everyone who came before me at MET Group.”