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What I Learned from One-Week with Ericsson’s Team in Tehran, Iran

When I first found out that I would be visiting the Iran office, I was a little bit worried about my trip. As Iran had been a closed-country for a long time, I had very little knowledge about the country, its people, or its economics. I had been completely ignorant about the potential that lies within this massive country.
Sarah Lee

With approximately 80 million people and the average median age of 28 years old, Iran is a country that is now transforming itself to become the next growth country in the Middle East. What is also interesting to note is that the oil & gas industry only contributes to 20% of the country’s GDP. This means that this country is very rich in other industries and resources, making it a very interesting country to learn about, and also for us to conduct our business given the huge potential of growth

Now, I am able to quote these fact-figures because of the immersive experience from my week in Tehran, Iran working with our Ericsson team in the local office. The mix of the team is largely made up of extremely hardworking and competent Iranians, making it a very good learning experience for me and my colleague Dag. Our objective was to understand the dynamics of Iran to better understand the opportunities for Ericsson in the country. Ahead of our trip, we did some pre-work about what we could potentially craft as our research and learnings. However, I must say that the outcome was very much to our surprise and also beyond our expectations.

We came prepared with a list of our recommendations, views and ambitions about what “WE” saw as the potential of the country. Little did we know that unlike most countries in the world, Iran was under strict embargoes, embargoes which have recently been lifted. This brought a lot of complexity about how Ericsson could carry out our business plans and operations, while also remaining profitable. We spent a lot of time trying to understand the implications as it was as straightforward and clear-cut as it is with other customers. Given that Ericsson is a company with very strict governance and compliance when it comes to regulations, this brings in further complexity on how we can successfully serve our customers amidst a very competitive environment.

“Picture taken during team dinner with the Ericsson Iran team”

When our week with local Ericsson Iran team came to an end, I must say that I was extremely impressed. It was clear to me that the team were extremely hardworking and full of passion for the jobs. The energy within the office was absolutely amazing and it rubs off on you as well. Colleagues were all aiming for success and we can see that they were creative, ambitious and had good relationships with the customer. With a sound understanding of what was expected of them, they definitely portrayed the Ericsson corporate culture of “Professionalism, Respect, and Perseverance”. Being in sales myself and sitting among them, I was extremely motivated myself as I worked alongside them, understanding their challenges and seeing how they try to bring the Ericsson value proposition to the customer.

Overall, Iran as a market represents a huge market opportunity as well as challenges for the telecommunications industry. I know that Ericsson in Iran is looking for talent that is equally as driven and motivated as our local team to bring our business to the next level.

If you have the passion for meeting challenges, and success is your motivation, will you join us?

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