First things first, Brenton, how did you come to swap Australia for Sweden?
I left Australia in 2012 to go backpacking, and on my travels, I met my now wife in South America. After I then moved to London and we spent a while travelling back and forth from the UK to Sweden to see each other, after a time we decided to give Sweden a go for 6-12 months. And I’m still here!
You’ve been at Avinode for seven years now. How have things changed?
Well, we were a much smaller company when I joined back in 2014. There were maybe 60 people globally – 35 in Gothenburg – and now we’re around double that. I joined the business just as we were entering a more mature stage in our development, which has been great to be part of.
And you’ve filled a few different roles too
That’s right. I started out as an Area Sales Manager, looking after existing accounts and helping drive new business. In 2019 I had the opportunity to step up as Acting Sales Director to cover the Sales Director’s parental leave, before I took nine months parental leave myself.I returned to work in September 2020 as Commercial Delivery Manager, which was a newly created position so with that comes lots of exciting new challenges.
As Commercial Delivery Manager, what is your focus right now?
My role sits across the Avinode Group, and I work on different projects as needed. Right now most of my time is spent on Paynode as it’s a big priority. We relaunched the platform last year as a complete payment platform for charter sales, so it really is an exciting time to be a part of a team working towards revolutionising the way payments are done in our industry. A big part of my role involves speaking with our members to ensure we fully understand their wants, needs and pain points, thus ensuring that the things we spend months or years building will end up not only being used and also providing real value for our members.
And how are things going?
We’ve made huge improvements and have come along way since our initial Paynode launch. Feels like we have a lot of momentum right now with 5-10 new companies signing up each week. The next challenge will be on the adoption side. Even with a new payment solution that checks all the boxes making life easier for everyone involved, some members will ultimately revert to their “old way” of working just because that is how it has always been done – and you know what they say about old habits.
That sounds like a challenge
Yes but it wouldn’t be the first time Avinode has revolutionised the way things are done in our industry. 20 years ago, before Avinode the way people sourced aircraft was a completely different process, then Avinode came along and completely transformed the way people work bringing the industry into the digital age. We are looking to achieve a similar transformation with Paynode on the payments side.
How about you? What does the future hold for your role?
As I mentioned this is a newly created position at Avinode Group, so one of my challenges is to really define the role and understand where it can have the biggest impact on our business. Being so focused on the now sometimes you forget to look too far ahead.
And how about life outside of work. How do you relax?
I’m always just happy to be outdoors whenever the weather allows it. Gothenburg is a great city because we are so close to nature, so there is always lots to do. I play a lot of Tennis and Padel whenever possible and I also have a one-year-old and a three-year-old, so they keep me busy too.
And how do you handle the cold weather?
I cannot say I’m a fan of the dark cold winters, but manage to get through it with many hot coffees and fikas.. and the annual winter vacation back to Oz also helps. This year that was not possible due to Covid-19 so instead I had to use my imagination dreaming about warmer lands.