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Making VAIVA fit for development trends – Interview with Conrad

Theresa Ley,

To make our Vision Zero a reality, we at VAIVA work hand in hand. Even departments outside the development and testing teams make a decisive contribution in their own way. This also applies to Business Development. Conrad, Head of Business Development, told us more about the special tasks and future prospects of this division in an interview.

Hello Conrad, you’ve been in the role of Head of Business Development for a while now. But what does Business Development mean?

In general, Business Development for me means the development of new business areas, customers and future topics with a strategic and targeted use of resources within the respective company strategy and its expansion. At VAIVA, I am always confronted with two worlds in my role. On the one hand, my tasks deal with pure business development in the direction of new business areas, new customers, strategy development for VAIVA and potential customers, building up a product business, cold acquisitions, market analyses, external presentation, trade fair appearances, etc. On the other hand, however, I am confronted with the challenge of developing new business areas. Due to our 75% affiliation to the group, I have the challenge to act as a link between the brands.

In many cases, I don’t look for new projects, but try to find added value for the group and thus for us from the old projects, for example, by using our acquired competencies from project A in project B.

One of my favorite examples comes to mind:

Development of the FAS functions on the Nanoradar at Audi. This includes the lane change warning system, the exit warning system, as well as the crossing back traffic. Within the work packages our competences were extended in such a way that we can integrate our Nanoradar project in the same constellation but with adaptation of different parameters at VW Commercial Vehicles.

Due to an internal restructuring, you have been able to devote 100% of your time to this role since this year. Why is this so important for VAIVA?

Being a subsidiary of the VW Group does not automatically mean that every OEM knows us as VAIVA with the associated strategy and our range of topics. On the contrary. In my almost 4 years at VAIVA, I was able to experience this at first hand from a variety of perspectives, and it is precisely here that I see my task as expanding the level of awareness of VAIVA, in order to expand and develop cooperation within the Group, to bring us into new environments in which we were not previously seen to be so active, and to position us as an attractive employer.

Especially in these turbulent times within the VW Group, VAIVA needs someone who is 100% involved with current developments, who can point out potential project and product topics, and who can draw on a large network (within the company / VW Group / private). That’s why I’m even more pleased that I’ve been able to live out this position 100% since this year and that I can bring VAIVA forward together with every single VAIVA employee.

And what are your plans for the future in this area?

This is a very far-reaching question and against the background that VAIVA has never had such a position before, we have some internal but also external issues ahead of us. Internally I see administrative topics like the proposal process in which Business Development has to be involved or the handling of potential project or product ideas or also the feedback of information from the project and project staff. Externally, major topics come to the fore. On the one hand, promoting internal networking and cooperation between the individual project teams and, on the other hand, positioning VAIVA for future tasks and development trends in the area of our strategic orientation on the market. On top of that, there is the issue of employee recruitment. Here we want to and will also do more to get new talents on board.