The Managing Director has been with the propulsion expert since 2017. He is in charge of the Nordic countries – Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and the Faroe Islands – from his office in Bergen, a city of about 270,000 inhabitants on the west coast of Norway, about 500 kilometres from Oslo. He manages a team of 14 people across the region. The service center and head office are in Skedsmokorset, close to Oslo Airport, making it easy to serve the customers. In addition, there is an office in Ulsteinvik, close to Ålesund. Before that, Jan Helge Telseth, who has a degree in engineering, spent more than ten years at a large naval propulsion technology company, some of them as a general manager in Singapore, and worked for mid-size businesses as well.
When he joined the German company, one of the things he was most pleased with was the fact that it is, for him, just the right size. "We are a midsize company," Jan Helge Telseth explains. He greatly values the short lines of communication, especially when making decisions. "What makes us unique is in-depth expert knowledge which enables us to adapt our thrusters and service products exactly to our customer’s requirements, and to find solutions on the short track," he says.
His day-to-day work is divided between his office and travelling to meet customers in Scandinavia. "What I like most is actually to be out in a meeting with a customer discussing a new opportunity," the head of SCHOTTEL Nordic explains.
His visits are not only very enjoyable to him, they are also an important unique selling point for SCHOTTEL. "The Nordic region is home to more than 50 ship designers. They very much appreciate support from us to find the perfect propulsion solution. This is an area where SCHOTTEL can add value,” he concludes, "because we are an independent propulsion expert." In addition, the engineer’s focus is on supporting these designers by providing them with calculations they can use in their blueprints. "If these projects do end up in the shipyard," Jan Helge Telseth says, "we are in a good position."
Furthermore, there are also many shipowners in the Nordic region. Due to the geographical fact that the area is home to thousands of fjords and due to the surrounding sea, there are almost 350 different companies that own and operate vessels. "So, an important part of our job is to keep an overview of the maritime environment, and to steer SCHOTTEL in the direction of shipowners, designers, and also the shipyards in the region," Jan Helge Telseth says.
SCHOTTEL is partner to some of the most important industries in the Nordic region. The company has outfitted uncountable ferries in Norway as well as in Finland and Sweden, and serves the gas and oil industry. The fishing industry is another branch with even more growth potential for the propulsion expert. "It is a very promising segment," he points out, for both the traditional fishing industry and the fish farming industry with its live fish carriers.
Working at SCHOTTEL means having access to the latest technical developments, and educating and informing customers about them. Still, even though the basics have stayed the same, there is one change he has witnessed since the Norwegian government stipulated a programme to reduce shipping emissions in 2015: "There is now a major focus precisely on that: avoiding emissions." And, SCHOTTEL has the right solutions. The EcoPeller is a highly efficient and ecologically clean propulsion system that is used in a number of Norwegian fjord ferries. Likewise, digitalization is an important topic. "That means using a digital platform to operate the vessels efficiently and also to monitor the equipment, thus making important data available for maintenance." For this, the propulsion systems are equipped with sensors for monitoring.
Jan Helge Telseth, who is 53 and has two sons aged 11 and 14, enjoys staying active by running and cycling in his free time. He jokes he is a "taxi driver to different football camps” for his children. The time he spends with his family recharges his batteries for his most important challenge: to focus on his customers. "We are there to provide our customers with solid products engineered for a long life with a performance that exceeds expectations," the Managing Director emphasizes. "This, combined with a responsive and service-minded organization, is what SCHOTTEL customers value the most: it is the reason why they may choose you again for their next project. Because you make life easier for them."
Nancy Xiao, a Spares Supply Manager in Suzhou, China, joined SCHOTTEL about 15 years ago as a recently graduated marine electromechanical engineer. Not only can she support customers, she also finds her job offers her many opportunities for career growth
Today’s tugboats need to be equipped with particularly effective propulsion systems in order to offer reliable towing services. The long-term availability of all propulsion components plays an important and vital role in successful operation of the vessel