Jérôme Bonef started his British Steel career in France before joining our Commercial team as Export Sales Manager, Rail in October 2020. Find out more about Jérôme...
Tell us about your background
I’ve been in the Rail business for 11 years now, having previously worked for British Steel France Rail, but I’ve also been in charge of rail exports from Scunthorpe Rail and Section Mill (SRSM) since 2013. I’m very proud to have played a part in the sales development of rail exports in greenfield countries building railways from scratch (Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Turkey, Egypt, Ghana) where our company is now recognised as a reliable and high quality rail supplier.
I joined British Steel Limited in October 2020, following the separation with British Steel France Rail, because I believe SRSM has wonderful rail export development opportunities.
What does your day-to-day role involve?
I promote and develop sales of British Steel’s rail products to customers outside the UK. Practically, I develop and maintain relationships with key rail industry contacts (rail networks, contractors, authorities, communities, engineering companies, etc) in countries where high quality rails are required for their networks. I’m also in charge of responding to customer tenders and enquiries, and negotiating financial, technical and contractual conditions.
The biggest challenge in export business is there is no universal rule – and 'our' rules can be totally ignored in other countries.
The second biggest challenge is that there will be problems, so we have to take preventative action before they become too difficult to solve. So, my day-to-day role is to cover a deal from beginning to end – until the next one.
Why do you enjoy working for us?
Enthusiasm and customer focus.
I have more than 20 years’ experience in selling metallurgical products in Europe and 10 in rail products. Metallurgy – and steel specifically – is a business of passionate people, I think it’s universal because I’ve found this passion in plants in the UK as well as in Spain, Italy and France.
But customer focus – making improvements to be more appreciated by our customers and offering the best products and services – really drives British Steel people. Whether meeting customers in Scunthorpe or abroad, I feel that they also have a great enthusiasm for our business, customers feel they are welcome and that they are very important to us.
Describe yourself in 5 words
Curious and I love people.
What is your proudest achievement?
My family. We’re a family of 4 (I’ve 2 daughters) and I’m very proud to see each follow their own paths and have their own interests – we’re very supportive of each other.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A racing cyclist – but I like my food too much! I had to quickly consider an alternative.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
There are 2 40-minute periods per year when I’m completely opposed to my English colleagues – the Six Nations Le Crunch – but I’m sure you’re not surprised 😊
What advice would you give to other people considering a career with us?
The company is made up of a wide range of people with their own particular skill sets, and it takes all of us working together to complete the whole, to make us the innovative, progressive and supportive organisation we strive to be. It’s this positive atmosphere that makes our company a great one to work for.
We’ve seen great advances in our products – our ability to innovate means that although our products may look the same on the surface as they did 30 years ago, we’ve made huge steps forward, for example in quality standards, technological advances, production methods and service offering. It’s a dynamic environment that suits people looking for fresh challenges and opportunities - so if that’s you, I’d encourage you to join our team!