I AM KRONUS – Artemijs Timošenko, Operations Manager

We invited Artemijs Timošenko, the new KRONUS operations manager, to the project's half-year anniversary conversation. He has been with the company since 7 February and has also familiarised himself with production during this period. 

Artemijs officially started his duties as manager on 1 July. During the conversation, we discussed his growth and how he came to this position, what improvements he plans to make in the company, and tips from Artemijs for staying motivated.

What do you associate KRONUS with?


For me at the moment, I associate KRONUS with something new and unprecedented. It is definitely a new culture with new challenges.


How did your career start at KRONUS?


I had already worked with KRONUS a little last year. Together with the chairperson of the Board, Igors Ževaks, we had a discussion that I would audit the production, given my extensive experience in the production industry. So, it could be called an introduction to KRONUS, and the company also had the opportunity to get to know me. It was not a long collaboration, we met about six times during the summer. It was my first experience with KRONUS. I came here straight into the position of operations manager, but I had an extensive onboarding plan. To start in this position, I had to get to know our production beforehand. I worked on almost all the production lines, which gave me interesting experience and a chance to look at the processes from the inside. I tried my hand at physical work, as I have not done this kind of work for quite a long time. Sometimes I miss these jobs – there is not much to worry about, when you work according to the instructions. You just rely on your fitness and stamina. It was definitely physically and morally difficult. It is long hours, shift work, not so much time for your own things. I spent almost a month and a half there.


How do you feel about the selection process in general?


It was definitely not a standard selection process for me. It was more of a mutual choice – I chose KRONUS and KRONUS chose me. But the selection process was also an interesting experience, it was definitely not quick. There were a lot of interviews and personality tests. It was also a new experience for me, because before that I had worked almost all my life in the same company. I did not need to go for interviews. At one point, I thought that this process would never end. However, I enjoyed the time and it also gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about myself. It ended well for me and, since I work here, it means that it ended well for the company.

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It may still be hard to say, but what do you like best about your position at the moment?


In my previous job and here in my new position, it is important that I can make a difference and improve. Communication with people is also important to me and I enjoy the opportunity to work with a team.

What was your first paid job?


My first paid job was during school, after the fourth year, when I was offered a job to get lunch vouchers for the next school year. For a month, on weekdays, we had to clean the river in front of the school. I sold some of those vouchers and got some money, because business was already in my blood at that time. From then on, every year during the summer holidays, I would look for a job to earn some pocket money. Before KRONUS, I worked almost all my working life for one company – 17 years in total. There I started as a metalworking operator, but as my career developed I also reached management positions. One of the most interesting positions was definitely that of general manager.

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On a slightly different subject, and focusing on activities outside work, how do you spend your free time?


I now look forward to being by the water more in the summer. For the time being, I spend a lot of my free time at home with my children, as my wife and I also have to work as managers for our children. I have to spend a lot of time at the kids’ trainings and events. Like most people, I like to travel, and if I have the chance, I definitely want to go somewhere. I love motorbiking, especially in the summer. Of course, I would like to do more; I do not get to do it that often. On weekends, my friends and I can get on a motorbike and ride around Latvia or even a bit abroad. It is definitely one of my favourite activities during the warm months of the year.

What is the most memorable destination?


I hope my best destination is yet to come. As I mentioned in my introductory presentation to colleagues, I love spending time in the mountains. It can be skiing, hiking, just relaxing. I was recently in Georgia, where I also spent a few days in the mountains. I like to get to know new cultures both in and outside the working environment.


How is the working culture different here and at your previous workplace?


Totally different, the culture of KRONUS was one of the main aspects why I chose to work here. I wanted to try something new and unprecedented. The processes here are completely different to what I was used to. It is not really better or worse, but it is definitely more interesting.

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What challenges do you face in your everyday work?


For me, it is a new company culture, a new team and of course the most important thing is to understand how things work. I have to understand the situation in the company and what to do next, what directions to take, so that it also fits with the company’s goals and values. I like that there is a lot of work here! I am definitely hungry for work, because before I worked for a company that was sanctioned, so there was not that much activity. I like what is happening here, I see a lot of challenges and opportunities. I want to make KRONUS an even better company and reach new heights.

What are the things that definitely need to be improved in the company right now?


I think the main thing that needs to be sorted out from my side right now is the inventory of materials. We need to improve this process, after which we will be able to further improve the overall performance of the company. That is one of the main things I am focusing on now. It will certainly be quite a long process, because almost all departments of the company are involved. I very much hope that we will more or less be done with this issue within a year. I would also like to reduce the turnover of employees in production, to familiarise them with the company’s objectives and values.


If you had the opportunity to meet every new production employee, what would you say to them?


It might be: “We have a lot to do, it will not be an easy road, but all in all we will definitely be proud of what we have achieved in the future! We will have to work to improve the company as a whole.”

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What does it take to progress in a professional environment?


In my opinion, if you are willing and try, you will definitely grow and develop. From what I have observed so far, KRONUS definitely prioritises the development of its employees. A lot of the production line managers are people who started as production workers, doing simple manual work. I cannot say about the administration, but I believe that there are also people who started in the company with simpler jobs. This is one of the best examples of KRONUS empowering its personnel. Secondly, it also depends very much on the person. Whether he or she is prepared to make more effort, to give more time. Those who do as much as the others and only what needs to be done – they do not stand out from the rest. There must be a desire to do, to express ideas, to optimise processes.

What are your future career goals?


There is a saying: a bad soldier is one who does not dream of becoming a general! To be honest, I am not thinking about that at the moment, my thoughts are more focused on my current position. I like this position. I have been at a higher level and I am not sure I want to go back there. It depends on many factors. At the moment, I prefer to develop horizontally, to have the opportunity to learn, to increase my knowledge and experience.


What do you think are the biggest advantages of working for KRONUS?


It is definitely the team and the attitude towards people.


What is your motto in life?


If you do not try, you will not learn!

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