From piloting to playing golf, from design engineering to leading sales activities at MAC Aero Interiors – Zuzana Obracajova, Sales Director at MAC, has a lot of sides. This month, she’s a Face of Magnetic (and the face of MAC, too) – learn more, how she ended up being such aviation lover and also about her view towards new success story MAC Aero Interiors began to write this year.
Tell us more about your career – how you ended up working in the aviation industry and at MAC Aero Interiors?
I am a Professional Pilot by training, including all 14 ATPL theoretical and all the practice tests. Unfortunately, I suffered a severe injury, which precludes me from flying professionally any time soon. I decided, however, to turn this into my advantage, and used my knowledge and unique expertise in the aviation business. So, in the past nine years, I built myself up from a design engineer to sales director. I still, however, hold onto my pilot mind - if only in noticing good spots where to perform emergency landing! Flying can definitely give you a different perspective.
Besides aircraft interior modification and upgrades, I was also engaged in new aircraft development programs and I also participate in VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) start-up project. I love the idea of intra-city travelling with VTOLs. Who knows! Maybe in a couple of years, we will fly around in these autonomous vehicles!
With my knowledge and experience within the aircraft interior, I am excited to be a part of MAC family. We need to get this company back on track and I am very excited to see MAC grow again. I am the person that always head higher and pushes herself to reach for the stars, so don’t take it personally if I push you to deliver sooner than you like it!
Since MAC’s undergoing some changes, what can you outline as the main challenges for you as a fairly fresh addition to the family and how are you planning to undertake those challenges?
New beginnings are always a challenge, but this is an exciting one. In my nine years of aviation business experience, I have witnessed companies go up and down, which gives me a solid foundation to head in the right course.
MAC benefits from a great brand and we need to expand and capitalize on how many people in the business know, who MAC is and what it can do. With the support of Magnetic MRO I honestly believe we can go for bigger projects and to rebuild the reputation.
Currently, Coronavirus is the biggest challenge of all and the aviation market is facing huge issues. Main pressure will be put on the commercial side of the business, only the strongest ones will survive and those who have a long-term vision and the ability to make it happen. The pressure will be also on effectivity. We would need to verify and check our chain – we need to identify and strengthen the weakest chain links. That doesn’t necessarily speak in favour of size, but rather for speed, flexibility, readiness, and a good product.
What are your hobbies or skills you are proud of? Do they help in any way in your work or to deal with stress experienced at work?
I am an avid traveller but watching airplanes take off and land is one of my favourite parts of travelling.
Besides I play golf, that is my way to clear my head and to meditate by focusing on the game. It can be challenging as golf is the only sport you spent 4 hours on the course, but only around 10 minutes you actually hit or play. The rest is walking and thinking. It can play tricks with your mind and you definitely need to learn how to focus, how to recover quickly from the bad shot (and believe me, there is many of that :-D) I love networking on the golf course, playing tournaments and winning, of course!
You’re working remotely from most of the team. How do you find it? What are the advantages and disadvantages of global companies and having your team in various parts of the world?
I honestly believe that remote work is actually crucial for succeeding in the 21st century. We need to move fast, both online and while meeting clients offline, be as flexible as possible. The delivery itself is the core of our business, not the environment in which you deliver. Of course, it takes a lot of discipline, eyes on the prize, and awesome time management, which, however, entails all the time you save instead of commuting.
Above that, I really appreciate the hard work of the whole team, which they contribute towards our common goal. Working remotely doesn’t mean mental separation, it is all just about finding new and innovative ways, how to keep ourselves in the loop.
Are there any exciting projects you have already worked on or looking forward to work in the nearest future?
There are so many amazing developments to keep an eye on. We are pushing to keep on the edge of technological advancement, flexibility and commercial reasoning. This may mean doing something completely different than what already exists on the market. We see a lot of potential in cross-sectoral innovation and its application on our business - from 3D printing to Artificial Intelligence or Virtual and Augmented reality solutions.