ADAMA is a leading manufacturer and distributor of crop-protection solutions. With a heritage of nearly 70 years and over 4500 employees in more than 120 countries, ADAMA has world-leading expertise in a range of product categories including a full range of fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, plant growth regulators and molluscicides. ADAMA’s crop protection products are available in the UK through leading agro-chemical distributors and agronomy companies. Technical helpline 01635-876-622
- Age: 44
- Job title:Product Manager
- Company: ADAMA Agricultural Solutions UK
Sum up your job in a sentence or two
I lead one of the cross-disciplinary crop teams in ADAMA UK, drawing on the wide range of commercial, technical, regulatory and marketing expertise within ADAMA to review and position ADAMA ’s UK herbicide portfolio, through analysing the market, looking at how to strategically place our products and driving the seasonal campaigns.
What does this involve day to day?
Planning, reviewing, analysing, summarising and communicating: working with our team in ADAMA and our contacts throughout the farming industry
What do you most enjoy about your job?
I enjoy the scope and variety of the job – rarely are two weeks the same – I love the contacts with people within ADAMA and outside the company, and in particular I enjoy looking at how the environment and industry may evolve in the future through changing policy, new technological developments and our changing needs and aspirations, both for the food we eat and our environment.
What can be the downside?
I love getting out and meeting people but it can lead to many hours on the road, and, sadly, many hours stuck in traffic on the M25!
What skills and qualifications are essential to do the job?
Strong project management, people skills, an understanding of the UK crop protection industry and the wider global context.
Usually people join product management from sales, marketing or technical roles, and technical and marketing qualifications are usually necessary.
That said, my route into this role was a little more unconventional… I moved into product management from a background in research and regulatory affairs in the crop protection industry, motivated to learn more about the marketing and business aspects of the industry
What experience did you have before starting?
I originally joined the industry following a PhD in Plant Pathology, managing fungicide resistance research for Syngenta.
I moved into a European Regulatory role for Syngenta and then took a role for a government organisation managing research initiatives related to the chemical industry.
I took something of a “break” while my children were young, to focus on being a Mum, but still worked part time in regulatory consultancy and completed a MSc in Environmental Strategy.
I re-joined the Industry with ADAMA , as my children became more independent, focusing first on Regulatory Affairs and becoming increasingly involved in cross-industry stewardship initiatives.
I am now studying for a marketing diploma alongside my product management role. One day I’ll stop accumulating qualifications, but hopefully never stop learning!
What other careers did you consider?
I planned to go into a career in medical research, but in my final year of a Biochemistry degree, I specialised in Plant Molecular Biology, and really there was no looking back! I loved plants, and so instead of the medical PhD I originally envisaged, I chose to study plant diseases.
Over the years, I have considered moving into other areas, particularly when I took a (relative) pause when my children were young, but for me it always comes back to my passion for plants, and my interest in food, farming and our environment.
What tips/advice would you give to someone wanting a similar role?
The product management role is a fantastic way to learn – in depth and breadth – about the nuts and bolts of all the different elements that drive the crop protection business.
I would say, gain some experience first – sales, marketing and technical roles are the usual routes and are a great way to gain relevant knowledge and credibility.
Then it’s about being open to work with and learn from people across all aspects of the business – seeing the “bigger picture” when necessary and getting into the detail when needed. Go into the role with an open mind, broad vision and be willing to get stuck in and deliver.
What’s the best bit of career advice you’ve been given?
That a career isn’t a race to the end, it’s the journey on the way: enjoy it, do the things that interest, reward you, allow you to grow and learn, and sometimes in life other things are more important (like kids for me!) – take time out too, if you want to.
Interested in working for ADAMA?
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Visit the ADAMA company page