“There are major challenges ahead for us”

As it celebrates its 100th anniversary, the BMW Group can look back on a successful history – made possible by the people who work for the company on a day-to-day basis. But many of them not only do valuable work securing the future of the company; they demonstrate social commitment, as well as a love of vehicles from the BMW Group brands, that goes beyond the workplace. In a three-part series, BMW Magazine Digital features some of these people.

Benedikt Sarreiter
Mindy Tan, Julian Baumann und Johann Grasser

Ganeshan Senthilvel (24)

When did you first get involved in voluntary social work?
When I came across a mentally disabled boy who was lost at the side of the road. I started looking after him and, since then, I’ve been doing voluntary work to help raise awareness and support for people with disabilities in India.
Have these activities changed you?
Yes, I think I’ve become a better person – calmer, more patient.
How should the BMW Group develop in the future?
It would be great if it provided employees with more information about social projects and encouraged them to get involved.

Assistant maintenance engineer, India

Christoph Keck (19)

What impressed Christoph Keck most at the start of his training was the sheer size of the BMW plant in Munich. After his initial year, he made his first (six-week) relocation to the Junior Company, which is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, ranging from engine maintenance to work on the so-called lab car. His favorite model used to be the BMW 3 Series; these days it’s the 435d Gran Coupe, mainly for its design. Once his training is complete, he definitely wants to remain at the BMW Group. A particular interest of his is how the world will change when resources start to become scarce. We have to face up to these sorts of problems now, he says – and the BMW Group is already on the right path.

Second year of training as a technical model constructor

Sang Jin Hahn (31)

“My motivation is to obtain as good an understanding as possible of workflows and the decision-making processes in the company, so that later I can contribute to the success of the BMW Group worldwide – and perhaps even in my home country of Korea.”

Bachelor’s degree in business administration, Seoul National University, South Korea, trainee in sales control

Sami Coultas (65)

“I’ve been involved in the development and production of all models in the growing family of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars since 2000. My field is Color and Trim – selecting color combinations and materials. Paintwork, leather, carpets and seams must all be perfectly coordinated to give the vehicle a harmonious overall appearance. What I particularly like about my work is the close interaction with customers that always results in another unique Rolls-Royce. My goal for the future is to help ensure that Rolls-Royce remains at the forefront of the super-luxury segment.”

Design Color and Trim, Rolls-Royce

Mary Chan (65)

“In October 1985, when BMW Southeast Asia was born, we only had typewriters and communicated via telex. When we went home in the evening, that was the end of work for the day. Today the job is a 24/7 commitment. And instead of the nine employees we had in those days, we now have over 100. You have to be quick these days. What’s more, the BMW Group ought to continue to strengthen its relationships with the dealerships and recruit the best employees available, particularly from the regions in which we operate. These are major challenges, but the BMW Group will rise to them. My biggest personal test will be leaving the company after 30 years.”

Advertising and Marketing Services Manager, Singapore

Miguel Angel Cediel (34)

When did you start work for the BMW Group?
I joined the BMW Group four years ago from Santander Bank in Spain. I wanted to be part of a global company. Since then I have been reviewing the financial and economic status of our dealerships and analyzing their performance.
Is that when your voluntary social activities began?
No, that started three years ago. My priority area is Kenya. I collect donations and work with organizations that promote children’s education and health.
How do you rate the social engagement of the BMW Group?
It’s a positive thing. I’m happy to work for a company that rewards the voluntary commitment of its employees.

Credit analyst, Financial Services, Spain

Paulina Sierak (27)

“My background was actually in aviation. But at the BMW Group’s Research and Innovation Centre (FIZ) in Munich, things move more quickly than in the aviation sector, and you feel you can really make a difference. This fits in nicely with my personal goals of taking on more responsibility and fulfilling my potential. It’ll be fascinating to see the impact digitalization has on production, since assistance systems and autonomous driving are rapidly gaining in importance.”

PhD student in Connectivity and Digitalization