From triathletes to restaurant owners, Impel has some amazing employees in its ranks. We’re introducing you to a new employee every month as part of our Employee Spotlight Series, giving you an inside look at our charismatic culture. This month, we’re introducing you to Ben Cooper, Impel’s Managing Director – International.
Tell us about your role at Impel.
I am responsible for growing Impel’s business outside North America and Canada. We partner with in-market automotive focused companies who market, sell and service clients with Impel products in their respective regions. Today, we have 17 International reseller partners covering more than 45 countries. Our clients include independent and franchised dealers, OEMs, B2B clients, automotive marketplaces and clients in specialty markets (e.g. heavy equipment, motorsports, marine vessels).
In addition to business development, a key part of my role is to ensure product feature and functionality requirements are gathered to represent the needs of our clients in International markets.
Which core value resonates the most with you?
One of the core reasons I joined Impel is because it had a very clearly stated mission set alongside values which define our operating practises and our business culture. Having a clear sense of identity and an understanding of how goals are achieved is fundamental to growth, and in ensuring we attract and retain the right talent as a business. As such, it is difficult to call out just one of the company values as I feel great alignment to all of them!
You’re based in our UK office to support the rapidly growing international demand for our digital automotive merchandising platform. How do you find ways to stay connected to the Impel culture from across the Atlantic?
Like many companies, over the past 12 months, all Impel colleagues have been remote employees for periods of time and maintaining a connection to company culture has been extremely important as our culture underpins why and how we do what we do. So, in that sense, it’s far from a unique situation for me personally but one which impacts our whole company.
It’s a challenge which I think our company addresses extremely well as part of who we are; there are some tactical things that you may consider obvious such as our CEO’s weekly “best and worst” email recognising our progress and our shortcomings, our all-hands weekly Management Briefing call and our all-hands Quarterly Status call where in addition to keeping all employees aligned with goals and direction, the company does a great job at recognising and celebrating our employees and maintaining a healthy sense of fun. There are also some less obvious things that colleagues have put extraordinary effort into; as a company we have focused on supporting issues outside of our day-to-day focus – whether that’s supporting local businesses impacted by the COVID pandemic or proactively finding ways to support wider societal issues – this sense of supporting the wider community is additive to each of us as employees whilst also hopefully doing a bit of good in the world!
At a “role” level, bringing Impel products to market is truly a cross-functional effort and I work very closely with US colleagues in Product & Engineering, Technical Support, Customer Success, Marketing and Finance which gives me daily connection into our US business.
What has been your favorite part about introducing Impel’s product suite to automotive retailers all over the world?
The thing I love most about my role is the daily interaction with our partners and clients in all corners of the world – I genuinely learn something new everyday. It is a routine question around the Cooper dinner table from my children enquiring about which countries I have talked to that day! 😉
Regarding our product, what I have learned is that whilst there are differences in specific needs from one market to the next, the overall drivers that are shaping changes in automotive retail are largely the same across the world but play out in slightly different ways and at different speeds depending upon a whole host of factors (I can write an essay on this another day!). The largest driver of change is the consumer and, specifically, the consumers shifting expectations of the car buying experience. Buying a car is a highly considered purchase and consumers are demanding more inspirational shopping experiences, easier ways to discover and learn about vehicles, more transparency in the whole process, more transactional options and, most importantly, all on their terms: when, where and how they want to do it. As in other industries, the companies that embrace these new consumers expectations will win.
To that end, it’s been great introducing Impel’s product suite to automotive companies all over the world as this is the challenge we address head-on!
When you establish Impel in a new country, you’re known for celebrating with a beer that’s native to the area. How many have you tried and which has been your favorite so far?
Too many, but never enough! 😉
It’s hard to look past a good German or Czech Pilsner.
With COVID lockdowns and restrictions, we all spent a lot of time at home this past year. What skills did you hone in on during your time spent at home? Any new hobbies?
I certainly got the chance to cycle a little more, although I have realised that fitness maintenance rather than improvement is a more realistic goal…..
What’s one thing about you that the Impel Family may be surprised to know?
I crushed Devin, Arthur and Zack at a push-up competition. But that wasn’t really an achievement. They are just weak. 😉
While an ocean away, Ben has always been the perfect fit for our culture and our mission. We can always count on him for a laugh during our weekly company calls and has been instrumental in Impel’s global growth. Follow us on the Impel Facebook and Impel Instagram pages for updates. You won’t want to miss next month’s spotlight on Abhishek Pillai, a Software Engineer on our Web Team.