Guntis Grīnbergs joined the Storent team in 2010, and now he has been leading the construction equipment rental company for 5 years.
Guntis Grīnbergs emphasizes several times that his work is his lifestyle and encourages everyone to work in a field that excites them.
Guntis thinks that Latvia is a great place to develop a business, but one should always make use of the opportunities that appear in our way every day.
What is the most important thing about you as a personality in the Latvian business environment?
It is important for me to see across boundaries, especially now when tomorrow nothing is going be the same as it was yesterday.
Naturally, the times have been changing forever. I just want to state that every business leader must think how to adapt his/her identity to new and ever-changing conditions.
What are the current activities in your company and the industry in which you operate?
The industry continues to actively implement digital solutions, and this is happening across all parties involved in the construction industry. The system was outdated, it had to keep up with the time, and the pandemic was like a forced initiator. The existing as well as the coming changes must be seen as an investment in the future.
For example, Storent introduced an online equipment rental platform where it is possible to place orders from your mobile phone at any time. Currently, it already seems obvious, which shows how quickly we get used to changes.
I must add that this year digitalization in the construction and construction equipment rental area is gaining speed. I would also like to mention the newest member of the rental industry, a rental platform, which covers all Baltic countries - www.preferrent.com.
In my opinion, work and business online is the future. Thus, alongside Storent equipment rental platform online, we have also joined www.preferrent.com with the aim to get us even closer to existing and potential Customers and ensure that our Customers are able to choose the best offer on the market.
Now, the team is more important as ever before – these are our people who build and improve Storent.
This year and next year, the Baltic construction market trends will be positive and aimed at growth and continuous, new projects, even disregarding the rapid price increase of construction materials.
People dedicate a great part of their lives to work. Why do you work in this field?
I started working in the construction equipment rental area already during my student years back in 2001. My extensive experience in the construction industry has helped me understand even the most subtle nuances of my work, because I can say that I have moved through all stages of my career during my work life. That said, I started my work life in the construction and sales as a mechanic in the city of Valmiera.
Over the years, I gained experience, I have learned a lot and invested a lot to build up my professional competencies. The foundation of my work is communication with colleagues and partners. The work environment in this industry is dynamic, energetic, and it blows me away.
Years of invested work, passion and strong will resulted in a positive management assessment and a steady career growth. Also, the current position is a logical continuation of the current professional path.
I am not one of those managers who is afraid that someone will “outgrow” me. On the contrary, I encourage my team to attend professional trainings and show interest in topics that are directly connected to their professional activities. I have always been happy to see that a colleague in his/her development has surpassed me.
Work in the construction equipment rental business area has never been work to me. It is a lifestyle. Undeniable challenges every day, and it is most definitely not easy.
What was your first job and what have you learned from it?
My first job was at a sawmill. I learned the sharpener’s profession myself. Later, they noticed that I excelled at the tasks entrusted me and offered me to train others. This was my first professional work at the age of 18.
On very dynamic work days, I always remember this time and realize that a calm and monotonous work is not for me. Sharpener’s job was monotonous enough, where you had to do the same thing over and over again. I value challenges, new horizons and dynamics more.
Have you encountered deliberate choices or coincidences in your career path/business development?
I think that there are no coincidences because being at the right place at the right time is also a deliberate action. People must be ready to seize opportunities because we encounter them every day.
If you were to graduate high-school now, which profession and which study direction would you choose?
Honestly, I would not change anything. My every step has been a conscious choice.
I do not have an unfulfilled dream about becoming a surgeon or a lawyer. What I have achieved until now is a road towards a better me.
How do you see Latvia as a place to develop a business. What are the pros and cons?
Latvia is a great place for business. Most definitely. Pros and cons are both here and everywhere else. The most important thing is to spot the opportunities and act on them.
I have always been proud of local entrepreneurs who achieve amazing success both in Latvia and abroad.
Could you share your daily routine at your current position?
Communication with people – a daily must.
The most important role of a leader is to provide answers to the team’s questions to ensure that the work moves forward. Also, prompt responses. Sometimes decisions must be made immediately without hesitating.
In order to involve and keep the team motivated, I, as a leader, see it important to avoid the so-called micromanagement. The best thing I can do as a leader is to trust my team and, naturally, they should trust me, it is a two-way collaboration.
Last year was as an accelerator for many matured, but not entirely widespread work life habits. People who see their work as a calling are ready to make compromises both in terms of time and personal comfort. Exactly this awakening of a calling or a mission in every employee is the main challenge of a modern leader, and its importance will only grow, because a united and motivated team shows much better business results.
What is most important to you personally?
A company is as a living organism that requires attention. Professionally, I and the company are developing under the sign of digitalization.
From a personal perspective, I continue to develop. I am improving my skills in public speaking with Viesturs Meikšāns. I believe that no matter how good a speaker you are, additional skills will only benefit you.
Are you able to manage the work and personal life balance on a daily basis? What is the best way to do it?
I spend most of my free time with my family. I always try to find balance between work and my family. So far, I have succeeded to do so.
In general, I relax best while traveling. It does not matter if I travel in Latvia or abroad. In the recent years, I have discovered many beautiful places in Latvia that I did not know of and had not seen before!
I often listen to three or four audiobooks at the same time, out of which one is always about work with employees. I am also interested in books about business topics and fiction. It is both relaxation and also helps to broaden one’s mind.
What inspires and motivates you in life and work?
An idea that I believe in. That drives me. It is like a driving force to go, do and realize goals.
What advice would you give to those who want to start working in your industry? What should they expect?
I will say it again. It is not work, it is a lifestyle.
In this field and also in others, the foundation of everything is that a person is happy – they should love what they do. Then, everything will work out.
Our industry is dynamic and interesting. If it appeals to a person, then your previous work experience or education does not matter, you must do what you believe in and what you are passionate about.
Where and how do you recharge and get positive emotions?
I relax my mind with a good movie. It can be the most recent or a good old black-and-white movie.
Sports is definitely where I get revitalized. I am interested in beach volleyball, which I have been practicing for several years already.
Everyone should find a way to recharge their empty batteries. I think that it is not necessary to follow trends or something others do. The key is to find your own source or ways of recharging your energy and just feel great.
Could you uncover a fact that our readers may not yet know about you or the company you represent?
I am also a mediator. These acquired skills can be very useful in a work environment and in solving conflicts. You must always look for things you want to improve to become better than the previous version of you.
What has pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised you recently?
This year, we had a winter with snowdrifts and a summer with heat like in Italy.
How would you spend 10,000 EUR won in a lottery?
I do not buy lottery tickets, I believe in my own strengths. I do not believe in easy money, I am the blacksmith of my own happiness, I build and live my own dreams.
However, if I did win 10,000 EUR I would see this as a sign to help someone and would donate my money to charity.
If you were offered to spend your most perfect day tomorrow? What would it be like?
Every day is perfect if a person loves what he does.
Naturally, each day is different with new turns and events.
Accept what you have and be grateful.
Could you share your favorite anecdote or a story from your life that makes you smile?
A situation from my work life: a phone conversation where the directions to a rental point are being explained.
Phone conversation between me and the client:
Drive left, then right past the grocery store, cross the river and after 200 meters a sharp turn to the right, and you will reach your destination.
The client follows my directions, calls again and says that he cannot see a rental point, only a car service. It is a strange situation, and I ask the client in which city he is at. It turns out that I am in Valmiera, but the client in Jēkabpils.
The daily life is filled with different situations, and you have to be able to smile and laugh about yourself too. Humor is part of the daily life.
What lessons have you learned from life?
Every moment and occasion in your life teaches you something. You must be attentive and notice changes and also assess and understand what they bring now and in the long run.
How would you like to see Latvia in 10 years?
I like Latvia now. Latvia will undoubtedly be special also in 10 years. As a nation, we must work to make our country better in economic, industrial and cultural aspects. A country to which our fellow people would like to return and start their families.