10 October 2022

Tata Steel Spotlight: 15 questions with Yoyo Chan

Tata Steel background

We caught up with Yoyo Chan, New Business Development Manager, to find out about her role at the Tata Steel site in IJmuiden, Netherlands.

Yoyo Chan

What is your current job title and how would you describe your job to a group of children?
I am a New Business Development Manager for packaging brand owners. Tata Steel is a steel manufacturer and packaging steel is one of the products from our company. We normally sell steel coils or steel sheets to metal can manufacturers who will produce metal cans or aerosols, for example. However, my job is a bit different. I work in the marketing department, and I get in touch with brand owners – in other words, our customer’s customer!
It is important not only engage our direct customer but also the brand owners or retailers who have a critical influence in the packaging development process within the eco system/value chain. My role is to share our knowledge of packaging steel to the packaging industry. I let companies know about the benefit of using packaging steel as a can, and hopefully create new business opportunity with them directly or indirectly.

How did you first learn about Tata Steel?
In my previous job I worked alongside Trivium as a supplier – and in turn, Tata Steel is their supplier. That was the first time I heard about Tata Steel. One day, my profile was noticed by a recruiter for Tata Steel and that was the beginning of my story with Tata Steel. 

How has Tata Steel helped you in your career development?
I have worked in several companies before joining Tata Steel and I was in Packaging R&D for 8-9 years. This is my first role in a commercial environment which better fits my Masters degree studies so Tata Steel saw my potential and gave me an opportunity in the commercial world.

If you could swap your job with anyone else within Tata Steel, whose job would you want?
Maybe the job of Henri Kwakkel – read his profile to find out more about his role. But I don’t think I can do a better job as him, so I better stay as where I am! It is important to have a job that I can benefit the company with.


What advice would you give a school leaver?
Follow your passion and be brave in challenges.


What do you find the most challenging? 
My job is a newly created job, which means I am no one’s successor. A lot of tasks that I am working on might not have a short term impact to the company, but it will create a long term influence to our packaging business as well as the packaging industry.  


What gets you out of bed in the morning and into work?
My friendly colleagues and my nice customers.


Has Tata Steel and the company ethos changed over your time at the company?
In my opinion the company is always changing, but most of the time in a good way. And in these past few years, I can see Tata Steel putting more focus on customer engagement as well as sustainability. I believe in what we say: “Together we make the difference” and I hope this will remains as times goes by.

What has been your favourite project at Tata Steel – what are you most proud of?
In my role, I can explore a lot of different projects and I enjoy the innovative ideas the most. I am also most proud of being helpful to my customers; finding out what they want and help bringing the packaging solution together. Packaging should be design “fit for purpose”.

What would you like to achieve in your next 10 years?
10 years is very long time, but I would like to see more can innovations on the market. When brand owners are looking for a can solution, they will approach us or our customer for ideas. People should not think of steel cans as an old fashion packaging format, but as sustainable packaging. Personally, I also would want to stay passionate about my future roles and have a great team working together.

Just for fun:

If you could do another job in another industry for just one day, what would it be?
If I could choose another career, I would like to be a psychologist or a vet. Two things that I like to do most are talking to people and helping them with their problems – and I love animals, so I would like to save more animals in the world. 

What’s your favourite activity or hobby outside work?
I love travelling. I have a world map at home, and I wish every year I could travel to a new country. So far, I have been to 34 countries. Unfortunately, because of COVID, I could not travel recently but from this year, I will try to catch up again. 

What is your favourite book?
The Defining Decade by Meg Jay. I would advise all young people to read that. Many people have said 30 is the new 20, but this author tries to explain why this isn’t true. The author has also given a fantastic TED talk on “Why 30 is not the new 20” – check it out!

What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know? 
I like Winnie the Pooh. I have a 1m high Winnie the Pooh at my parents house!

What skill do you think everyone should learn at school?
I think everyone should develop their social skills at school. School is the best place to make friends. And maintaining good friendships will benefit you your whole life. Having good friends means you will never be lonely, and you can build a support network. Developing good social skills can also benefit you in communicating to others easily. And I’ve found communication is one of the most important skills in life and work.

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