An aerial view of downtown MunichAerial photo of downtown Munich

Photo by ian kelsall on Unsplash

Say hello to Siteimprove’s newest location: Munich! While Siteimprove has had an office in Germany since 2014, we recently established our presence in the flourishing city of Munich which offers a fantastic mix of tradition and tech, and now we are looking to expand our team in the Bavarian capital.

In order to learn more about the decision to add Munich to the Siteimprove map and get some insights into why the city in Southern Germany is the ideal spot for living and working, we talked to Auke Grondsma, VP of Western Europe, and Munich-based Christian Bennewitz, Head of Sales, Germany.

Why is Siteimprove establishing an office in Munich?

Auke Grondsma: “There’s a big talent pool in Munich, which is one of the main reasons we decided to take Siteimprove to Munich. We are confident that we can find a lot of digitally skilled candidates here – we already hired Christian [Head of Sales] and Puya [Head of Customer Success]. Another reason is the geography. Munich is close to Vienna and Zurich, our other offices in the DACH [Germany, Austria, Switzerland] region. Plus, we are now close to many of the largest companies in Germany as a lot of them are based in Bavaria.”

Why is Munich and Siteimprove a great match?

Christian Bennewitz: “The level of digital maturity is high in the Munich area so there’s a lot of other companies in the digital sector here. People use the term ‘laptop and lederhosen’ about Munich because with the large car manufacturer BMW nearby and the early entry of Microsoft and Google, it was built into a tech city. Munich now hosts a plethora of other medium-sized tech businesses that are here for some of the same reasons we are.”

What makes Munich a great place to live and work?

Christian: “I’m biased because I was born here but, even though I’ve traveled the world and spent a lot of time in Australia and the UK, I think you could spend your whole life in Munich, because everything is here. It’s not the aspiring thing to do, of course, but everything really is here with the way Munich is set up with the infrastructure, the universities, the companies to work for, and the opportunities for development. Then there’s the unique lifestyle with the surroundings offering a really high quality of living. The Alps are less than an hour away, and I need to mention Oktoberfest! In a nutshell, Munich is a modern tech city that still has a traditional flair to it.”

What’s your vision for the Munich office and for the German market in general?

Auke: “Germany is the biggest economy in Europe, so we see the market as a massive growth opportunity. Our majority owners, Nordic Capital, see Germany as a growth market and want to take major steps to make Germany flourish. We only have three people on the ground at the moment, so there’s a big potential both from an organic growth perspective and from an investment perspective. We are getting good leadership with Christian and Puya coming in and we will add more people this year to the Munich office, not only to support our team in Germany but also to make it our true hub in the DACH region.”

Christian: “I second that there’s a huge untapped potential in Germany that we want to unlock. While I’m still learning about the Siteimprove culture myself, I want to translate the culture into the Munich office. That includes our company values and the way we treat our people. I want to create a nice vibe, even when we might still be working from home for the foreseeable future. I want to assemble a good team that enjoys working together and a team that likes to finish a day of hard work by grabbing a drink in one of Munich’s fantastic beer gardens. So, my vision for Munich is a high-performance culture combined with a strong team culture.”

Now that you are expanding the team in Munich, which kind of people are you looking for?

Auke: “We are always looking for people who are curious. Curious about the next big thing within software, the next step in their career, the next sale. Resourcefulness is a big quality I look for, and being a team player is very important, especially now that we’re building our German team. Being comfortable in the eye of the storm is definitely also an advantage because in this growth company, a lot of things are going on every day, every week. Finally, a couple of keywords for me: ambition, drive, adaptability, and energy.”

Christian: “When I’m talking to candidates, I’m often explaining that we’re a hyper growth company that has been around for a while but is still a start-up in some ways. What Auke said about being in the eye of the storm is spot on – our people need to be able to operate in such an environment. They should also like that we have a lot of room to grow, a lot of room to build things from the ground up, and we don’t have a lot of restrictions like larger corporations might have. I’m looking for people who find that exciting.”

What’s the number one reason people should join Siteimprove in Munich?

Christian: “Can I say two things? From a business perspective, the number one reason is the potential that we can unlock here. From an employee and team perspective, the number one reason is that new employees will join us at a time where we are building things instead of joining an organization that is completely set in stone. That opportunity might not be here in three years. If you join now, you can be a key part of the Siteimprove journey in Germany.”

Auke: “I completely agree. We are at a starting point where you can get in early and get a lot of influence and responsibility and help shape the team.”

What can new Siteimprovers look forward to when joining the team in Munich?

Christian: “Nice colleagues and a professional onboarding program that I recently joined myself. The program is currently adapted to remote working and Siteimprove offers a lot of materials that are easily accessible. These resources are very helpful when you’re settling in during the first few weeks, and the company ensures that everybody knows where we’re heading. I can truly say that no one will be left alone when they start at Siteimprove.”

New Siteimprovers in Munich will also be a part of our Western Europe region. What can they look forward to as they join the Western Europe region?

Auke: “Growth is the keyword. Throughout the region, we are adding pieces to the puzzle. We are seeing a lot of opportunities right now, so I think it’s a fun time to join. We are also growing closer as a region. Every quarter, we spend one day together across the region and once COVID-19 is behind us, I’m looking forward to getting the whole region together in Amsterdam, Munich, or London to have some fun. Just before COVID-19 struck, we met up in Amsterdam and had a fantastic time. I believe it is so important to meet each other and have fun because it helps us build informal connections across teams, which strengthens our professional relationships as well. The fun has a purpose.”

We are very excited for our new adventure in Munich and if you want to be part of the journey, or you’re curious about the jobs we’re offering in Munich, please check out our Open Positions.

 Employee photo of aukeAuke Grondsma is VP of Western Europe and has been with Siteimprove since August 2016. Auke is based in Amsterdam. 

Employee photo of ChristianChristian Bennewitz is Head of Sales, Germany, and has been with Siteimprove since March 2021. Christian is based in Munich.