Tell us about your career at Hilti
When I reflect upon my career at Hilti, it is a great example of how we primarily promote from within. Almost 90% of our promotions are from within and I am a good example of that. This is my fifth role with the organization. I started as an account manager in San Francisco, California and I worked my way through the various roles we have; regional manager, division manager and spent the last six years as a general manager in Canada. I moved to Texas at the end of 2016 to assume the role of CEO for Hilti North America.
Tell us about your career prior to Hilti
Before Hilti, I have been here for 13 years, I only worked for one other company for five years in sales and sales management for a chemical distributor.
How do you view the business climate in Texas?
It’s clear that there is a very robust business climate in North Texas right now. We sell to construction companies and we are thrilled with the amount of construction and opportunities for our customers and our ability to partner with them to drive safety and productivity. We find the business environment to be welcoming and friendly.
Why did you join YTEXAS?
We joined YTEXAS because we really believe in their mission; helping great companies not just establish here in Texas but also, once they are here, develop their network and make that transition into Texas.
We moved here as an organization two years ago. I personally moved here and have found the resources of YTEXAS to be very helpful. Hilti moves senior executives around the world, including our location here in Plano, Texas, so it is a great fit for us. We are excited about the opportunities that YTEXAS affords us as an organization but also for our senior team members.
What makes Hilti different?
There are three unique things that make Hilti very different; number one is our history. We started as a family organization and still being family-owned to this day has established a very strong culture that you can see reflected in the way our people conduct themselves both internally as well as externally with our customers.
The second thing is our innovation. We always try to bring the best innovations to market that will help our customers be more productive and safe in what they do everyday. We have numerous examples of breaking into new technologies and changing the way job sites are built and the way work is done.
Last, but no least, it is our people – from our direct salesforce and our unique approach to the market and how we partner with our customers, to our internal team members and support functions across the organization, we have a very strong and committed team.
These three reasons combined are the recipe for success for Hilti and what makes us unique.
What issues are affecting your company that you are concerned about?
There are two main opportunities for Hilti moving forward; number one is the increased digitalization of job sites and all parts of our lives, The opportunity for us to combine our physical presence with software and services to create a unique combination of physical presence with digital in order to create value for our customers is a real opportunity for us moving forward.
The other clear opportunity is to build on our culture, to be an employer of choice so that we can attract the team we need. We believe our location here in Plano, Texas will only help us attract the best team members to help us win the fight in the marketplace.
Tell us something about yourself most people don’t know
People don’t know that I am a big sports fan. I enjoy all sports and, of course, have my favorite teams, but I love all sorts of competition and love watching games. Depending on the team and depending on the circumstances, I can get really passionate especially if I am at a live sporting event.
Avi Kahn, President & CEO of Hilti North America, offers his advice to CEOs who are relocating their companies to Texas....
Avi Kahn, President and CEO of Hilti North America, discusses his career at Hilti and why Hilti joined YTEXAS....