Meeting the Co-Founder of AIESEC; an Electrolux Alumnus.
That awe-inspiring moment when you know there is no stopping.
I experienced one of those sacred moments today.
At 2:20PM UTC+8 I left Electrolux Singapore office to head to a local university to meet someone special. I was looking forward to meet this someone since almost 5 years now; I knew someday I would, just didn’t know when.
Today, I met the co-founder of AIESEC (AIESEC was started in 1948 by students from seven different countries after World War 2). One of the actual few people who conceptualized the idea of AIESEC, the essence of AIESEC and unknowingly defined the way we are today.
He said, ” We never started AIESEC because we wanted to spread peace, of course that was a parallel agenda. We started Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales because students in Europe at that moment were locked, they couldn’t travel, couldn’t learn new languages, couldn’t meet new people. Unable to explore the world, we needed AIESEC”
“I wanted to go on an internship, work at one of the best companies in Sweden. I wanted to make a difference to my life”, He added.
Whatever they did in 1948, whatever AIESEC is now but it for sure is ‘an international platform for young people to explore and develop their leadership potential’. He shared his experiences of setting up AIESEC, of his internship in Shell France and how he came back to Stockholm to do something amazing. Join Electrolux.
Yes. This was the most EPIC moment of our networking session, Mr. Simon Liliedahl is also an Electrolux Alumnus. Now I know why he was smiling at my business card. Mr Simon joined Electrolux right after his graduation and internship with Shell France. He joined as a Door-to-door sales man and the he told us a lot about his role, clearly he loved it.
Since then, he spent 40 years in Electrolux. ’40 Amazing years’ as he described them. Simon took various roles from Sales Manager to International Sales lead and was also the President of International Division during his last few years in Electrolux. He shared his stories of Expansion of Electrolux in various Asian countries, the constraints he faced during expansion in Japan, India, The Philippines, Singapore etc. He also shared his experiences with various politicians around the globe (specially China) and his continued interaction with AIESEC.
(Picture from an old Annual Report of Electrolux 1977)
Post his legendary stint in Electrolux, he was a respected Member of Parliament in Sweden and now is the Chairman of Liliedahl Sweden International AB and a Board of Director for S&J Asia-Pacific Ventures PTE Ltd. At age of 89, he is still able to humorously argue with a bunch of young lads from AIESEC Singapore, can run a company and make sure others run one efficiently too.
This was simply inspiring. Sometimes I wonder how many AIESECers have such legendary Electrolux stories and that would I be able to live a similar one. Ah now I know what it means, ‘Growing at Electrolux’.
His key message, “Everything in Life is as clear as Mud” – He concluded his session by wishing all of us an amazing career and great life.
I shared this on Facebook earlier, “Meeting the co-founder of AIESEC was a once in a life-time opportunity, knowing that he served Electrolux for 40 years has now inspired me to make this opportunity worth a lifetime”
I feel I’m at the right place. Electrolux, Thinking of you!