Faces of Lubricants – Norbert Gros-Jean

Aug 29, 2018

Not many people can say they live in a house built nearly 600 years ago other than French native (and sales extraordinaire), Norbert Gros-Jean. Residing in the medieval town of Strasbourg, France, Norbert respects history, different cultures, fine wine and delectable food. When he’s not out exploring his unique town, Norbert sells oilfield and lubricants products to the EMEA region. With more than 25 years of chemical sales experience with international companies, a chemistry degree and master’s degree in international business, Norbert is the perfect fit for managing oilfield and lubricants EMEA sales for Ingevity.

Can you elaborate about what you do at Ingevity?

I am the regional manager for Lubricants and Oilfield businesses for the entire EMEA region. I oversee sales for this large, ever-growing region (120 countries, two billion people) directly or through our partners. I work closely with our global business organizations to set up and implement the specific strategy for my region and support both global and local initiatives.

Name one thing about your work that gets you out of bed in the morning.

I’m genuinely excited about my job and the possibilities it provides. I value the relationships I’ve made with customers and colleagues, and am motivated to grow our business together. I care very much for and believe in what I’m doing on a daily basis. If the day comes when I don’t, I’ll find a new job.

What is something you look forward to most with the Lubricants team?

I am most excited to see the potential growth we have as a company with the fusion of the Oilfield and Lubricants businesses. I believe it was a great move, as I’ve witnessed success with this type of merger in previous companies I’ve worked for.

Tell us something unique about where you live.

For the last 18 years, I’ve resided in Strasbourg with my family in a home built in 1425 and work remotely. Our flat is located in the medieval part of the city of Strasbourg, very close to the famous cathedral Strasbourg’s Old Lady. I have a direct view of this 12th century cathedral from my home office view!

What does success mean to you?

For me, success means that you are proud of what you’re doing and have accomplished professionally and personally.

What is something people would be surprised to know about you?

Most people probably don’t know that I have practiced several martial arts at a medium level (Judo, Karate, Jujutsu and Aikido). I also spent several years practicing Ninjutsu (the art of the Ninjas). Unfortunately, I stopped after my second “tatami incident” (dislocated shoulder) a few years ago.

Who are your heroes in real life?

I would be tempted to answer Jean-Claude Van Damme, for his great wisdom, philosophy and his distinctive vision of the world. Besides, who has never dreamed of being able to do the splits between two running trucks?

What are you most proud of?

I am proud of my family and network of friends we’ve managed to build around us over the years. Being with true friends in a nice place with very good food and wine is a good way to taste happiness.

Norbert is taking over lubricants EMEA sales as long-term employee Thomas Eichler retires this year. Thank you, Thomas, for all the hard work you put into growing this business within Ingevity. You will be missed!