Alumni of the week

Marketer of the Year

Trond Atle Smedsrud

EVP Innovation and Marketing

Aker BioMarine

Bachelor of Marketing 2005 and MSc in Marketing 2007

“Focus on doing a good job every day, and take the opportunities you get. Don’t turn down challenges you think you can’t handle.”

Trond Atle Smedsrud (35) is Executive Vice President of innovation and marketing at the billion dollar multicompany Aker Biomarine in Asia, Australia, USA and Europe. In 2017 he was named «Marketer of the Year» by E24 Ledertalentene.

Text: Anna Olausson
Photo: Marte Garmann

Trond Atle Smedsrud graduated in 2007 with a Master degree in Marketing. He then went on to PwC and Coca Cola before becoming responsible for marketing in the world's largest krill company, Aker Biomarine, in 2015. In 2017, Smedsrud was named «Marketer of the Year»under E24's leader talent for under 35 years.

In his spare time, he is an active triathlete and boasts several top positions in prestigious races. He believes there are lot of similarities between leadership and competing in sports.

– You prepare for a training session in a different way than for a competition. It is impossible to be 110 percent prepared for each project and every meeting. You would soon be burned out. You must define your key areas and deliver 110 percent on these. In other areas it is ok with 90 percent. You can look at it as preparation for a top competitive result.

His best advice for young leaders on the hunt for success is as follows;

– Don’t have a very concrete career plan. Focus on doing a good job every day, and take the opportunities you get. Don’t turn down challenges you think you can’t handle. It usually turns out well, and if not, you've learnt a lot of things at least.

Innovation and sustainability

Aker Biomarine has the vision to improve human and planetary health. Today, they work with one of the most sustainable sources in the world; krill.

– We fish, process and extract the krill’s main nutrients, Omega 3 and protein, to make the world healthier, says Smedrud.

In 2017, Aker Biomarine became Norway's most innovative company. The company ensures that it is a step ahead of its competitors, by leveraging resources in a sustainable way. In this way, they maintain a start-up mentality that gives them an edge in industry, says Smedsrud. He believes that it is still possible to create great impact with limited resources.

Flexibility before milestones

Smedsrud says that one of Aker Biomarine's biggest challenges is to use digital channels to retrieve information, analyse it and then act on results. The young leader believes this is the key to future success in an ever-changing industry. At the same time, he thinks that this is precisely the challenge faced by most businesses and industries today. His best advice is to work hard, act on values, and be consistent. That way, both you and the company will succeed.

– In today's market, which is constantly changing, it is important to have flexibility. If you are too focused on achieving milestones, you will not be able to identify and seize unexpected opportunities that can strengthen both the company and your own career, says Smedsrud.