A week in the life of…

Vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager, Robert Bosch Mid­dle East

Gulf Business - - LIFESTYLE -

Volker Bischoff Vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager, Robert Bosch Mid­dle East


I am an early bird and like to start my day as soon as pos­si­ble. As I make my way to our of­fices in DAFZA, I can­not help but take a mo­ment to ap­pre­ci­ate the traf­fic-free roads – a rar­ity here in Dubai – while lis­ten­ing to the lat­est in busi­ness news on the ra­dio. At the of­fice, I touch base with my as­sis­tant, who has been with Bosch for more than four years – I rely on her a lot. We plan the week ahead and dis­cuss up­com­ing appointments or meetings; it’s shap­ing up to be a very busy week. Af­ter a long day of in­ter­nal meetings and strate­gis­ing, I head to Kite Beach for a seven-kilo­me­tre walk to un­wind, be­fore head­ing home for din­ner with my fam­ily.


I spend an hour at the gym be­fore head­ing to the of­fice. I make the most of this time to fo­cus and re­align my thoughts. A good work­out is a great way to keep in shape men­tally and phys­i­cally, and pre­pare for the day ahead. Back at the of­fice, I spend the greater part of the day sift­ing through a plethora of emails be­fore head­ing to our Wel­come2Bosch lunch – some­thing I look for­ward to very much as I get to know new as­so­ciates bet­ter. Af­ter a long day at work, I take my daugh­ter to the gym. She is busy study­ing for her ex­ams and is grate­ful for the time away from books. I can­not re­sist hav­ing an ice­cream dur­ing this time and we head home for din­ner af­ter­wards.


To­day, I am fly­ing off to Riyadh to at­tend a busi­ness fo­rum and will check in at our lo­cal branch and touch base with some stake­hold­ers. I spend a busy day in Riyadh, with thought-pro­vok­ing dis­cus­sions with some young Saudis re­gard­ing the cur­rent re­forms sweep­ing the coun­try. I am en­cour­aged by their en­thu­si­asm and pride. I take time to check in with my as­sis­tant back in Dubai and man­age to grab a mo­ment to text my fam­ily back home. My flight back to the UAE is de­layed, but I am able to get home in time for bed.


I wake up early, know­ing I have a busy day that starts with a man­age­ment meet­ing in the morn­ing with the var­i­ous heads of de­part­ments in at­ten­dance. Back at the of­fice, I spend the day dis­cussing busi­ness per­for­mance and expectations in the up­com­ing months for the Mid­dle East re­gion. We also re­flect on our ex­pe­ri­ence with the ex­cit­ing home of­fice con­cept in­tro­duced last year, where em­ploy­ees can work from the com­fort of their home four days a month. We spend the af­ter­noon in­au­gu­rat­ing our recre­ational room, com­plete with ta­ble tennis, bil­liards, darts, a de­sign think­ing cor­ner and a li­brary, which prove to be a hit with the staff. The rest of my af­ter­noon is spent in a tele­con­fer­ence with col­leagues from around the world be­fore leav­ing for the day to un­wind at the com­mu­nity swim­ming pool. I am home in time for din­ner and look for­ward to the tra­di­tional Al­ge­rian cous­cous that my wife has cooked up for us, while we spend the evening lis­ten­ing to my daugh­ter’s tales from school.


I spend all day im­mersed in a work­shop on the re­sults of our as­so­ciate sur­vey, which were very pos­i­tive. The morn­ing is spent dis­cussing how we can fur­ther im­prove the sat­is­fac­tion of our as­so­ciates. I am pleased with the out­come of the meet­ing, and for­tu­nate to be sur­rounded by highly com­mit­ted em­ploy­ees. The af­ter­noon van­ishes in a flurry of in­ter­nal meetings, where I have the op­por­tu­nity to hear sev­eral in­ter­est­ing ideas from my team. Af­ter a long week in the of­fice, I can look for­ward to spend­ing the week­end at a re­sort with my wife and daugh­ter.


Fri­day in its en­tirety is spent with my fam­ily in Ras Al Khaimah, as we re­lax by the ho­tel pool un­der the glo­ri­ous sun and I catch up on my book. I don’t find enough hours dur­ing the week to read as much as I should and the book I am read­ing at the mo­ment is prov­ing to be a real page-turner. My fam­ily and I spend the day to­gether and I man­age to fit in a ses­sion at the gym. We head back to Dubai late in the evening, and I am ex­tremely happy to have spent a day away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of the city, hav­ing dis­con­nected from work for a while.


Satur­day at the Bischoff house­hold usu­ally be­gins with a fam­ily break­fast. I find it im­por­tant to spend valuable time with my wife and daugh­ter. We spend the day at the mall and stop to have lunch at La Mer, where we spend a few hours strolling along the shore. Our evening is spent watch­ing a movie at home over din­ner, as we get ready for a new week ahead.

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