Robert Cedermark: a story of growth and impact

In 2014, Robert Cedermark began his career as a Global Management Trainee (GMT), a move that sparked a transformative professional and personal journey, taking him across the world. Today, Robert serves as the Operations Performance Director in Singapore, driving business performance and improvements.

After starting as a Global Management Trainee (GMT), Robert's career at ISS has been marked by unexpected opportunities, each enriching his career and personal values. “Having so many chances to work internationally has been fantastic. I’ve spent long periods of time working in the UK, Hong Kong, The Netherlands and France, and held roles in Sweden, Denmark, China and now Singapore. But throughout, the most important thing in my career has been the people - colleagues who have given good advice, inspiration, support and friendship.”

“The most important guide in my journey in ISS was my first mentor; he led our Healthcare business in Sweden and inspired me in his approach to leadership. Having an unusual background as a minister, everything he did was 100% signified by his values. Always approaching your challenges with purpose and the right values at heart, translating that into behaviours at work is something that really motivated me.”

Making a difference in society
After completing the GMT program, Robert worked in ISS Sweden as Head of Operational Excellence in the Healthcare sector, where he saw how placemakers’ efforts directly impacted patients; this experience inspired him deeply. “Working in healthcare, it can be the small things that go a long way. A friendly smile, and doing something extra for someone in need, these things really make a difference to people’s lives and how they feel. There are so many fantastic, and often untold, stories of how our placemakers go beyond their duties to extend support to medical staff, patients and their relatives.”

Robert’s career has consistently centered around the importance of teamwork and support. He recalls working on a particularly challenging contract, "It was a difficult time, but the pressure unlocked something in the team. We supported each other, proving that even in tough times, there's usually someone else who can give you energy and support. I have learned to take opportunities and not worry too much about it, because there are always people around who can help."

Another defining moment in his career was while working in China as Regional Account Director. Robert explains, "It was daring to take the step into the unknown, because China was a new country to me, and I hadn’t managed a team of that size and responsibility previously. Shortly after I arrived, the pandemic struck; our teams went above and beyond, especially during the 2022 Shanghai lockdown. Many people were confined to their apartments for several months – some struggled accessing food in the initial stages of this lockdown. At ISS, we were able to leverage our enterprise strength and resources to deliver food packages and protective equipment to thousands of people in Shanghai. This is an amazing story demonstrating the impact we have as a company; it also puts life into perspective – when you are faced with challenges like this, you realise that often other problems aren’t as serious as you think they are. It builds resilience." 

An unexpected journey 
Reflecting on how ISS has also impacted his personal life, Robert says “It’s true to say that ISS has had a huge influence on my life, which I couldn’t have imagined when I joined as a fresh graduate almost 10 years back. It has brought me many places, with great memories and experiences, not only for me but for my family too who also now live in Singapore.”

For Robert, ISS is more than a workplace; it’s a community that drives meaningful connections and contributions to society. "It's important to remember why we are here and the impact we have. Of course, we all work to make a living, but most of us also want something beyond that. To have purpose – to know you have some kind of positive impact on society," he says. 

Reflecting on his career, Robert emphasises "A key lesson in my career is to keep challenging yourself and step outside your comfort zone. Stay true to your values and leverage the power of the people around you to drive positive change, for yourself and for others."

Robert Cedermark - Headshot