Marco Pattori, Ireland Country Manager, Procter & Gamble
I joined Procter & Gamble’s sales department in Italy in 1990. My business degree was instrumental because at the time big companies were looking to recruit graduates with a business background to boost their sales departments in the face of increased competition.
A turning point
I was a key member of P&G’s internal team in Italy during the Italian economic recession in the 1990s. It was a tough time and we were losing our market presence to discount retailers, but I successfully implemented a strategy of focusing on the consumer while cutting unnecessary costs, which allowed us to offer higher quality at better value. This was a turning point in my career and is useful now in Ireland as I see many similarities here.
In 1998 I was honoured to lead the first multi-functional selling team in the Italian fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) environment. Ten years on we are better able to compete in the market by successfully collaborating with important trade partners.
Advice for graduates
Your first three to five years of work experience are fundamental as they will really shape your future. Listen to your peers, mentors and managers, and don’t be afraid of change.
Skills for future leaders
Continually assess yourself and your performance, adjust yourself appropriately and learn, learn, learn. Economic downturns can provide an incredible learning curve.
Marco Pattori has a Business Administration degree from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy.