Set up of global beverage business in Australia as a start up
Campari Australia was set up in 2009 in the middle of the Global Financial Crisis when it was extremely difficult to attract talent that was gainfully employed. The executive team was hired and met for the first time in November 2009 and the task was to set up and have a running business on 1 April 2010.
As part of the Executive Leadership team I was actively involved in achieving the following objectives:
- Set up of a national office in Sydney along with state offices Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.
- Establishing all policies and guidelines for customers, employees and suppliers.
- Recruiting a full complement of head office staff by 1 February and all sales staff by 15th March 2010. This meant that we had 60 days from selection to on boarding for the head office team followed by another 60 days to get the sales team on board. This was a formidable task when you take into account the fact that December and January are dead months in recruitment due to Christmas and school holidays.
- I was able to rally the leadership team to believe that being a preferred employer would have to be an integral part of our business plan if Campari was to be successful in a mature market like Australia. I then gave them a blueprint of what that looked like and enlisted their support in making this come true. Some interesting achievements that emerged from this shared vision were as follows:
- Campari Australia is considered to be the gold standard within Campari Group for start-ups. The people practices set up in the Australian business got absorbed by the Group at head office and deployed as global best practices.
- Campari Australia is seen as an Employer of Choice in the spirits/ beverage industry. Despite the fact that Campari Australia salaries are 20% below the market leader its employee attrition levels are 50% below industry average and the organization continues to have the highest employee engagement scores amongst Campari businesses world-wide.
For my contribution I was recognized as a finalist in the Australia HR Director of the year in 2013.