Alberto Kauer

Processing Operations Manager,
Operations, Brazil

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Alberto Kauer

“When I was doing my Electrical Engineering degree, I saw a television documentary about the corporate world, and learned about the opportunities for trainees that some companies offered. Interested, I did some research and created a spreadsheet with the pros and cons of each company’s programme. Souza Cruz came out on top for a number of reasons: it was part of a truly international group, it was a high performing organisation in its own right and the challenges it presented to would-be employees seemed high. Even the selection process looked to be better structured.

“After completing the trainee programme, I was invited to take part in a strategic review of the company’s operations. Being part of a highly motivated and well qualified team, we managed to increase the company’s productivity far beyond anyone’s expectations. This was just the first of the many interesting projects I’ve had the chance to work on in my time here.

“Nowadays, I’m responsible for the Operations Management Area at the company’s Rio Negro plant. During the harvest season, it takes a team of a thousand people to process roughly one-third of all the tobacco produced by Souza Cruz, 70 per cent of which is exported to the other companies within the BAT Group. For each one of us, our aim is to achieve excellence in everything we do: that’s why we’re always presenting ourselves with daily challenges and targets centred on key factors like people management, product quality, safety and profit.

“Striving for continuous success is integral to the culture of Souza Cruz and BAT in general. It’s essential, then, that we’re always thinking a move ahead of our competitors, anticipating the dynamics of our market and preparing for new regulatory scenarios. Because only those who are prepared for these constant challenges will succeed here.

“Throughout my career, I’ve always had lots of support from my managers, who showed me which paths to take while giving me the freedom to think creatively and act on my instincts. When I first arrived, I remember being surprised at this close connection between the junior and the senior members of the team. Now, I understand what an important role this plays in our ability as a company to deliver more than what’s expected. The people here are always aiming to go one step better than anyone else, because we all want to be leaders in everything we do.”