Originally trained as a lawyer in his native Venezuela, Pablo graduated from the MIM program in July 2011 and then took part in the Beyond Borders Experience, obtaining a Dual Specialization in International Business and Sales and Marketing. He has since returned to Caracas, where he is currently an Assistant Marketing Manager at Alnova,C.A., a Venezuelan wine and liquor importer with over 400 employees.
Q: Hi Pablo! Tell us about what you’ve been up to since finishing your second specialization in December, especially about your new position!
P: Hi Silvia! After graduating from the MIM program, I started working in Alnova, C.A. as an Assistant Marketing Manager and it has been a great experience! There are a lot of challenges, including leading projects with cross-functional teams and structuring prices and positioning strategies for premium brands such as Heineken, Campari, SKYY Vodka and wines from all over the world. I have also been involved in building stronger brand identities for our national products through the implementation of Digital Marketing and efficient consumer driven strategies.
Q: How is it working in the Wine and Spirits industry? Is it as fun as it sounds?
P: The Wine and Spirits industry in Venezuela is not easy. There are many competitors, and consumers are driven by three main attributes: Brand, Quality and Price. So considering the loyalty for several brands, we have managed to implement strong promotional strategies focusing on our KSF, increasing sales and gaining market share.
And yes, it’s as fun as it sounds. In Venezuela we confront financial and political risks on a daily basis and we need to overcome these challenges to keep growing and building our brand. So far we have done a pretty good job in navigating this environment, as Alnova has grown over 200% in the last 5 years and now has over 400 employees nationwide and more the 250 SKU´s.
Q: After graduating from the MIM program, you chose to stay on and do a Dual Specialization. Can you tell us about this experience and what you got out of the second specialization?
P: I decided to do the Dual Specialization because I thought that it would give me a more complete picture of what I was really interested in: Sales & Marketing. And I wasn’t wrong at all! The International Business Specialization added so much as it gave me the right tools to lead and efficiently manage projects while taking into consideration the scope and budget. I also learned to focus on building competitive advantages to drive strategic decisions. Then taking Sales & Marketing after provided me with everything I needed to sustain those projects. Price and distribution are important, but if you are able to think outside the box, to be more innovative and manage your brands knowing your customers, sales will increase rapidly because you will always be fulfilling their needs.
Q: You have a blog with some amazing photographs of your travels and it looks like you’ve travelled quite a bit—Istanbul, Amsterdam and Venice, among many other places. Is there a place that particularly inspired you or affected you?
P: Photography is my passion. It’s something really personal; it shows the world through my eyes. IE has incredible diversity among their students and it has been enriching, but travelling to these places with tips from people that study with you makes the experience something really special. If I have to choose one place that really inspired me, I would definitely say Istanbul. It´s maybe one of the most incredible places I have ever been in my life. The colors, the smells, the food and the entire historical mystique that it has – it is definitely one of my favorite places.
Q: Finally, tell us what you miss about IE and Madrid!
P: I definitely miss my friends. IE gave me the chance of making an incredible group of friends and colleagues. I even miss those long hours at the study rooms because I was working with people from all over the world, sharing completely different points of views and getting the job done. Madrid is an incredible city. I believe that the IE experience is in part what it has to offer when you are not studying. Whether it´s Sunday afternoons in La Latina or having some cañas at Plaza Santa Ana with friends or just laying down in the Parque del Retiro on Fridays after class.
Truly amazing memories!!