Diversity is the key to our success
We have asked our colleague Luciano Santos, Area Sales Manager, several questions about his activities at TANATEX Brazil.
Several years ago, you were working for TANATEX and last year you joined us again. How has the organisation developed, in your view?
I worked for the company between 2004 and 2010, and as mentioned I returned last year. I worked for the company when it turned TANATEX for the second time! I have noticed that many improvements on processes, structure and marketing have been made since 2010. The company is more professional and focused, but the passion for textiles soul is kept! Which is the most important thing!
Can you describe what it was like when you started?
I started as part of LANXESS textile business unit, as a big company there was no special attention or focus on the textile market. The basis of the “world of ideas” and the “passion for textiles” were already present, but it was on standby! When we became TANATEX everything changed! We finally gained an identity as a team, as a company! On this environment of the first decade of century 21 TANATEX was born, vibrant and new in spirit! I remember saying WOW when I saw the new logo for the first time.
Tell me what is different today?
I returned to the company last year, and I have found a matured company, still focused on Business, still Passionate for textiles, but with clear statements and procedures and more importantly a company which has found its space in this competitive world, exploring the strengths of the employees and with a very strong visual identity recognized by customers and even by competitors as a solution provider. Also, last but not least, the TRANSFAR acquisition empowers TANATEX and gives critical mass to realize more, bring value to customers and employees! Very exciting times!
Can you explain your daily tasks, what does your work include?
My work is to grow the business for Transfar-Tanatex! It involves establishing a commercial strategy for Latin America to increase market share and generate: sales, sales and sales again!
I don’t fancy the bureaucratic activities, but they are needed to make the company’s processes go well. So, my most enjoyable activities are linked to the 5 P’s of marketing: Product management; Pricing; Promotion; Placement and the most important thing People!
Do you have a lot of contact with other countries?
Oh yeah! As we do not have a legal entity in Latin America, all of our office support of sales, logistic, IT, etc is in Ede, and I interact with other offices like Thailand and Shanghai. You know Brazilians love diversity! Our people are a mix of a lot of different cultures like Indians, Africans, Europeans, Asians…so, for me is a great pleasure to have daily contact with people from abroad! I believe that the diversity is the key to our success!
How do we benefit our customer?
Competitive Advantage! Amplifying our business we amplify our resources, adding value to our customers with a direct positive impact on the way that they do business, giving them tools to compete on the global market with: innovative technologies, technical support, high performance products and less environmental impact. It is exactly what customers are looking for. A partner to help them find a way to stay competitive in their market.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I cannot stress enough: People Relationship! There is a famous Brazilian song that says “every artist needs to go where people are”. So, business is about people, I see the sales person as an artist going where people are, and seeing the opportunities related! It is what I love! Interacting with customers to help them find their competitive advantage, improving their business!
What are you most proud of in your career?
That is definitely being part of the carve out from LANXESS to TANATEX! It was a difficult and exciting time, we were only 6 people, few resources but an enormous resilience and desire to achieve our goals! This small work group didn’t bother about hierarchy and worked shoulder by shoulder to get an entire legal entity running! We were dealing with issues that we had never needed to deal with before in a big structure like IT, Accounting, Logistic, Trade commerce, HS&Q, etc. We felt like warriors fighting against time and bureaucracies to create a company from zero! I respect all the people that worked with me on this challenge !
Do you have a favourite Tanatex product or project? If so, what is it and why?
Really… You’re kidding… You really want me to choose just one product? That´s a difficult task! I am passionate about textile processing and the solutions we have for customers, products like QI-TEX® or TANA®JET range has a fantastic approach, but my heart beats faster regarding Mineral Technology!
I remember when we launched TANNEX® GEO in Latin America, it was a really new approach on exhaust pre-treatment in decades! We went to customers very excited to promote the product! The success was (and is) enormous!
Do you have any favourite memories or anecdotes that stand out from your years at Tanatex?
I have many! But my favourite involves one German colleague who is a football fanatic! I’m usually joking around about his passion for the German national team saying that we Brazilians have won the championship 5 times and they have only won 4 times! I usually say “hey hello, my 4 times champion friend”, and we laugh together. Of course, he is a gentleman and doesn’t mention the fact that they beat us by 7-1 in our home during the world cup in 2014. Many people in the company know this story! I am afraid now it has become a legend!
What would you like to achieve in the next few years within TANATEX?
Certainly, delivering on our five-year business plan! My management and colleagues expect this from me and I will not disappoint them! As I said before it is my goal! My project! It is very clear what I want and need to achieve this! In my country, we say “mission given is mission accomplished!”
How do you see your career development in 10 years?
I see myself leading a huge structure in Latin America! That is my dream for the company. I see myself looking back with pride at what we achieved in a decade transforming our region into a reference of success inside our company! Like John Lennon sang “You may say I am a dreamer…but I´m not only one….”
How do you see market development in 10 years?
Ufff! That´s a good question! The 4.0 industry will transform the textile industry and consequently our business model! The smart textiles push the development of new effects in finishing, the digital printing rises and surpass conventional printing in running metres, the environmental issues request energy and water saving processes, plasma technology eliminates the water usage in many processes, etc. But the main change is the development of 3D printing, which will change the clothing production and consequently the use of chemicals.
Thank you very much for you time and input.