Name: Robert S.
Title: Managing Director
Career Area: Strategy & Development
Location: Bangalore, India
Education: Texas A&M University, Bachelors of Science, Agri-Business
“I chose to join Cargill because I believed that the company shared the same values and principles that I held near to my own personal beliefs. Throughout the past 12 years I can say that I hold the exact same sentiment today.”
Early in my career, I expressed an interest to explore an international opportunity to broaden my leadership skills and cultural understandings. Through continued discussions with my managers and other business leaders, I was selected for different development opportunities by way of projects and business audits to gain exposure to other geographies. My continued persistence and ownership of my development plan paid off in 2010 as I was presented a new work opportunity outside of my home country to further develop my career.
Describe your work responsibilities and the importance of your role.
In my role as Managing Director, I lead the overall business strategy & development, plus operational performance of our CPN business in India. I have the full responsibility for our business results in safety, employee engagement, customer focus, community enrichment and sustainable growth. I help lead the development our organizational values and ensure that the business is following all Cargill requirements such as Guiding Principles. Our business supports over 600 employees and their families so I feel my role is extremely important to ensure a safe and prosperous future for themselves and their loved ones.
Describe your day-to-day activities and the skills needed to perform well.
No work day for me is the same. Whether I am working to establish marketing strategies for dairy and poultry with our strategic marketing teams, reviewing capital planning with our operations and finance team, or understanding market and customer changes with the commercial team I have to be flexible and open to listen to my team to gather their input, discuss and support their ideas, and allocate resources to execute properly. My listening, communication and organizational skills are important– I must delegate and lead my team to make the right choices and carry out their decisions on a daily basis.
Describe your career path. Where did you start and how did you get to where you are today?
I started with Cargill in the Business Manager training program in our US Feed business in Kansas City, Kansas. After four years of training and subsequent changes in responsibilities, I relocated in the Regional Business Manager role to our office in Stockton, California, overseeing our Pacific Southwest business. After another 4 years of experience I was offered the opportunity to relocate to Milano, Italy, where I had various managerial roles for our Italy feed business. In January 2015, I started my current role as Managing Director for CPN India.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
The most rewarding part of my work is watching our people and our businesses grow. I am highly competitive so I always am dissatisfied with the status quo and previous performances. To achieve sustainable growth we must always focus on growing the profitability and performance of our customers. We can only grow as a business if our customers are satisfied. This implies that our internal teams can manage change better and faster than the competition. Helping our employees create and follow meaningful development plans through various trainings and on the job applications is a challenge but seeing a teammate grow in their role is the most rewarding aspect of my job.
Why did you choose to join Cargill and what keeps you here? In other words, how has a career at Cargill helped you to thrive?
I chose to join Cargill because I believed that the company shared the same values and principles that I held near to my own personal beliefs. Throughout the past 12 years I can say that I hold the exact same sentiment today – doing what is right no matter what the consequences and absolute integrity are the cornerstones of our business no matter the country or employee that you collaborate with on a daily basis. Having the explicit knowledge that I can make decisions and be supported by the business for any outcome basis our guiding principles and values helps me thrive.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career at Cargill like yours?
Be open to change and new experiences, embrace responsibility, and have a real conviction in whatever task or job you perform.
Share an interesting tidbit about yourself such as hobbies, volunteerism, favorite foods or activities, accomplishments inside or outside of work.
I enjoy spending my free time at home playing with my five year old son. In the fall, I enjoy following College Football (USA) and my favorite team – Texas A&M. Finally as a native English speaker, I am extremely proud that I was able to learn and use a second language (Italian) on daily basis. It might have taken four years, but in the end I can say I am successful.