This week, we welcomed the new Zone President of the brand new Africa Zone in AB InBev, Ricardo Tadeu. With over 20 years of experience, Ricardo has had an impressive career thus far and is Ihe perfect person to help take the beer industry in South Africa to new heights.
Ricardo spared some time to answer a few questions to help us get to know him a little bit better.
We started off by asking him what his job would entail on the sunny shores of South Africa.
My job is to build on the great legacy of SABMiller and inspire all our African Zone colleagues in the dream of creating a truly ideal company, which can be a model to all others. To do so, we have to grow our top line sustainably be super-efficient, be the best place to work and make a huge and positive difference to the communities in which we operate.
Having just moved here from Mexico, we asked him what his first impressions were of South Africa, and what he thought were the biggest similarities and differences between the two countries.
I think that the biggest similarity is the hospitality of the people in both countries. This really helps me and my family feel at home as soon as possible. I also think that both people are very proud of their cultures and their deep historical roots.
The biggest difference is the language, while Mexico is much more uniform, in SA we have a multitude of languages that sometimes make you feel like you are in a convention at the United Nations!
Throughout his time in Mexico, Ricardo was involved in a number of initiatives dedicated to helping people and the country as a whole, we asked him to tell us a little about these initiatives and how they have better prepared him for his role in South Africa.
I had the opportunity to lead many initiatives during my time in Mexico. These include Voluntarios Modelo (the largest corporate volunteering programme in the world, I dare to say), Guerreros de la Tierra (a programme designed to develop and help beer chain entrepreneurs in the State of Yucatán) and Zacatecas Ciudad Modelo (a programme where we committed to making Zacatecas a model city in terms of Responsible Consumption).
I really think that all my previous experiences will stand me in good stead for this new and exciting challenge. I feel very energized and ready to make a positive difference in Africa. I want to harness the amazing capabilities of this great company.
Ricardo was born in Brazil in 1976. He is married and has four kids, from 19 to 2 years old. He had this to say about his favourite South African beer:
South Africans are very proud of SAB and the success story of SABMiller. We asked Ricardo what stood out for him the most about the SAB / SABMiller story?
SAB´s people, for sure. At the end of the day, great people make a great company and a company is only as successful as it is capable of attracting, retaining and developing the greatest talent. I am amazed by the quality and diversity of the people I've met so far. And it is really refreshing.
South Africa is a special place with so many different people from many different backgrounds. I praise SAB for the great team that was gathered and developed throughout all those years.
We then asked Ricardo what he loves most about AB InBev and the beer industry.
I love this company because it's my home. I have had more time in my life inside ABI than outside ABI. This is a company where you feel like an owner. You have the sense that your actions really have impact and consequence. It is a company devoted to growth and to opening up opportunities for people who want to grow based on their effort and talent.
And it is even more perfect because it's a beer company. Who does not love beer? Have you ever imagined the world without beer? It would be such a boring place! It is an amazing and complex product, that has been around for a very long time. We are responsible for preserving its traditions and, at the same time, making sure it is always evolving together with our consumers' preferences. And, definitely, we must make sure it is responsibly consumed, as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Ricardo is a huge soccer fan and devoted Fluminense F.C. supporter. When we asked him which South African team he'll be supporting, he said:
We then got onto the topic of craft beer. We asked Ricardo which craft beer is currently his favourite and why.
I drink all sorts of beer because I love to know everything that is available and what could become trendy. My favourites today are Cucapá Chupacabras, Bocanegra Dunkel, Goose IPA and the No 3 Fransen Street Cream Ale that I had the opportunity to taste recently.
I am a great fan of specialty beers and helped develop this segment in Mexico through the Beerhouse.mx platform, distributing beers directly to consumers.
Ricardo is currently studying French and is totally focused on getting to know the African market.
HIS PARTING THOUGHTS:
I want this company to be the pride of the whole continent.
THESE ARE UNFORGETTABLE TIMES AND WE ARE GOING TO MAKE HISTORY!