Published

Rocío Verduzco Alvarado

Position: Area Sales Manager, Spanish Central American countries
Employed since: June 2003
Education: Computer System Engineer

The beginning - from trainee to sales manager

Once I had completed my degree in Computer System Engineering, I joined the association AIESEC which subsequently led me to Kosan Crisplant. As part of AIESEC, I began a one-year long trainee program at the KC headquarters in Denmark. As a trainee, I could only stay for one year, though. Luckily, as my time was running out, the KC management was planning to start up a new office in Mexico and I was hired to join the team.

A new chapter began and I went back to Mexico to help establish the new office. Since we were only two people on the team, I had to acquire a broader technical knowledge to be able to cover the new areas of the business. Later on, I went back to Denmark for an additional six months of training in the technical aspects of the business. The training gave me invaluable knowledge to apply back in Mexico.

Where I am today

After the merger with PAM (the present KC France), the business grew and I became deputy business unit manager for most of the Southern American continent. I was in charge of sales and some technical parts of the business. Three years later, our business structure changed and we limited our focus to Mexico and Central America. This suited my personal life perfectly, as I had gotten married and had twins in the same period.

Recently, I became a part of the US team and thus today I spend 50 percent of my day representing Mexico and the Central American market and the other 50 percent representing the North American market.

The best thing about working for Kosan Crisplant

The absolute best thing about working for KC is the opportunity to grow and develop. Take myself as an example: I started as a trainee in Denmark, then I became a part of the sales team and today I am the sales manager of the Spanish Central American countries. I had the opportunity to expand my knowledge in the technical area and in the field of customers. To have room to grow both professionally as well as personally is what I value and find attractive in a workplace.

Most of the companies covering my area of expertise typically employ a downward communication where all information is communicated from the top-management and down. This does not apply to the structure in KC in which the communication between the management and the employees is based on dialogue across all levels of the organization. I find this very liberating.

Being a woman in a man's world

It is really amazing being a woman in the LPG industry. Having said that though, I have met and still meet challenges in my work. At first, it was difficult getting close to the customers; they were sceptical of me and doubted my technical knowledge. They thought I merely knew the names of the machines, nothing more. Some customers have practically examined me to see if I know how many screws the machines have, how tall they are, and why I am selling them. In my opinion, women in this industry have to explain themselves to a much larger degree than men. You need to justify your presence and earn respect whereas it is automatically given to men.

As a result, it is important for me to position myself in the business as a confident woman who knows her worth. The customers were testing me but as time went by, I overcame this challenge and the result was worth the effort. As soon as they got to know me and what I am capable of, they became real gentlemen - I earned their respect and trust and from then on, everything got so much easier. In the end it all makes you stronger.