Keisha Hill, Gleaner Writer
With almost 30 years of experience in sales and marketing, Swiss national Jurg Blaser is now at the helm of NestlÚ Jamaica as the company's country manager. The majority of his career has been within the global environment of NestlÚ except for a four-year period in the mid 1990s when he was vice-president of marketing and sales at Kuhn-Rikon in Switzerland.
Blaser joined NestlÚ in 1985 as a commercial basic trainee in Chile and quickly moved up the ranks and around the globe fulfilling his personal desire to be an expatriate. "I began learning the business by getting my hands dirty as a merchandiser and moved up the ranks to salesman then sales supervisor before becoming a brand manager," he said.
His assignments in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua and Jamaica have helped him to develop an appreciation for different cultures, which has proven beneficial in his approach to sales and marketing of NestlÚ products. As the country manager for NestlÚ Jamaica Limited, he is responsible for engaging the team and ensuring their alignment with the company's vision.
"My main tasks are to communicate a clear vision of where we (NestlÚ Jamaica) want to ensure we have the right people in the right positions to achieve our targets. Together with my management team we established a strategic plan and now we need to accelerate the implementation," Blaser said.
He believes in empowering employees, allowing them to exercise initiative, thereby ensuring their personal growth and development along with that of the company. "Coaching the team and striving for continuous excellence by constantly challenging the status quo and entrenched habits take a big part of my time as it entails a lot of personal contacts and communication," Blaser said.
Teamwork he said is very important in his line of work, as he believes it is a must to be successful. He stated that 'if you don't have a team to support but also to challenge you, you will not be able to transform them into sustainable results.'
Blaser is also impressed and fascinated learning from his consumers. "Going to consumers houses, talking to them about our products while they are preparing their meals is always a rewarding experience and as a positive side effect I have learnt a lot about Jamaican cuisine," he said. NestlÚ is a sponsor of The Gleaner's Food Month 2013.