comment ALEXANDRE FRUBEL Managing Director of Tramontina in London On the board

What's your background? I graduated in Social Communication specialising in Public Relations, and then went on to do two master’s degrees - one in Strategic Business Management gained in Brazil and the other in Executive Business gained in the UK. I spent more than 10 years working in the export

department at Tramontina which, in turn, led to me taking up posts in Europe, South America and some countries in Africa as well. I have been based in London for the past two years leading the Tramontina UK project.

Tell us a bit about Tramontina. Tramontina is the housewares market leader in South and North America and we also have a strong presence in more than 120 countries worldwide. We are a Brazilian manufacturer with 10 factories in Brazil and one in the US, producing more than 18,000 homeware items - both indoor and outdoor. We have 8,000 employees and are proud of the fact that everything is produced in Brazil. Our UK office is primarily responsible for the UK

and Irish markets, but we also look after Italy, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway, in both the retail and hospitality sectors.

What’s your working week like? This may sound funny but I always find it very pleasant! It’s generally a mix of being in the office, going out to meet with customers, doing trade shows and so on. It can be so full on that you can suddenly realise that the busy week has turned into

a month! It is a good challenge and I am very positive about everything, so we have fun even in tough weeks.

What’s keeping you busy? At the moment it’s new projects and product development. In this industry, in order to stay ahead of the game and lead with trends, planning a year ahead is often not long enough - so we need to plan further ahead to ensure we have our new innovations and launches planned to perfection. Also, our relationships with our customers are very important to us, and this is something we constantly devote attention to.

“ Retailers that offer a combination of great quality and

distinctive products with interesting offers in-store will always

have guaranteed custom ”

What’s on your agenda? Heading out for the Brazilian summer at the end of December (which sounds like holiday, but it’s not!). This is a key time for us as we spend a week in our factories to discuss new ideas, developments, new products and trends. We select the best lines in preparation for

showcasing them to our customers at Spring Fair and Ambiente, where we generally base our presentations around seasonal themes to ensure we are offering the most effective propositions to our customers.

Tramontina's Opera cutlery 18 |

Most rewarding aspect of your job? I would say the most rewarding aspect is when we look back and we see how much we’ve achieved in two years; how many important doors we have opened and how great our products are performing. Looking ahead, even although we know there are a lot of things still to be done, we

know that the base we have built is very solid and we are ready for the future.

Most challenging aspect of your job? In our industry the highest proportion of products is still coming from the Far East and the challenge for us is to grow our share of the market with quality, certified materials and strong values at the fore. These attributes are all important to retailers and consumers alike, so they can rely on a solid brand behind the product which will ensure service, profitability and a point of difference.

What do you do to relax? If I need to de-stress a bit, I turn to sport. The gym is where I leave any negatives! I also like to travel, go to the cinema, walk in parks and so on. However, most of all, I love to barbecue with friends - with our own products of course! I really enjoy a good laugh, good friends around, drinks and of course a giant T-bone!

During your time in the housewares industry, what products have impressed you most? I’m a coffee lover and I spend hours in stores checking out what’s new in coffee machines. I really do like them and would buy a different one every month - if it was not for my wife texting to remind me that we already have three! Joking apart, coffee machines have evolved brilliantly, and brands are doing a very nice job promoting them to be displayed in the kitchen and not simply hidden and forgotten. New technologies are also helping the sector to

keep breathing. For example, smart technology can now allow you to connect your mobile phone with December 2018


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