Our colleague Albert Sánchez –until now Finance Manager for North America and Australia, Eastern Europe and Africa, and the Middle East and India– has moved to the United States to take on his new role with Fluidra group as COO of Aquaproducts.
Starting next February, Albert will be responsible for managing the daily operations and activity at the Aquaproducts facilities in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. We had a chat with him to get to know him better and find out how he is handling this new step in his career.
- Packing your bags and moving to another continent can be overwhelming. What prompted you to take the leap?
I’ve always believed that international experience gives you an advantage in your professional development and I think that it’s the right time. The United States is the largest market in the pool sector worldwide and we have a major and very motivating challenge ahead: to make Fluidra into a leading brand there as well, where we’re up against the most recognised companies in the sector.
- You’ve been with Fluidra since 2006. In your experience, what has changed the most in the company in recent years?
I would emphasise two aspects. First, probably as a result of the [economic] crisis, the company has become more efficient in internal processes, forced to do more with less.
On the other hand, the strong commitment to standardising the different computer systems. Although there is still much work to do and I think it should give an extra boost to the Invictus project, a lot of progress has been made in this regard since I joined the group, considering the project’s complexity.
- What excites you most about your job?
I would say the fact that nothing is routine and that there are opportunities to continue developing professionally within the group. I think it is essential to face every day as a new challenge; you know how it will start but rarely how it will end. It is demanding but also very motivating at the same time.
I would also point out working with the team that forms part of the group; without it Fluidra would not be in the position it currently is. I think having a good working environment with the people you collaborate closely with is essential for achieving the personal goals you set and in my opinion it’s one of the group’s biggest assets.
- A bit of constructive self-criticism is always good. What would you say is the company’s unfinished business?
I think in some cases we put more focus on the short-term rather than long-term strategy and this can make us lose focus when making decisions. On the other hand, another aspect to improve which has often been mentioned is internal communication; in such a “chameleon-like” group as Fluidra with such a shifting structure, it is necessary that each employee know his/her role is and what is expected of him/her at all times.
- Finally, what are your professional goals for 2015?
Contribute the professional experience I acquired with the group in recent years to helping Aquaproducts be an operationally more efficient company and develop and implement the business plan of growth in the United States.
We have a very good product but we need to promote it even more, providing the best possible service to our customers and thus differentiating ourselves from the competition and continue gaining market share.
A colour: Blue
A place to get away from it all: the Costa Brava, full of surprising spots
A book or film: The Usual Suspects, with one of the best endings I remember
I couldn’t live without: Music: whenever I get a chance I hit play
My wish for 2015: Health for my family and friends
Many thanks for your time, Albert. LivingFluidra hopes that this new venture will bring you great and enriching experiences, both personally and professionally.