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KSearch Consultants Get Briefed on FMCG Talent Dynamics

Caryn Ingco, KSearch Associate Consultant

I’ve always harboured a notion that being with the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry must demand for a special kind of qualities, knowing that the likes of iconic companies the likes of Coca Cola, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Colgate Palmolive, etc. are known to hire only the best and brightest among the fresh university graduates.   Well, this was actually confirmed last week on July 26 when, as part of our Knowledge Enrichment Program, Mr. Ian Santos, himself a FMCG stalwart, gave us an insight on “What do large FMCG companies look for in Selecting Talent”.


Mr. Santos in his briefing to us KSearch consultants talked about what were some of the critical qualities large multinational companies look for when considering talents.  They invariably include the following:


·         High Performer , i.e., not only as an individual but one who can influence and make people around him to perform to excellence at same pace with him

·         Personal and professional Integrity that are beyond reproach

·         Strong Leadership traits as in (a) being able to always think one step ahead, (b)  one who can be counted on to consistently add value to the thought  process  or problem resolution, and (c) a natural leader and  adept  at being a situational leader whenever called for

·         Compulsive for innovative ideas, thus constantly seeking for ways to create improvements on existing models and processes



Mr. Santos also stressed the high importance of the talent needing to have a good balance between a high IQ and a high EQ (emotional quotient).  The two have to combine in equal dosage for best results.


In the ensuing Q&A, KSearch’s Managing Director, Mr. Manny Guillermo, asked why do other industries target to attract talents from FMCG?  To which, Mr. Santos replied: “What I think and I believe, it is because FMCG people are trained, probably even brain-washed, to always “categorize” their target market.   It’s this special ability that is needed in such industries as the telecom and banking or others that have to deal with the consumer market in general.”


Mr. Santos’s insights were very enlightening.  It became clear that FMCG companies knew exactly what special skills and abilities their talents should have at the outset and should sharpen on in order to succeed in such as a highly demanding and often stressful environment.  It obviously starts with their selection criteria and in the actual choices to hire only the best from among the university graduates.  That the selection for top talents is a competitive process among the major MNCs only makes the whole process either more coveted or more dreaded – depending on how focused, determined and ambitious the aspiring young graduates would be to join any of these top MNCs. 



For our part in KSearch, the briefing from Mr. Santos has given us a deeper insight and broader appreciation of the talent development dynamics that obtain in the FMCG industry,  particularly at the level of the much-admired multinational FMCG companies.  


Mr. Ian Santos was the former Sales Operations Planning Director at Coca Cola Bottlers and currently a part-time professor for the MBA Program at the College of Business Administration, University of the Philippines, Diliman, teaching the first and only Strategic Sales Management course in the UP MBA program. 


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