2022 started with a bang for me! I got the chance to move from being Vice President of our Direct-to-Consumer business in Panama, our Latin America HQ, to lead adidas Colombia as their new General Manager. In addition to the challenge of leading the country, I also have the great honor of blending our developing regional and global Hubs in Bogotá into a winning team and building that all important successful company culture.
Bogotá opens its doors to the world
Let me give you the lay of the land here in the Andes.
Colombia has become a strategic HUB for adidas in recent years. To date we host the Latin America Digital Hub (Ecommerce and Digital Partner Commerce (DPC) teams), a Global Business Services Center for Americas, as well as our Global Tech Hub, IT Delivery hub for Americas, LAM Non-Trade Procurement and LAM Accounting Hub.
And this trend is snowballing on the commercial front as well; to date our presence can be seen and felt across the Retail landscape, Franchise stores and the Wholesale business. We now have over 70 Retail and Franchise stores carrying our logo across the country and over 200 point of sales where adidas is distributed.
This growth has set Colombia up as an attractive, professional development destination and a bridge for international careers. Employees continue their journey in many of our offices across the world such as Amsterdam and Herzogenaurach in Europe and other countries in Latin America.
Let me quickly introduce you to the Hubs that now call Bogotá home.
1. Digital Hub - Ecommerce and Digital Partner Commerce)
At adidas, Digital is one of the key enablers of our Own the Game strategy, therefore it is a great honor for Colombia to host two of the most important teams that work daily to elevate our digital consumer experience not only for Colombia, but for entire Latin America.
Firstly, we have the Ecommerce Team that uses all the speed and agility of Digital to intensify our focus on the digital consumer and works constantly to drive growth and guarantee the best experience for our digital consumer across our own ecommerce channels in the region.
Of course, this focus on increasing digitalization also needs to be expanded to our wholesale partners to ensure a seamless experience for our consumers across all touchpoints. This is where our Digital Partner Commerce (DPC) team comes to action partnering with our digital B2B clients to ensure the best experience for our Latin America consumers across all digital sales channels.
2. Tech and IT Delivery Hubs
Our Tech Hub hosts the perfect environment for tech talent to lead the way into the digital future. With more than 70 people to date our engineering teams are distributed in several areas such as software development, software architecture, data engineering, engineering in testing, and Site Reliability in favor of building the best digital world-wide products. We offer a flexible and hybrid working model and building a successful company culture that sees teams work on the most innovative and brand-new tech products for adidas globally.
In addition, our IT Delivery Hub uses the proximity to many of our stores to work in that retail environment and better understand what our employees and consumers need.
Our strategic location in Colombia allows us to be leaders of digital initiatives that are deployed for the markets of the Americas and replicated throughout adidas. At adidas we believe in our people and their ideas.
3. Global Business Services (GBS)
In November 2021, we opened our new Global Business Services Hub in Bogotá with the vision of becoming the regional benchmark for adidas to be a more digital, agile, and efficient company. With over 96 people in the team, we offer a flexible working model with the best coworking spaces available to build a successful company culture as GBS supports with the best delivery of financial and human resources services.
Building a successful company culture
Now that’s a lot of business, retail and digital terminology to take in, but suffice it to say that all these teams are coming together to make adidas the best sports brand in the world. And it’s my job together with Colombia and Hubs Leadership Team to help them achieve that goal!
So back to the start of the year, when I thought to myself, how do we bring together a huge volume of new hires, working in different teams, in a new city and make them feel like part of adidas Colombia and build that successful company culture?
I only had to look to the heart of our brand to find the answer.
We unite through sports
Our purpose, though sport, we have the power to change lives, is truly lived by everyone across our hubs. We’ve an amazing sports program called ‘Ready Set Move’ that offers different virtual and on-site training classes weekly as well as tennis, basketball and football employee teams. This gives people from different hubs the opportunity to meet each other outside the normal office environment and really supports a successful company culture.
We share top class workplaces
My job is made a lot easier by the fantastic workplace available to the Hub teams here in Bogotá. The spaces allow our teams to collaborate and perform at their best and are designed to foster teamwork as we build our successful company culture day by day.
We foster relationships to understand diverse needs
No two people are the same and therefore no two teams are the same. That’s why our leadership team in Colombia make it a priority to meet with our employees in an informal and casual setting to hear firsthand their opinions, proposals, and ideas as we build a successful company culture together across our different hubs.
Have I piqued your interest in Colombia our host of hubs? There is an array of great opportunities on offer from Digital and GBS to Tech and IT Delivery.