Vitor Maia won this year’s Electrolux Leadership Award for his outstanding leadership skills. General Manager for Middle East, Northern and Central Africa (MENCA) since 2019, he starts a new role as Head of Sales for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa this month. We asked him to tell us about his career and share his leadership tips for success.
When my Electrolux adventure started:
I joined Electrolux in my native Brazil, a journey which has taken me to Italy, the Middle East and Africa, Singapore, back to the Middle East and soon on to Singapore again in my new role. I think it is quite unique to have worked in all of our business areas except North America.
What makes a good leader:
Leadership is all about influence. You can’t influence anyone without trust and respect. You need to walk the talk.
My vision of leadership:
Having a hunger for growth, making sure my team has a sense of belonging, not being afraid to challenge the strategic thinking and challenge my team on how to perform at a higher level.
The best way to motivate my team:
I like to work with passion and high energy levels and I want my team to have the same vibe. We spend a lot of our time working so we need to love what we do and why we do it. Our purpose as a company to shape living for the better brings responsibility, but it also makes our job as leaders much easier to attract and retain talent.
The part of my job I enjoy the most:
Having a growth agenda. Perhaps these last two years we had a little bit more than expected in terms of challenges, but this is how we grow and develop ourselves.
The MENCA business is all about:
Firstly, growth. Our brands are still quite unknown in our region and there is a lot of potential for growth which is exciting. Secondly, diversity. We have 22 nationalities in our Dubai office!
An untapped opportunity in MENCA:
We are streamlining our brands portfolio to focus on all three of our core brands – AEG, Electrolux and Frigidaire – which is unique in the Group and means we can cater for all market segments.
The biggest challenge I face:
It is to stay focused, flexible and resilient while continuing to navigate all the uncertainties in the world around us – pandemic, war, rising costs, supply chain issues etc.
What I am most proud of:
There’s a lot to celebrate and be proud of in my previous role. MENCA delivered over 20% growth in 2021. We have also become a more inclusive organization – we increased the number of females on our team from 29% to 35% last year and we have already increased female leadership from 9% to 27% in 2022.
What I am most looking forward to in my new role:
To join the APAC MEA leadership team again and accelerate our profitable growth agenda with our passionate teams across the region.
In my spare time:
I spend most of it with my wife and three kids. I also enjoy travelling on holidays, which hasn’t happened much since the pandemic but hopefully I will celebrate my 40th birthday in Sardinia this summer.