AmCham Macedonia Summer 2013 (issue 38) - Page 9

ANALYSIS improved quality on their land. Enhanced farm efficiency can improve a farmer’s income, which is important to sustainability. Additionally, we are more global, dynamic and customer driven than ever before. As such, our quest for competitive excellence and customer satisfaction is guided by our code of business conduct that clearly defines our expectations of how to do business the right way. EM: Tell us about one of your successes working here in Macedonia. Grigoriadis: Recently, my biggest challenge was to build our new factory and storage facilities and have them operational in 9 months. One of my primary goals was to avoid disturbing our normal operating cycle that includes buying, processing, packing and storing the new crop. My team spent many hours planning, designing, monitoring and following up on the project’s progress. Thanks to their dedication and commitment, we met our timetable and budget. We are now beginning to experience the outcome envisioned from this project that has enhanced our competitive position, improved product quality and allowed us to grow our business by 70% over the last 3 years. EM: Tell us something about your career and what led you to become Country Manager of Alliance One in Macedonia. Grigoriadis: I grew up on my parents’ tobacco farm, so I clearly understand what it takes to be a successful tobacco grower, as well as the challenges our Emerging Macedonia Summer 2013 Issue 38 producers face. In 1986, I entered the tobacco leaf merchant side of the business and have been here ever since. My background has given me a different and advantageous perspective on how to grow and drive this business. Over the past 27 years I have worked in all the key areas of our business including management of leaf procurement, processing, planning, quality control and sales/customer relations. I left our Bulgarian subsidiary where I had been Operations and Sales Manager to become the Macedonian Country Manager, a position I gladly accepted as an opportunity to help build a world class operation. I have succeeded in building a great team and industry leading operations that provide value to all that we touch; from our suppliers to our factory team to our shareholders – everyone benefits. 9