Alessandro Anastasio from Italy works as Procurement Manager, Seafreight Services Northeast Asia at a. hartrodt China Holdings in Hong Kong since late May. Besides him, there are a lot of other so-called "expats" there whom the family-owned company has sent abroad – from Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada or Panama, among others. "Customers appreciate our international profile, and typically we act proactively," Alessandro Anastasio says. Spanish Amaya Teniente, Managing Director of a. hartrodt Argentina, confirms this: "Expats are open-minded, flexible and resilient." She herself gained all her freight forwarding experience abroad.
Assuming more responsibility abroad
Amaya Teniente started at a. hartrodt eleven years ago in Shanghai in the sales department, moved to Hong Kong as Trade Manager before assuming responsibility as Managing Director in Buenos Aires in March 2020. This is not an individual case: Italian Lorena Figaro started in Genoa as Sales Assistant, quickly made her career and in 2016 took over the management of the Milan office. Since 2018 she has been at a. hartrodt España in Barcelona, since June 2019 as Managing Director: "If I had stayed in Genoa, surely I would be doing a great job, but with completely different basis and working tools."
Serving international customers more easily
For a. hartrodt's global network, Alessandro Anastasio considers expats to be extremely important: "As we come from different countries and cultures, we have the possibility to better adapt to different people or situations," he finds. Expats are determined to take the most advantage of their international experience – and the company benefits from that as well, he believes. In addition, he says, it's easier for experts from abroad to serve international customers who use Hong Kong as a gateway to China/Asia, for example. Living away from home helps expats "being even more focused on work goals, and this is appreciated by customers".
Amaya Teniente finds common experiences from countries where she has lived and with which the customer does business beneficial to the relationship. In Spain, Lorena Figaro is often asked about Italy by customers and suppliers: "It's always interesting to learn how things are managed in other countries."