Japanese public company with annual sales of $5.7 billion USD (2014) and 53k+ employees worldwide. A leader in producing T1 electric components for the automobile segment with a U.S.-based headquarters for its LATAM operations which include facilities in Mexico, Brazil and Paraguay.
With a need to fulfill on automotive OEM projects for German clients and an increasing cost of manufacturing labor in Brazil, the client realized the urgent need to locate and hire a new production leader for its Paraguay operation. They required a candidate with world-class experience running a highly manual operation plant, but also with enough experience to open a new plant from “ground-zero” and double the operation in a short period of time.
Paraguay is a low-cost economy which recently started working on its path to become a more visible and democratic country, facing the natural challenges of any emerging economy. It was necessary for the company to find a local national (cultural connection) based in the industrial city of Ciudad del Este, well-known for its underdevelopment and high rate of insecurity. Challenges included a population with low executive profiles, almost no international exposure to worldwide manufacturing practices (lean manufacturing, six-sigma, etc) and low levels of fluency in English (ingredients that were highly critical for the client). Distance was another situation, due to the fact that the client was reluctant to cover travel expenses for interviewing candidates presented by any external recruiter.
The company engaged AutoKineto’s Mexico-based collaborator, Kingwergs & Associates Search Consultants, who has a successful track-record of running searches remotely throughout LATAM. SRA and K&A were retained for the assignment. The project was executed directly from Mexico into Paraguay, involving the decision makers based in the U.S., Mexico and Paraguay. The client was presented with a short list of five local national candidates; after three rounds of interviews, the successful individual was hired from Asuncion (Paraguay’s capital) and relocated into Ciudad del Este. This achievement marked the start of a long-lasting business relationship with this client.