Fernando Fernandez is a legend in Unilever. A strong inspiring leader who has shephered unilever latin America to incredible growth, success and market share wins while being a pioneer in new spaces like e-RTM and new categories like Pet Care. He was kind enough to share with us his leadership mantras – here are the top 10 Fernandisms.

On Leadership 

  1. Thank everyone as many people contribute to our success. These include our colleagues, partners in functions we may never meet like factories or sales, our agencies and suppliers and even our predecessors who are no longer with.
  2. Debate, Disagree but once aligned go ahead and ruthlessly execute the agreed.
  3. Don’t be in denial – face the truth always and take action.
  4. Perform and transform – run the business of today with strong execution and transform to become the business of tomorrow.
  5. Predict the future and be curious- what will happen has already happened somewhere else

On Business 

  1. Invest in brands with purpose – ideally for 52 weeks and at a minimum for 26 weeks. If you cannot invest then don’t launch the brand.
  2. Run the business as your own – be frugal and have a lean cost mindset. Question every cost and always find a better way to do thing. Build a culture of savings and scarcity. Find creative solutions.
  3. Invest in technology – digitize ahead of your competition.
  4. Premiumise and differentiate  – play where we can win and then invest heavily 
  5. Play the price piano with brands and formats – be prepared for VUCA. Higher the margin, push for more volume growth. Lower the margin go for lean low cost agile model

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