From Rome to Mexico and back: let’s meet one of our business professionals, who started his career in Neomobile’s HQ and in his fast growth he became firstly Mexico & CenAm Country Manager and recently Product Owner for German and Turkish Countries. Between his work & perspectives… read below Michele Pomposo’s inspiring story!
You are in Neomobile since 2011 approximately, and considering the dynamism of our organization and related business, you gained a lot of experience…furthermore you have been working also in Mexico in our office there, and now you came back in HQ. What’s your background and how did you begin working in the Company?
I have a degree in Business Engineering completed at Politecnico di Milano University, focused mainly on economics and finance. During these years I had the opportunity to study also the mobile content business in Spain, which was growing dramatically at that time so it seemed very interesting and innovative: for this reason I contacted Neomobile, just to know more about that field. I interviewed Flavio Pallotti and Luigi Mastromonaco (the latter now is COO at Onebip , editor’s note) who were both working on the Spanish mobile market for my thesis. After that study, and during the writing of my thesis, I continued to get in touch with Flavio, and when I spotted a vacancy in Neomobile to work on the Latin American markets, I sent my CV and… here I am.
Tell us about your role and how it changed during the years.
It really changed a lot: at the beginning I was in charge of reporting and technical implementations in Rome, thus analyzing KPI’s to drive investments and opportunities. I was the focal point between the Country and the most tech part of the HQ. After a few time, the Company offered me the chance to move to Mexico to expand our business there: without any doubt, I accepted and went there. In Mexico at first I managed the whole sales and account activities with carriers of the Andean Region, after that I also followed planning&intelligence tasks, so I was half salesman, half marketing professional, but also strategist and finance man… A little bit of everything! Finally I became the Mexico&CenAm Country Manager for 2 years, which has been definitely a challenging experience, both amazing and complex: managing 20 people, all of them very young and related to a different culture, well, it’s not that easy! Anyway I grew up a lot, if I look at how I was two years ago and how I am now.
Which aspect of yourself changed the most?
Before that experience I was more straightforward, while now I am more “emphatic”, I listen more proactively to my colleagues and I try to take the best of each one to lead the organization to new heights. This attitude is so important also in my new role as Product Owner in HQ, where I manage the various activities for the German and Turkish markets.
Which differences do you consider between the Product Owner and the Country Manager?
Despite becoming a PO since this February and still completing my path in this field, I can say that these two roles are pretty similar because in both of them you have to know how to prioritize the different tasks in order to improve the product. It’s the way of doing it that changes!
Anyway, in my previous experience as Country Manager the organization was pyramidal, there were hierarchies and I was the head of it; now it’s whole team who manages it all, I’m just a member of it, there are no functional reporting. Obviously as a PO I decide priorities and opportunities, but I do not evaluate the pure execution. It’s a revolutionary way of working, isn’t?
In your opinion, what is the added value (both personal and professional) of working in another country?
The added value is the experience itself, the fact of being in contact with different cultures and business that enrich your expertise. On the personal side, after 4 years in Mexico I truly confirm my love for the Latin-American culture: people are so warm and friendly, and they have always a positive attitude. For this reason, I am happy to have done such an experience.
What are the necessary “ingredients” that a professional needs to succeed in their job?
First of all, a professional has to be “visionary” and has to know how to read the big picture, gathering as much elements as possible to clarify priorities. At the same time, he/she has to be capable in analyzing details both internally and externally in order to put things right and focus on the next big thing.
Moreover, empathy is fundamental because this is a relational job, you meet many different people (from partners to colleagues), so it’s useful to know how to foster a trustful and engaged environment.
Learning in Neomobile has always been a core belief, now more than ever in our current transition to an Agile path: considering your new role as Product Owner, what is your main learning focus, both in methodologies, business or management?
They are mainly two: the first is the product for our final costumers since for me the market is ‘new’ and knowing it is essential: from competitors to our business, threats and opportunities…I want to know it all! Compared to LatAm, Germany and Turkey are pretty different, they have a higher mobile penetration and diffusion, and for example in Germany there is no carrier monopoly like in Mexico or in Turkey (partially).
The second focus is Lean&Agile methodology, especially the role of Product Owner, so the do’s and don’ts. I have everything to learn, and this is exciting, I am really motivated.
How did Agile change the way of working in a team?
The removal of hierarchies gives more power to the team, because it decides how to manage an activity, how to test it or validate it. In Agile, people are focused on one activity at a time, while in traditional organizations employees are used to work on multiple projects simultaneously. Instead of starting new things now my team focuses firstly on ending what is pending and ongoing, without creating additional entropy.
Finally, with the Agile and organizational experiments that we are carrying on in the Company team members often change activities, in the sense that they are more cross-functional rather than pure specialists. In this way we finish activities before and better.
Finally, what makes Neomobile a unique Company and what would you recommend to those who want to work in our company?
It’s a unique company because it gives you several learning opportunities and empowers you from day 1: in fact, you are immediately immerged in our culture and business, with responsibilities and challenges. Then, Neomobile is great also for the people here, they are professionals above the average.
I would recommend it to proactive candidates, the ones who want to build their future starting from scratch, just like me and my experience in launching LatAm business.
Want to know other Neomobilers? Read all the interviews!