Marcel Schattner

"I came for the international experience, and I stayed much longer than originally planned, both for the people and the attractiveness of the projects.”

Brief introduction and background

I began my career in modern trade and retail, going between both my home countries, Germany and Spain. In 2012, despite being professionally active, I decide I wanted to grow and also gain international experience in a wider range of countries. Both reasons motivated me to enroll in a part-time MBA program at EADA in Barcelona, where I was able to connect with a broad spectrum of people. One of my main takeaways from that period was realizing how differently people from diverse industries and academic backgrounds approach the same business case.

Career path at Globalpraxis

I joined Globalpraxis as a consultant in 2014, after a crew from the company came to introduce themselves to my business school. At the time, I did not understand exactly what the consultancy business was about, but, as an odd coincidence of life, one of my wife’s best friends had been a consultant with them in the recent past. In sharing her experience, she highlighted the great environment and people I would find (on top of everything I would learn) on my new adventure. This last input fully convinced me that this was the right career move. As I mentioned before, I originally planned to stay for two years, but due to the attractiveness of the projects, the learning curve, and the growth opportunities I was blessed with, I found myself being promoted – to my surprise – to senior consultant in 2017. By the end of the same year, I was managing small projects until my official promotion to project manager in 2018. The skills I developed during this time have proven invaluable: the ability to apply a consultant’s way of thinking and structured approach to solving problems and analyzing data, obtaining insights and presenting them correctly, and finally, reaching and transmitting fact-based conclusions to the client in a convincing way.

Key projects / experiences that stood out at Globalpraxis

Each project I participated in had its particularity that made it well worthwhile: either an interesting country to work in, a concrete issue to tackle, or a new industry to explore. If I had to choose the most interesting for me, I would go back to my first middle-eastern experience in Saudi Arabia in 2015, where we had to review our client’s RGM while assessing the client’s future commercial relationship with the local KSA distributor. Another unforgettable experience was a shopper behavior project for the e-commerce environment of the capsuled coffee market in Spain in 2016. We analyzed price elasticity of different e-commerce delivery services in order to identify the service combinations that created optimum profitability: from triggering volume through a pure free delivery strategy to maximizing value by applying segmented delivery service upcharges. In 2017, I was assigned to one of my biggest projects, in Iran: the full transformation of a local soft drinks bottler, starting from the new RTM design to its implementation. There, I learned to play in a completely different environment, where the macroeconomic situation was rapidly changing the market and information gaps complicated guarantee of the accuracy of decisions to be made. One of my last challenges relates to a bottler in Cyprus, assisting a turnaround plan of very complex operations due to our client’s portfolio: chilled and ambient products with very different expiry dates to manage (from 5 days to 1 year).

Career path post-Globalpraxis and how it was shaped by time spent at Globalpraxis

In 2019, for personal reasons, I decided to join Danone – a leading player in the water, dairy, and early nutrition markets – as PRGM Director for the Water division in France (one of their biggest markets and home market of the company). What I had learned at Globalpraxis was key to being selected for the role: the capacity to provide advanced analytics, the ability to interact at a cross-functional level (I am currently an active link between Sales, Finance, and Marketing), as well as the ability I acquired in consulting to challenge the status quo and apply changes in the organizations we work with (both in processes and culture). When I have the chance to catch up with friends and former colleagues, I still envy the experiences they share while on projects in different countries I never had the opportunity to work in.