Raúl Esquer López grew up surrounded by a close-knit family in a small Mexican town on the northwest coast of the state of Sinaloa. Permanently etched in his memory are the incredible sunsets, the spectacular taste of seafood and his bicycle, which he went everywhere with.
Since youth, he was a curious boy and he always knew he would be a successful businessman, according to what he told Abasto in an interview. He studied Finance and graduated from the Technological Institute of Monterrey with a degree in the Finance and Financial Management Service.
His first job at Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (CCM) was first offered to his twin brother, but since he already had a good position in a large chain of stores, he decided to pass up the opportunity and recommended Raúl for a job interview.
This chance opened up the doors that led to the big leagues for him and led to his joining of Heineken USA, where he now serves as brand manager.
What can you tell us about your job at Heineken?
My work at Heineken is about moving the needle in terms of brand well-being and sales growth. My role consists of collaborating with the brand team and our commercial organization to create the right strategies, programming and sponsorships that will help drive the business. I also conduct much of our culturally relevant programming that helps maintain Heineken’s good reputation.
Do you think Hispanic consumers are now more relevant?
The Latino community now represents 12% of the population (and the economy) of the United States and I think that everyone clearly understands the importance of connecting with this group. For us in the beer industry, it is key to make sure that that we win with millennials of legal age to consume alcoholic beverages that are influential within their social groups.
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As a Latino, how easy has it been to grow professionally at Heineken?
It hasn’t been easy and in the same way it’s not easy for all of us that compete to continue progressing at this level. Heineken attracts great talent not only from the U.S., but also on an international level. I work with incredibly talented people and we are all competitive and this creates a work environment where everyone gives the best of themselves.
What advice could you give other young professionals?
As in any other job or profession, it is key to find excellent mentors that one can learn from and always show curiosity and passion.
What are your plans to continue growing professionally?
I want to advance in my career, get more experience executing big programs for the brand and connect that in an opportunity to lead the brand in another country. Heineken was born in Amsterdam, but it grew around the world and I would love it if my career reflected that.