Working globally: Introducing Manfred Schmid, enjoying his third international assignment in Vietnam

Manfred Schmid, Operations Manager Vietnam, is a German national who started his career with Huhtamaki as an apprentice in the printing department at Ronsberg factory back in 1986.  Around 13 years ago, he chose to move out of his comfort zone and opted to take up an international assignment in Huhtamaki Vietnam.

In his current role, Manfred is responsible for operations and manufacturing and capacity development at the Huhtamaki flexible packaging unit in Ho Chi Minh City. During his three decades of working in Huhtamaki, Manfred has taken up two international assignments in Vietnam and one in Brazil since January 2004. 

When asked to recall his work journey, Manfred says "My first assignment was to build up a green field project and set up the operational systems that kept expanding and diversifying over years including improvement in operational KPI s, increasing operational capacity etc.  Since October 2016, I have taken up this new assignment in Vietnam. With each assignment, my area of responsibility has changed, as different sectors were reporting to me based on business needs, varying for example from quality control and assurance to research and development." 

An inspiring journey

"This has been an inspiring journey so far and I truly feel that I started this journey as a printer, but today I feel that I am a leader. With the kind of challenges and exposure I got so far, I do understand nearly all aspects of our business; knowing of course that there is always scope for learning more."

On a personal front, Manfred seems to have many friends around the world and his outgoing nature kept him going in this new environment. 

"My family includes my wife and two children. My wife is Vietnamese and wished to return to her home country and that acted as a catalyst for our shifting base and settling down so easily and quickly.  Personally, the challenge was to adapt to the local culture and learning the language, which is quite difficult but I seem to have managed it for survival", Manfred smiles.