Roger Staeheli, who hails from Switzerland, did not pick up the coffee aroma at school or in his childhood. He majored in economics at university and was in the banking field in his early career.
Nespresso’s booming business in 2005, particularly in Switzerland and France, was a clarion call to him – coupled with his “natural attraction” to food and beverage and quality items.
“So, it was a natural choice for me,” says Staeheli.
He joined Nespresso in 2005 as commercial coordinator before being relocated to the group’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, where he spent more than five years in charge of global partnerships – a job that entailed extensive travel around the world.
He says it’s very interesting exploring diverse consumer behaviors in Europe, the United States and Asia as it gave him the opportunity to gain insights into different cultures.
The executive, who moved to Hong Kong in 2014, sees Nespresso as a company that’s able to keep the spirit of being an innovation-driven enterprise which wants its staff to be empowered and engage more with the management in coming up with innovative ideas.
“It’s fascinating seeing how the company is able to sustain its growth over the past years.”
In business, Staeheli believes, ambition is crucial and one should always believe in his or her dreams.
“I always say that if you’re not afraid of your dreams, then your dreams are not big enough. I think that’s very interesting and your dream will always push you to the boundaries.”
He hopes the younger generation in Hong Kong will stay optimistic, as he thinks the city is fascinating in many ways, in terms of energy and constant changes. So, people must have faith in their dreams and, in Hong Kong, everything is possible. Here, the barrier of doing business is minimal, everybody gets a chance. When people fail, they don’t make a big fuss about it, but learn more.
Staeheli sees long-term prosperity and sustainability as more important, as success is not something that can be measured in the short term.
“You need to have a short-term focus to achieve some business goals, but you also need some longer-term ambitions to understand more about your company, the brand and the impact on society and consumers.”