Digital Insider: Maria Paula Capuzzo on digital-first organizational culture
The CPG industry is undergoing a significant shift towards digital, but such a big change is often not welcomed inside the companies that we rely on on a daily basis. In these cases, efforts are made to change the organizational culture and align everyone’s expectations internally, so that operations continue to grow according to trends and customer insights.
While no easy feat, this mindset-building process offers many learnings for fellow businesses undergoing a digital transformation. To find out more on the topic, you are invited to this episode of Digital Insider, a podcast series about the digitalization of retail, featuring Maria Paula Capuzzo, VP and General Manager of Brazil at Colgate-Palmolive.
Meet the guest
After studying business administration at the University of São Paulo, one of the largest in Latin America, Maria Paula tried her hand at marketing and brand management within various companies until finally joining Colgate-Palmolive in 1998. There, she was first a Brand Manager and then a Category Manager, only to afterwards be promoted and entrusted with diverse managing duties across the wider Latin American market.
“I am a curious person by nature, so Colgate was my seventh job. But it was a perfect match and cultural fit between my values and the company’s purpose.”Maria Paula Capuzzo, VP and General Manager of Brazil at Colgate-Palmolive
Nowadays, Maria Paula works with a formidable team to bring Colgate-Palmolive into the homes of Brazilians. It looks like they have been doing things the right way, as the brand has a market penetration of over 98%.
The culture underpinning a digital transformation
When talking about the early days of digital transformation inside Colgate-Palmolive, Maria Paula highlights that there were great fears and insecurities following the prospect of this new strategy. As any other response to change, this reluctance felt natural and understandable. Nonetheless, a cultural shift had to be made in order to allow progress to happen.
“I always say that when you start with culture, results usually will follow. People tend to think the other way around, so they set an objective and then develop the culture around it. I’m a big believer that you need to start with culture.”Maria Paula Capuzzo, VP and General Manager of Brazil at Colgate-Palmolive
The CPG giant thus decided to become an agile and data-centric company. This mission statement empowers and encourages employees to embrace a digital transformation thanks to a growth mindset.
“People tend to think that digital transformation is something that is confined to marketing and sales, but no, it’s a cross-company way of working and of thinking. I believe that the digital word will at one point not be necessary anymore, because everything will be digital.”Maria Paula Capuzzo, VP and General Manager of Brazil at Colgate-Palmolive
The tipping point for the CPG industry
Capuzzo notes how the CPG industry was not a driving force propelling ecommerce forward; on the contrary. Nowadays, however, with the pandemic acting as a tipping point and everyone doing everything online, she believes CPG is no different than any other sector — it can and it will embrace digital. Additionally, it will do so at a fast pace, because it has to catch up and consumers rely on this industry on a daily basis, so there’s the need to be where they are.
“As a leading company in Brazil, we have a responsibility to delight consumers, whether they are online or offline, or even both at the same time. So we’re fully committed to that.”Maria Paula Capuzzo, VP and General Manager of Brazil at Colgate-Palmolive
But with the right organizational culture, that goal is easily achievable. Maria Paula emphasizes numerous other aspects about how organizational behaviors and company culture will aid traditional businesses in this new era of commerce. She mentions elements such as:
- The power of humble and curious leadership;
- The need for a ‘5 Cs’ analysis with a twist;
- The important fact that companies are, after all, made of people.
To discover them all, listen to the episode at the link below — and don’t forget to follow the podcast for fresh retail insights.