„Become the Number 1 in Central and Eastern Europe“
Starting by May 2021, Bernadett Mészáros took over the responsibility for the sales activity in the Central and Eastern European countries for PHT Bad Tölz as Regional Sales Leader. The native Hungarian lives currently in Vienna and speaks fluent Hungarian, German and English. In the interview, she tells us why this task more or less came naturally to her and what is important to her.
Ms Bernadett Mészáros, you have been working at PHT Group since May last year. How were your first days?
Bernadett Mészáros: Very good, the colleagues gave me an excellent welcome. I immediately felt the professional environment and the warm atmosphere. I am happy to work with the team.
How did you get into the food industry?
The love of food was, as they say in German, laid in my cradle. My father worked in an executive position in a meat company. My mother opened a health food store in Hungary after the changes in the 90´s; she was a real pioneer. My grandparents were already working in the food industry. My grandfather worked in the administration of a slaughterhouse and my grandmother ran a confectionery shop with a piano bar. I spent parts of my youth there and this is where I earned my first forints.
Life in a confectionery shop: sounds like paradise?
She laughs. Yes, my friends were always jealous that I was surrounded by delicious cakes and pies every day. That time has shaped me. Last year I took a diploma as a nutrition coach at the Vitalakademie Wien. My core competencies include two current and challenging topics: Intolerances and obesity. I develop delicious, healthy and ‘free from‘ recipes, so to say ‘desserts and baked goods without guilt‘.
Ms Bernadett Mészáros, you are agile and always continuing your education. What has motivated your professional development?
My father took me along for business trips when I was young. We travelled all over the country, also across the border to neighbouring countries. The contact with different people and discovering new foods fascinated me. I loved it. So it was already clear to me at the age of 16 that I would follow a similar career path. Business development was my subject, even though I didn’t know the term at the time. I first studied International Trade and later Business Administration in Budapest. I wrote my diploma thesis on market developments in the meat sector. I then worked in this sector for the following years as Export Sales and Business Development Manager CEE, including many years in Germany. Professional development is important to me. I see thinking outside the box and strategically as a central task in a global competitive environment.
What are you particularly proud of?
I am very proud of my success in the ingredient and flavour industry for the food industry. I have successfully expanded and strategically developed the meat and savoury markets in Central and Eastern Europe as Commercial Manager or Sales Team Leader and Business Development Manager in leading global companies in this industry. I had the lead of commercial and technical project teams on an international level and implemented regional strategies with them.
Why did you apply at PHT?
If you like, the application was a logical step from my background. On my father’s side I worked with meat products, on my mother’s side with organic products and baked goods. At PHT, the areas come together because PHT supplies the entire food industry. That is exciting for me. After years in the meat and flavour industry, I wanted to take on a new challenge. As a native Hungarian, the task of developing the Central and Eastern European market for PHT is a matter close to my heart as well.
Can you already say how PHT is perceived in Central and Eastern Europe?
The PHT brand has an excellent reputation among customers also in my region. That was one reason for me to go to PHT. Many companies live from exporting to the EU and to Asia. They know they have to meet the highest hygiene standards. PHT not only helps here with its hygiene technology, but also represents a holistic approach in which professional planning and consultation play a major role. Planning holistic hygiene concepts is crucial for my clients and corresponds to my ideas. I think PHT can become the Number 1 in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of personal and industrial hygiene.
What are you particularly looking forward to?
To travel more in my region again. The close, personal relationship is important to me. I appreciate the hospitality of the Central and Eastern European countries. The best way to experience this is through direct contact with the people.