When Chad Sotelo was a little boy, his father gave him a piece of advice that’s stuck with him ever since: nothing can replace doing good, honest work. “He’s been telling me that ever since I was a kid,” Chad says.
“I was raised to believe that if you do the right things all the time, then you’ll succeed,” he explains. “Often people try to shortcut the process, and they end up bending or breaking rules. That one piece of advice I got from my dad was very helpful in grounding me and saying, ‘Why do you need to take a shortcut when you can do good, honest work, and you’ll get the same results anyway?’”
Chad has applied this strong work ethic throughout his career in business and brand management. After spending more than 12 years in senior marketing positions at Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal and Samsung Electronics, he joined Electrolux Philippines as General Manager last year. He says it was the brand’s strength and broad product range that attracted him to the role.
“In the Philippines, Electrolux has a very strong heritage. It’s been around for more than 17 years,” he says. “When I heard about the opportunity, I looked up the brand and, putting on both my marketing and business hats, I thought, ‘This brand has very strong potential to be a leader in the market.’
That opinion was strengthened when I looked up the products. I don’t know of any other company that has the same range that Electrolux has in terms of breadth and depth, whether it’s within the Electrolux brand itself or within the 50-plus other brands that we have around the world.”
Globally, Electrolux aims to ‘shape living for the better’ by providing appliances that make taste, care and wellbeing more enjoyable and sustainable. “I paraphrase this as having fantastic food experiences, offering better ways to care for your family’s clothes, and making your home a great place for wellbeing,” Chad says. “I honestly can’t think of a better set of values for a brand than taking care of your family.
So, I see an alignment between the purpose of the company globally and the values that Filipino consumers embrace.” Chad points out there’s a strong food culture in the Philippines, and he believes capitalising on this will allow Electrolux to expand its footprint in the market. “Filipinos love cooking and eating,” he smiles.
Founded in Sweden in 1919, the Electrolux Group operates in more than 150 markets and sells more than 60 million household and professional products every year. The company has more than 50 brands, including Electrolux, AEG, Frigidaire, White-Westinghouse and Kelvinator.
“One aspect of the global purpose is ‘outstanding taste experiences should be easy for everyone’. So, for the Philippines business, we want to introduce experiences and appliances that can bring this purpose to life.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re a young bachelor, an aspiring foodie, a harried parent caring for three kids, or a restaurant owner serving hundreds of people a day,” Chad says. “We want to send the message that we have the widest offering of cooking solutions, regardless of what kind of cook you are.”
When it comes to innovation and new product development, Electrolux is focused on consumer needs. Chad says his extensive marketing experience is helpful in this area. “My background makes it easy for me to put the consumer at the centre of everything,” he explains.
“One of the things I always ask my team is, ‘What problems are we solving for the consumer?’ If we’re not solving a real problem, then what’s the point?” Of course, Electrolux constantly strives to improve its products and services, and works closely with its partners in the Philippines to achieve this.
“We always ask how we can make things faster, stronger or cheaper,” Chad says. “Our long-term suppliers have the same philosophy. They don’t mind when we challenge them and ask, ‘How can we do things better?’ I was raised in an environment where we always challenged ourselves. Electrolux loves working with partners who have the same mindset.”
“we can be the number one appliance brand in the country.”
Chad’s goal for the future of Electrolux is simple: he wants it to be the best-loved appliance brand in the Philippines. “I really think we can be the number one appliance brand in the country, whether it’s in terms of brand loyalty, sales or profit,” he enthuses.
“That’s my ultimate vision, because I don’t join a company just to be number two. You don’t aspire to get a silver medal – you aspire to get gold. So that’s where we want to be, and I think we can achieve it.”