A Chat with Farah

Today we sat down with our Account Manager and Business Developer Farah López del Aguila to learn more about her.

What do you do as an Account Manager and Business Developer? What are your main tasks and responsibilities?

A part of my job is to develop the market in Spain and South America. My focus is on all the Spanish speaking countries, not only Spain. I have to look for new clients, develop the markets and maintain the relationship with my existing clients. I follow up on all the processes and make sure that everything runs smoothly and exceeds the clients’ satisfaction. I also check the production and visit factories for quality control. I basically take care of all the projects from the beginning to the end.

What did you do before you started at Swedbrand?

Before I started at Swedbrand I was working for an American company, one of the biggest in merchandising in the States. I worked as a Global Account Manager, handling all the accounts in South America, Central America and Middle East. I had pretty much the same responsibilities that I have now.

How long have you worked at Swedbrand for? And what do you like the most about the company?

I have worked here since October last year, so eight months now. I like the mindset of the company. The founders came to China ten years ago and decided to start a company from scratch. That’s what I really like about it, to be in an environment and company that are thinking big. But I also like the fact that my job is never the same, I’m always working on different things and projects. It’s like new challenges for me every day. Every packaging we produce is customized after our clients’ needs, and every project has different types of challenges until we get the final result. It’s very interesting and that’s what keeps me motivated.

Describe Swedbrand with three words:

  • Young
  • Dynamic
  • Energetic

Have you been to China before you started working at Swedbrand?

Yes, I’ve been here before, on vacation for one month. I was travelling around the world for almost three years, living in different countries. I quit my job in Amsterdam, and everybody was asking me if I was crazy. But I made up my mind and wanted to travel around the world. During those years I was living in New York City, Denver, Chile, Argentina, Barcelona, Berlin, Israel and Bangkok, just to mention a few places. It was always more than three months in each place. I wanted to experience different local lifestyles, enjoy the cultures, the cities, the people and the food. My goal was to travel for about 5 years and finally move to Australia, but I fell in love with Asia, which surprised me, so I decided to stop here. I have lived almost everywhere in the world, but when I came to Asia it was so different from what I had imagined! Everyone thinks it’s a continent that is not developed yet, but I was really surprised when I first arrived in Bangkok, and then Shanghai. They have so many things that we miss in the western world!

Is Shanghai just a temporary destination for you, or are you planning to settle down here?

I don’t know yet, it’s hard to say. But for now Shanghai is my home. I would love to continue travelling around the world, but if I’m thinking of settling down, Barcelona and Amsterdam are in my heart, since I’ve lived there for so many years, so that might be an option.

Do you want to settle down close to family and home?

Not really, it can even be on the other side of the world. I can always take a flight home to visit them. Family is very important to me, so we always keep in contact, and nowadays it’s so easy with Skype or WhatsApp. Of course it’s not the same as living close to them, but I have been far away from home for so long that now I got used to it.

What do you miss from home? Something you wish you had here?

The food! My mother always asks me what I want to eat when I go back to Barcelona (she laughs). I miss my people, friends and family of course. That is the most important thing. I have very good friends here in Shanghai though, I’m very lucky. But sitting on the couch together with my mom, that’s a moment that I really miss.

Out of the countries you have lived in, which one is the best?

I don’t think I can choose only two or three, there are so many places I love!

But I would say Amsterdam, the people there are very open minded and they don’t care about what other people do or say. They are just living their life!

Another country is Israel, where people are very similar to the Spanish and Latin people. They are very friendly, open and they care about people.

And then I would say New York, even though everybody is very busy there, it’s such a cosmopolitan city! I love it! You can see people from every corner of the world. And of course Barcelona! And I also love London!! Ah, it’s so hard to choose!

What have you learned from your experiences abroad and living in so many different countries?

I have learned that you can have opportunities in any place, especially nowadays with all of the technology and the Social Media. Wherever you are, you will always have the opportunities to achieve success. You should always think big!

Is there any country you haven’t been yet that you would like to visit?

I definitely want to go to Bali, for at least three months! (she laughs) I also want to see Tibet, and hopefully I’ll be able to climb part of the Everest. When I was in Chile, I did a mountain climb for the first time in winter. It was so tough, and I never thought I would have been able to do it. I had read a lot of books about it and packed a lot of food and stuff to be prepared, but I didn’t have any real experience. After that I was so proud of myself!

What else do you like to do in your free time, except climbing mountains?

I love to dance, I love music. Ever since I was little I have always wanted to dance. I also like to spend time with my family. I love reading, cooking, and I like to eat too (she laughs!). I do a lot of sports, spinning and lifting weights mostly. As you can see I’m a very active person!

Do you have any hidden skills?

I used to make clothes for my Barbies when I was young, since I wanted to become a fashion designer. I also learned Karate for a few years. I really like the martial arts and would love to get the black belt one day, but I don’t know if you can call these hidden skills!

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