FMCG: YOUR DIFFERENCE MAKES US WHO WE ARE
Regardless of your specialisation, British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia offers the opportunity to build an exciting, world-class career. And it offers more than just a typical career path. The multinational group – with 45 factories spread over 39 countries – is the world’s second largest tobacco group. With a presence of 100 years in Malaysia, BAT Malaysia has about 1200 employees who manage different spectrums of the industry.
Two ex-management trainees – Karl Yap, Area Head of Trade, and Lim Li San, Management Reporting Executive – share their experience working for the leading tobacco company in Malaysia and one of the most progressive companies in the world. Both, whose career paths have soared since leaving the Management Trainee Programme, agree that the programme’s structured training is what led to their current success.
It has been close to 3 years since I was first recruited into BAT as a Management Trainee from the Bring Your Difference Business Challenge. I chose this company as I was incredibly impressed by the structure and reputation of the MT programme. Additionally, its unique operating environment poses interesting challenges that are difficult to find elsewhere. Throughout this period, I have had the chance to work with the brightest minds in a truly diverse and open culture. Albeit the occasional stress, not a day have gone by without sharing a few laughs with my fellow colleagues.
My current role involves financial modelling, analysis, reporting & stakeholders management. With Corporate Finance being the last pit stop for financial deliverables, being a part of the team allows me to obtain a truly holistic view of the business. Personally, it is exhilarating to be empowered with the responsibility to perform all corporate-wide profitability forecasts for one of the largest FMCGs in Malaysia. Looking at an annual revenue in excess of RM4 billion, it is difficult not to take pride in what I do.
The culture we embrace in BAT is refreshingly employee-centric. Given that we have a lean management team, we function as a closely-knit family. More often than not, the management hierarchy goes unnoticed with our open door policy and my superiors have eventually grown to become my friends. We practice flexible working hours, we own a fully-furnished games room for mid-day relaxation, and today we even have our very own in-house barista for our daily coffee fix! Here in BAT, we work hard, we play hard and together we deliver outstanding performances.
Is the job challenging? Yes, it most definitely is. But with a strong sense of adventure and responsibility, coupled with a passion for learning and the ability to adapt well to change, you will be able to achieve great heights in this company. A favourite quote of mine by Josh Billings - "Life consists not in holding good cards, but in playing those you hold well". A challenge or an opportunity, it is only a matter of perspective. If you believe you have what it takes, we would love for you to come join us and bring your difference!
“My experience as a management trainee back in the late 1990s was a really enriching one. As a young graduate in my 20s, I was exposed to the high performance culture at BAT Malaysia. For instance, my fellow trainee and I had to manage a group of 40 to 50 people.
Young graduates shouldn’t be restricted by their degrees or specialisations. Open up and see what’s out there. The programme fits in nicely because it helps you move around within a function and across functions.
BAT Malaysia’s reputation as one of the best companies in Malaysia is a well-deserved one. The company offers a very unique working culture. In spite of the high pressure and high performance environment – not to mention the size of the company – we remain a closeknit organisation. People are very genuine in terms of helping one another and are willing to share and help fellow colleagues.
One of my best experiences in the company is the two and a half years spent in the United Kingdom. I was exposed to a different level of management and acquired a new perspective in how I view things. Within that short period of time, I had the opportunity to work across most regions, taking care of brands in Asia Pacific to Latin America to Middle East. It was just simply amazing!”
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