AN EXCITING JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD OF SOURCING
A few months ago a new board was elected for SwedCham at the Annual General Meeting. Being a fundamental part of the Chamber and important for future growth and opportunities we decided to meet with the Board of Directors and give you a chance to get to know them better. This time, we met with Maria Cruz.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Maria Cruz and I am a Sourcing Executive with long experience from global retailers such as IKEA, H&M, Bestseller and Etam. I have been living and working in Asia since 2003, specifically Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, Shanghai and now, Hong Kong. I arrived in Hong Kong in 2017 and worked three years for an apparel manufacturer called TAL Apparel as VP Material Sourcing, which provided large volumes of fabrics and trims to a wide range of premium retailers like Burberry, Lacoste etc.
In the autumn of 2020, I started as General Manager for the Swedish discount retailer ÖoB/Runsven’s sourcing operations in Asia. I have offices and teams in Shenzhen, Ningbo, Ho Chi Minh City and New Delhi, but keeping my family base in Hong Kong. My family consists of my French husband, who works at the French outdoor media company JCDeucaux, and my two daughters, which attend the French International School.
Regarding my background, I started off at IKEA as Globally Responsible for Packaging and since then I have experienced a global career having held positions as Global Production Manager and Head of Global Sourcing within the fashion industry.
What brought you to Hong Kong?
My journey to Hong Kong was quite a ride! The initial target was actually Paris, but living in a family constellation with two careers it’s not always a linear direction. Namely, my husbands’ company changed direction from a job at their HQ in Paris to Hong Kong. Nevertheless, we are all utterly happy with the final destination and being in Hong Kong!
I am now at the point in time where I would find it interesting to take on more active roles also as a board member in companies.
What do you wish to achieve as a Board Member in SwedCham?
I wish to introduce SwedCham to more members and companies and provide them with valuable insights, being the “door opener” that can make the difference, and positively surprise them about the fantastic business opportunities that exist in Asia.
Throughout my sourcing career I have always been working closely with companies, the suppliers, and it’s one of the best parts with my line of profession. To exchange on their business situation and finding ways to grow their business and overcome their obstacles. Thus, I am now at the point in time where I would find it interesting to take on more active roles also as a board member in companies.
According to you, what is the greatest benefit of being a member of the Chamber?
The Chamber is a reliable source on everything from market intelligence, providing you with business connections, personal growth as through the Academy and then a dash of fun - like learning how to play Mahjong!
Finally, when you aren’t working, do you have a hidden gem in Hong Kong you like to visit?
It’s not easy to have a hidden gem in a place like Hong Kong, but I would say that Tung Ping Chau Island is a delightful exploration and Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park.