NOURISHING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
BY RICHARD WESTLUND (MBA ’83)

nourishing.jpgTo become an effective leader, show your passion, set an example and embrace teamwork – that’s the advice that Manos Spanos (MBA ’98), global senior director for Mountain Dew and energy drinks in PepsiCo’s Global Beverage Group, gave to students, faculty and alumni at The Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Lecture, “Nourishment for Success: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Leadership,” at the School on March 23.

Spanos was joined by Tomislav Kuljis (BBA ‘84, MBA ’85), president of Bolivian supermarket chain Hypermaxi SA, and Juan Alberto Wu, a gastronomic entrepreneur in Peru, for a discussion on developing and applying leadership skills.

“We change the world through performance with purpose,” said Spanos, a native of Greece who is now based in New York. “PepsiCo has embraced health and fitness as a way of living. One of our long-term goals is to have two-thirds of our portfolio below 100 calories by 2025. We are also committed to reducing water use and greenhouse gas emissions, while making investments in sustainable farming, education and sectors.”

Kuljis, the son of Bolivian immigrants, said the lessons he learned at the School helped him build the largest supermarket chain in his native country. “I found I had an entrepreneurial spirit and learned the importance of marketing and creating a brand, as well as managing cash flows,” he said. “I also recognized the importance of surrounding myself with intelligent, talented people.”

Kuljis said he used Publix as a business model in opening his Hypermaxi stores in Bolivia. “We were able to differentiate ourselves from our local competitors in many ways,” he said. “We bake fresh bread every day, we introduced the refrigeration of meats and we have been using the latest software to track our sales since 1996. We also put the same stores in rich and poor neighborhoods, with the same offer and branding.”

Drawing on his Chinese and Latin American roots, Wu became general manager of an import and sales company, and a partner in several Peruvian restaurants. He also launched Sinba, a startup that collects kitchen grease for biodiesel fuel; created business leadership group Lideres +1; and serves as chair of Peru’s Special Olympics program. “My purpose in life is engagement,” Wu said. “In my businesses, I look for a balance between profit, people and nature.”

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Speakers Manos Spanos (MBA ‘98), Tomislav Kuljis (BBA ‘84, MBA ‘85) and Juan Alberto Wu.

This was the third annual lecture in the series, made possible by a grant from Johnson A. Edosomwan (BSIE ’79, MSIE ’80), chairman of JJA Consultants. The lecture is one of the programs of the School’s Johnson A. Edosomwan Leadership Institute, and was also supported this year by the University’s Center for International Business, Education and Research (CIBER), which is housed at the School.

Spring 2017
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