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Tommy Braet was sent to Mexico by the Bruges brewery De Halve Maan to start up a sales office for the distribution of its two craft beers, Brugse Zot and Straffe Hendrik.
His goal was to develop a sustainable business for the brewery De Halve Maan, establishing sales targets for the entire Mexican market. Tommy took the lead in Mexico, tasked with starting up a sales company, establishing a business plan and further developing the brand in the long term.
He also had to negotiate with a local importer, who was already running the sales business but who did not perform as expected. “I was able to rely on the significant experience the brewery had already developed while setting up foreign trade offices in other countries. However, I soon understood that every country is different.”
Thanks to the Prince Albert Fund, Tommy was able to take on an ambitious international growth project for a small and medium sized company. He could also put into practice his theoretical knowledge, especially in terms of people management, hiring a team of sales executives. “This was really enriching, as I had never managed a team of people before… A team is like a living organism and in that sense, it is not evident to figure out what best practice to apply.”
The mission was a great success. His next step is to continue to develop the company’s brand and sales activities in the Mexican market.
The company – De Halve Maan
Established in the nineteenth century, the family-held brewery De Halve Maan is located in the Waggelwater industrial park in Bruges. Continuing investments in capacity and quality have contributed to the success of the company’s beer products. For six generations, the family has pursued its ambition of outstanding quality. Today, its beer, called Brugse Zot, is exported to more than 20 countries on three different continents.
“Even in difficult circumstances, Tommy managed to focus on the long-term goals, which we know is far from easy. He really helped the brewery to better understand the layout of the Mexican market and start the business there.”
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