Our Exclusive Interview with Jim Wetekamp, new CEO of BravoSolution

We broke the story here of Jim Wetekamp’s appointment as the new global CEO of BravoSolution, following the departure of Nader Sabbaghian.

My business partner and founder of Spend Matters US, Jason Busch and I spoke to Wetekamp at some length about his appointment, and Jason has now published a three part series on the Spend Matters US site based on our interview. Wetekamp came over as someone who deeply understands the BravoSolution business and culture – not surprising given his time at the firm, having joined back in 2008. It’s clear that he does want to drive some change; for instance, in getting a somewhat more common approach to certain key processes and approaches in the firm.

But at the same time, he is very sensitive to the strong devolved culture of Bravo, a firm in which country general managers hold a lot of power, and have been given considerable freedom to develop successful businesses to meet their own local market needs. If he can balance that need to change and improve – common to very business of course – with the appropriate level of respect for the culture and the strengths of the business, then we believe he will do very well.

Here’s an extract from part 1 of the interview.

Q: Where and how do you want to leave your mark at BravoSolution?

JW: I see three key areas. The first is having proud, empowered employees who have a passion for client success, and the tools necessary to deliver it. I just came off 4 days in Milan with our global commercial team and this was the most important subject we covered.

The second area is delivering leading technologies that provide customer value and scale to the needs of the business across all of our diverse markets. I would want to have technologies and solutions that serve the needs of business across diverse markets. This is not just technical in nature, but about local enablement.

And third, I want to continue on our vision that clients need access to a range of procurement solutions to drive increasing levels of value and enablement by practitioners who know how to get results.

In part two of the interview here Wetekamp touches on the likely product direction for BravoSolution.

“... we see our largest opportunity as to continue to expand our capabilities in the upstream supply management areas – particularly in the areas of supplier development, measurement, risk management, collaboration and relationship management. Done right, this can provide strategic tools to the procurement organization to maximize the value of their supply base and minimize risks that may impact brand or corporate performance”.

And in part 3 Wetekamp reveals that the partners in the Tejari joint venture (BravoSolution and Istithmar World) in the United Arab Emirates have appointed Asif Khan as General Manager following Sabbaghian’s departure. Khan has been doing a great job in that region for the jv for the last couple of years, so it’s a smart appointment, and we congratulate him – he is both very impressive and a really good guy!

Anyway, do take a look at the full interviews for more insight into where we might see BravoSolution heading in the near future.

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