Coming to the blog from beautiful Valencia, Spain, we have Javi Navarro Gallardo who is Apeel's product manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. When he’s not analyzing and finding ways to supplement Apeel’s citrus category in these regions, he’s part-owner of a small craft brewery. He’s also an avid mountain hiker and an adventurous traveler. This diverse life experience and passion for growth are exactly what led him to his role. Here, Javi shares more about what his job is like and how his journey brought him to Apeel.
How would you describe your job at Apeel?
JAVI: I lead the product life cycle of the European Citrus category from Valencia, Spain, where I am based. This means I am responsible for feeding the market with new products and making sure that the ones we launch are profitable for us and meaningful for the market. To do so, we must have an understanding of what the market needs and wants, and how we can better meet those demands with our capabilities and resources.
Tell us what it’s like working with Apeel in the EU.
JAVI: It’s really enriching to work with so many different cultures, nationalities, and ways of working. We have a great and connected team here that enables us to work as independently as possible, mainly in Spain and the Netherlands. We are currently working over Zoom due to COVID-19, but we also have some of the Dutch colleagues here in Valencia. It’s awesome because it helps us feel like a unique European group!
It is always a challenge to work with the West Coast of the U.S. due to the time zone differences, but the team in the U.S. is great, and we both try to do our best to meet on a daily basis. They’re energetic and open-minded with a great environmental and social mentality. That always helps when working together from afar!
What is your favorite thing about working at Apeel?
JAVI: What I like the most are two things: One, working with people from all around the world. The learnings I gain every day are so impressive. And two: Helping the world! Saving the environment! It is awesome to be part of a company where those values are core to the business!
What is a project you’ve worked on at Apeel that you’re proud of?
JAVI: With the introduction of these two categories, we will be able to offer a comprehensive citrus portfolio to our European customers. With a 2X longer shelf life, Apeel Lemons and Apeel Grapefruit can reduce in-store waste, which will in turn help avoid carbon emissions and conserve water associated with produce that would have otherwise gone to waste.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
JAVI: “Own your numbers.” It is super important to make decisions based on figures. You should know them by heart so at any moment you can just use them.
Also: “Trust in you.” It might seem simple, but I do think that self-confidence is a key competence for anyone and even more so for a Product Manager who needs to make decisions that will affect the future of the company.
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