Chakipi Colombia – Sebastian Zapata, General Manager
Sebastian Zapata joined Chakipi Colombia eager to rapidly transform inclusive distribution in his home country, bringing extensive experience in the fast-moving consumer goods sector. His experience includes four years with Johnson & Johnson and eight years with Procter & Gamble, before joining Chakipi Colombia as General Manager in September 2016.
“Always expect the unexpected. I come from large organizations where processes are established and roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Here, every single day is different. An entrepreneurial spirit is key. If you don’t do it, no one else will do it for you. Every day I am learning from the entrepreneurs and hearing their stories. In my previous work, these experiences were hidden from me.”
“I truly enjoy getting to know the communities. The work that we do has a real impact. You see it. You see how you can change people’s lives. Before joining us, some women were unemployed, had no opportunities, and health difficulties. Chakipi has helped them improve their life not only through income but through empowerment and hope.”
Though thrilled with the challenge of alleviating poverty in Colombia, Sebastian admits to some of the challenges faced by a business in its early growth stage.
“Even though you have a team, they are dispersed throughout the country making it difficult to share ideas. I am working most of the time from home or in remote locations. However, that may change as we continue to grow and new recruits start to join the business.”
Sebastian envisions a network of 5,000 entrepreneurs spread throughout the country by 2020. “I have big plans for Colombia. I am excited for the new partnerships we are forging, from organizations that work with women displaced by Colombia’s internal conflict, to educational institutions that will help us strengthen our recruitment efforts.”