Erick Zamorano: “IKEA Is A Pioneer in The Creation of A Better Everyday Life”
Erick Romero Zamorano is the first Mexican employee working for IKEA Czech Republic. Brno Daily had the opportunity to speak with him about the internal culture of IKEA, his personal experience working for the company as an expat, and recent news from one of the best-loved brands in the world. IKEA is operating in three countries from its Prague office, including Slovakia and Hungary besides the Czech Republic. Erick is working as a Country Online Commercial Planning Specialist.
There are over 50 nationalities working for IKEA in these three countries, including 41 nationalities in the Czech Republic alone. What internal strengths does this diversity bring?
IKEA is a multicultural place, where you will never feel alone or rejected. Its essence is simplicity, embracing change, and having an open mind to different ideas from different cultural backgrounds. As the first Mexican working for IKEA CZ/HU/SK, I feel included, accepted and the best of all is that my colleagues are interested in learning about my culture, which makes me feel so proud of being Mexican and so welcome everywhere in the world.
Why did you decide to work for IKEA?
The biggest YES for me was the company culture. It is well known that Scandinavian companies like to operate with simplicity, being agile and practical but at the same time delivering results, so all of those characteristics connect with my values. I try to always be a good IKEA ambassador, leading by example in my professional but also personal life.
How was it at the beginning?
It hasn’t been easy but I feel grateful and lucky to have found such great mentors. All my colleagues share so much knowledge with me that the only thing I can do is learn something new every day and share my business expertise to create something meaningful.
What does your job at IKEA entail?
In nutshell, I am leading the commercial activities of the online part of the business. We aim to make IKEA.com an omnichannel company, with an intuitive platform, where the customer journey will be the best ever without leaving behind our home furnishing expertise and IKEA essence.
How is your life in the Czech Republic?
I am based in Prague. I like to call Prague “Pragadise”, a mix of Praga (Spanish) and Paradise (English), because that’s how I feel here. The beginnings were tough because being a foreigner without knowledge of the language and cultural background of the country is not easy, but with time I integrated myself, learned the Czech language, found some really good friends, and now I even participate as an active volunteer in different activities with my favorite NGO – Integracni Centrum Praha.
Are you learning Czech?
Yes, I did from the beginning and I’m still continuing, because the Czech language is not easy for me.
I am proud to say that I can understand around 70 % of what people say but I need to work on my spoken skills.
IKEA has been expanding over the last 2 years to be closer to customers by opening several new regional pick-up points, locker facilities, and recently a new Planning studio at Westfield Chodov and a new English website. That’s a lot of work!
We aim to be an omnichannel retailer, but more than that to connect with as many people as possible, because for us as a company it is not just about making a profit, but making a positive difference for people and the planet without leaving behind accessibility and sustainability. We want to get closer to the final customer and understand their needs.
How important is the creation of the English website and what are its benefits?
It is a huge step for us. The expat community is growing every day in the Czech Republic and with the English website we are connecting with them and making them feel like a part of the community; the customer experience is incomparable once you can understand everything written on the website, and purchasing decisions will be impacted positively.
What products can customers look forward to in the upcoming months? Are there any specialities?
Right now we have a collection named “EFTERTRADA”, which is a collection of IKEA-branded T-shirts, hoodies, towels, water bottles, and even keychains. I love it and I think the customers love it too; it has been a great success. Talking about the range, we will get many new products, such as the “Let’s go” range for more active lifestyles, and a new smart home range.
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