Adrien, AW’s Senior Commodity Recruiter introduces you to Cem, who is marking the agribusiness industry thanks to his personality and open-minded attitude.
Cem Bogusoglu has a solid experience in the trading of pulses (dried beans, chick peas, lentils, etc). But most of all, he has a fantastic personality. He’s a trustworthy and very knowledgeable manager with broad experience in the global pulses business. Knowledge and leadership alone are qualities that are not enough to earn the respect of colleagues and partners. What make Cem stand out are also his outstanding soft skills and human qualities, such as communication, work ethic, charisma and humility.
Last October, Geneva-based GP Global Group (the former Gulf Petrochem) made Cem its Global Head of Pulses Trading after recruiting him from Alegrow, where he had been Commodity Trader dealing with pulses and oilseeds. Cem was once MD of Arba-Tiryaki Grain & Pulse Industry Co. in Ethiopia and an Area Director for Africa for Tiryaki Agro Foods, later switching to Al-Ghurair Foods in Dubai as Business Development Manager. He is currently a board member of the Global Pulse Confederation, a nonprofit association which will hold its next conference in Dubai in April 2020.
An Interview with Cem Bogusoglu, a Likeable and Charismatic Manager
#1. What’s the highlight of your career so far?
I see my career as a journey, that’s why I consider every move in my career as a highlight and a step forward to become what I am today. I wouldn’t be here, without a single moment that I had.
#2. How do you make the most important decisions?
As trading is in my structure, I always count the pros and cons. However, thinking of the future helps me a lot. I always try to assess whether the results of the decision I make will take me further. If it is a business decision, it should be a part of my plan. If it is a career decision, it should be a part of my vision.
#3. If you could change occupation – even change career entirely – what would your ideal job be?
Any job which would be interconnected to people as much as a physical traders’ role. I could not be isolated and working only with numbers and computers. I need to speak and feel the people around me. A job which makes it possible to feel the appreciation of the people that I am interacting with, would always fit me.
#4. What would be your best recommendation for a young person who just started a career in commodity trading?
To be open minded and a risk taker. As an example, when I was offered the position to lead the Ethiopian operation of a company I worked for in the past, I didn’t think about it for more than a second and moved to Ethiopia. At that time, I was 27 years old and never lived abroad before.
#5. If you could go back in time, what would be the advice you would give to a younger version of yourself?
Being a multilingual has always been an advantage for me during my career. Hence, I would definitely ask my younger self to learn another language.
#6. What’s your top dream destination around the world?
For living, it’s hard to decide within the places that I have seen. For me, it’s not the destination but the people around you who make it a dream place. And I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by good people wherever I go. For now, it is for sure Geneva.
For visiting, with its hectic vibe, New York has impressed and inspired me every time I visited.
#7. How did your career end up in pulses?
My first decision after graduating from food engineering was to do a job interacting with people, including travels and somehow based in an office rather than in a factory. This is how I ended up in a pulses processing and exporting company. Then, the more I learnt about the benefits of pulses, including – but not limited to – their support to the sustainable use of land, water and natural resources, as well as the contribution to the preservation of the environment, the more I got interested in it. This led me to find out that there is a limited number of pulses professionals, which is a quality that will be much more valuable in the future.
#8. What do you enjoy the most in your day to day job?
Interacting with people and feeling the accomplishment of trading is the thing I enjoy the most. There is nothing that would make me happier than hearing the pleasant comments of my suppliers and buyers after a trade we have done.
#9. Do you have any mentors or role models who inspired you? Maybe someone who helped you become what you are now?
Starting from the factory worker I saw in my very first day of work back in 2003, who has taught me the gratitude and the dedication I put in my daily job; up to all the professionals I have worked with, who have inspired and taught me how to evolve and change continuously. In fact, everyone I met in my professional journey was an inspiration.
#10. From your experience, which are the main benefits of Career Coaching or partnering with a Recruitment Agency?
Until my last move, I have never worked with a Recruitment Agency before. All my moves happened after meetings set by some of my contacts. I have to say, the insights and influence of Ampersand World were so valuable during my last recruitment process. They made me and my employer GP Global come to an understanding on a tailor-made position.
I must underline that, unlike grain trading, there are not so many professionals dedicated to pulses trading, as the main players of this industry are considerably small companies and mostly family owned. That’s why, Ampersand World has done a fantastic and rare work both for me and my employer. Thank you again.