Christian Moens, GBS Strategy & Innovation Lead – BAT Global Business Services
I am the GBS Strategy & Innovation Lead at BAT. I am based in Warsaw, Poland, and started in May 2022.
Our GBS organisation has approximately 2,500 employees across 6 Hubs, providing Finance, HR, Procurement and Marketing services to BAT’s markets and the corporate centre.
How did you start your career? Which were your first steps? How did you envision your career?
I started my career as a management consultant, initially supporting senior advisors in the field of outsourcing, conducting benchmarks, and drafting up RFPs for IT contracts. Even though I really enjoyed the consulting environment, I never envisioned myself in that line of work for the duration of my career. Instead, I am happy to have made the switch to an industry role, with a great company in a very rapidly developing industry.
What were your key career moments?
Moving from my native Netherlands to the UK early in my career was important, since it gave me much more exposure to learning about GBS. It was still an emerging concept at the time (around 2010) and relevant to many of the clients I worked with as a consultant (at KPMG and later at Accenture). In this way, I was also fortunate to develop an amazing network of friendly GBS experts, which is really invaluable.
What are the three most valuable career lessons you have learnt?
- Have the discipline to set time aside to focus 100% on preparing for moments that matter, such as customer meetings or delivering a training to the team. It’s so easy to be distracted by emails or Teams messages;
- Find people who will have your back, and in return, give it your best every day, showing dedication and consistency;
- Be generous with your time towards junior colleagues, it is so rewarding to see the effect it can have.
Why did you choose Business Services Industry?
Some of the most interesting concepts I have come across in my chosen field of education (International Economics & Business) were about: a) cross-country coordination in business; b) effective ways to collaborate between individual business units & the shared services organization. These two concepts come together in the world of GBS. There are so many flavours to choose from in terms of operating models to address these problems, and I enjoy being at the forefront of these debates.
What were the top 3 reasons for choosing your company?
- BAT is facing a dramatic change in terms of shifting its product portfolio to achieve their strategy of “A Better Tomorrow”—this means there is never a dull moment!
- BAT’s GBS has consistently been recognised as one of the top 20 most admired shared service organisations in the world;
- Our leadership team is very diverse and has a good balance between focusing on running the BAU vs. developing the organisation for the future.
Tell us a little bit about your private life: your passions, family. What do you do to relax?
I live with my wife, our 7-year-old son, and our dog. Together, we enjoy going on trips, playing games, as well as having movie nights with a huge bowl of popcorn.😊 When I have time to myself, I like to go to the gym or read books – most recently, historical fiction has been my favourite genre (I can recommend Robert Harris).
If now you were starting your career, knowing the present and near future opportunities, what would you do?
I would not change anything, but not because everything has been perfect. As a management consultant, I have been in some tricky situations with some of my clients, but missing out on these situations would also mean missing out on the learnings.
What are the top 3 skills that you would develop?
For anyone starting out in Business Services, I would recommend:
- Presentation and communication skills;
- Financial acumen;
- Agile ways of working.
What would you do and what would you avoid doing? —practical advice to young professionals
Be curious – read different points of view on how the industry is developing, attend training courses, visit different delivery centres, and attend conferences if you can.
Don’t be put off too much by politics, as this will always play an important role wherever people need to collaborate. Just embrace it and accept it as another challenge.😊