“In procurement you have to be a careful listener, be transparent and seek benefits for all parties”
Who is Debora Camargo
Debora is Brazilian by birth. And when you hear Brazil, pleasant clichés quickly spring to mind: sun, samba, passion, carnival and football of course. Debora talks about it with pride: ‘My father was a football player, he just didn’t make it to the top. My brother also played football. Yes, I am also super extroverted and get a lot of energy from people. “You won’t find me quietly in the corner,” she says with a big smile. Debora is used to making and maintaining many contacts. Both private and business. “I am a people person,” says this local of Heemstede with roots in São Paulo. ‘And that is why this profession suits me so well.’
How did you get into procurement?
Speaking Dutch with a Portuguese accent mixed with some English here and there, only illustrates Debora’s international orientation. She studied Business Administration with a specialisation in international trade & supply chain. She enthusiastically summarises her career start: ‘I always wanted to work internationally. I also lived in Argentina and the USA during my childhood. I worked as an intern at an international import and export company. I loved the international aspect! Interacting with people from all over the world! I worked at DHL, there I found logistics didn’t really take my interest, it also covered the international purchasing of sanitary products. After I met my Dutch husband, we started living and working in Barcelona. I also did my MBA there. Actually, I have always worked in procurement positions.’
The road to Procurement Services
After that she always worked in international jobs, for example at Ricoh, Cargill and Cisco. Debora now has an impressive international career in procurement. Both product related and NPR.
During Covid, many companies went through reorganisations, Cisco being one of those. The procurement department in Amsterdam, where Debora worked at the time, was closed. There she was mainly responsible for HR in the broadest sense: benefits, services, outsourcing. Debora: ‘I knew one thing for sure, my next job was not going to be with a large corporate. I’d had enough for a while. I looked online and made a shortlist, Procurement Services was on it. It was the first time in my life that I applied for a job myself! I called Martijn Heijmans and after the first conversation I felt my heart beating faster.’ It turned out to be a great match.
How does Debora characterise herself, professionally? She doesn’t have to think about it for long: ‘As someone with a lot of international experience of course, and also as someone with a broad experience in NPR procurement. I find building relationships very important. I mean, the full circle; with my colleagues, customers and also with their suppliers. I’m a relationship builder! I want to help. You also do this by being a careful listener. And I am always super transparent in my working method. How can all parties benefit? Win-win. How do you create partnerships? I always have a focus on the long term.
It will not be surprising that Debora gets a lot of energy from contact with others. But isn’t that a bit different in the Netherlands as compared to Brazil? “Yes!” she shouts. ‘In the beginning I missed Brazil. Family and all that. And after Barcelona I really had to get used to the Netherlands. But now that I’m used to it, I’d like to stay here. Life is very good here in the Netherlands.’ She has lived here since 2005 and has two sons. “I raised them bilingually,” she says. ‘I think it is important that they can communicate with my family and also get to know the culture. I go to Brazil every year to visit my sister and brother. I now have many friends in the Netherlands and I really enjoy sports. I am a Pilates performer, I do boxing and boot camps.’ And when she sometimes doesn’t want to be around others, she picks up a book.
“It may sound like a cliché but my parents are my heroes. My father always said: ‘respect other people. Treat others the way you want to be treated. He was a hard worker. My mother was the best negotiator in the world. She had her own business and was a fighter. Never give up! Until her last breath. They both died at a relatively young age. Independence, respect and fighting for your existence. I got that from them. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. “A mindset that she also likes to apply to her professional life.
About Procurement Services
And that fits well with the Procurement Services culture. ‘Procurement Services is like a mother. Embracing people. Everyone is very friendly. Together we are a big mother with big arms,” she says with that charming Brazilian smile.