Julio Soares looks calm and content on this Sunday afternoon, savoring some fresh coffee in the living room of his apartment in Belo Horizonte, the third largest city in Brazil. But his rush-free weekends only started about 3 months ago, after he left his job at InBev.
“It is without a doubt a great company to work for, the knowledge that you can amass working there is incredible. But you do have to pay a high personal price. I spent many weekends at the office, had countless workdays that started at 8 am and ended around 1 am… ”
Soares said that the company is known for being extremely demanding of its employees and paying salaries that are below the average. Still, there’s fierce competition to get in. For a very good reason, according to Soares. “The upside of these gruesome hours is the super fat bonus you get,” he said. “You may get more than half of your whole yearly salary as a bonus in the end of the year.”
According to Soares, another reason many people want to work for InBev is the company’s management style, which encourages new ideas and fosters learning and improving one’s capabilities all the time. “Many people use Inbev as a bridge to a better job because any place you apply for a job after having worked there will want to hire you because they know how much you learn at Ambev,” Soares said.
The pressure to always be producing is ever present and can be very stressful, Soares added. “You’re never safe at Inbev, no matter how good you are. You can never rest on your laurels you need to always be producing results non-stop. All your efforts are completely meaningless if they do not produce results,” he said.
Soares witnessed the Anheuser-Busch take-over by InBev from the beginning. “We were really proud when the take-over offer happened. We felt like we helped Brito make the deal come true. We were really proud, but not because we bought a quintessential American company, it was nothing like that, we were proud because it was a great deal and it happened. One more time we proved that we buy stuff, we take over stuff, not the other way around,” he said.
Soares left the company to go work in the medical industry a few months ago. He said he does not regret it. “It is really a great company to work for – if you’re willing to pay the price. I was at a point in my life where I needed to move on, I was not willing to work those hours anymore,” he said. “My wife is happy now; she’s got her husband back.”