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Interview with SimFresh Operations Manager Larry Simonetta

SimFresh Operations Manager Larry Simonetta has become an integral part of one of the largest brands in the Australian citrus market. Established in 1991, the brand has grown from working from a single machine to building an empire on the back of the skills and success of the Simonetta family. Simonetta is the latest member of the family to take up a senior position as an executive within the organization and build on the success achieved by earlier generations. Simonetta has embarked on an impressive range of new projects and tweaks to already existing projects created by the brand.

Larry Simonetta holds the position of Operations Manager for the main brand and the Simon Etta Group for which he has taken on a range of new projects. SimFresh was established in 1991 by three brothers who had made their way to Australia from Italy in 1956. Despite the company has become one of Australia's premier citrus packing companies, the tight-knit nature of the Simonetta family means the majority of senior positions are still held by family members. High-quality customer service is just one aspect of the success of the SimFresh brand which has been built upon some basic principles including the use of the highest quality products available.


How did you get started in citrus packing industry?

My family emigrated to Australia in 1956 from Italy and established this brand in 1991, so it has been a part of my entire life. I spent most of my spare time as a child and student helping out with the packing business and felt I needed a different challenge after college. Despite getting a few offers of different jobs, I eventually settled on the family business and have been happy ever since.

What has been the biggest accomplishment in your career?

When I came on board as Operations Manager, we had become a top Australian citrus packing brand but had yet to make an international impact. We have now built our international client base, and I am proud we are looking to develop different international locations in the coming years.

What motivates you?

Most of the senior management team are members of my family, so I do not lack motivation. Every day I see members of my family who will be negatively affected if I fail to perform to my optimum ability every day.

How do you stay ahead of the competition?

Each company has their skills and specialties which they must always work to develop. When I first arrived as Operations Manager, I found myself trying to reinvent the wheel by introducing new options for our team. Now I understand we offer excellent customer service and a high-quality product which needs to be highlighted through the use of modern technologies. Through all the challenges we face, I tend to try and highlight the fact we offer excellent customer service and work with our customers in a personal and individual way.


Which business leaders, past or present, have inspired you the most?

I am a huge cricket fan, so I have to say my business hero is Kerry Packer, the business leader responsible for World Series Cricket. Packer was one of the first Australian media tycoons and a lot less hands-on than his rival, Rupert Murdoch. I love the stories of him spending his time working to make sure an entire cricket match would be broadcast live despite the schedules his networks had already published. That is finding a true passion in your life and career.

What are some of your favorite tools and resources for your work?

I do love using Cloud-based apps allowing simple cooperation to take place for documents published Online. Working with my Italian-Australian family means things can get quite intense so being able to work together remotely is often important.

The citrus packing sector can be taxing, how do you relax?

I'm a big sports fan, so I love watching cricket, Australian rules football, and rugby in my spare time. I recently followed the Australian Cricket Team on their tour of South Africa and was bitten by the travel bug. Hopefully, I'll be able to combine my love of traveling with my passion for sports in the future.


What advice do you have for others who want to enter your sector?

Always remember to appreciate your employees when you are having success. A few weeks ago, I bought gift cards for my team to show them I appreciate their good work and let them know they are part of my family.

Interview with SimFresh Operations Manager Larry Simonetta Reviewed by JaamZIN on 5:50:00 PM Rating: 5
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