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People - Grad girl in china

Cindy Yang

Head of Procurement

Beijing, China

The Faces of AB Sugar
Cindy Yang Head of Procurement Beijing, China

Cindy has been with AB Sugar China for around 18 months, having previously worked for several large manufacturing and automotive companies in China. She credits being able to combine knowledge and learning with practical experiences for her career progression to date. We caught up with Cindy to find out why procurement and sugar appealed to her and how she unwinds from a week in the office.

Knowledge vs experience

“Whilst studying mechanical engineering at university, I developed very technical and specialist knowledge in several areas but after starting out in my career, I soon realised that practical experience was equally as important. Challenging yourself to apply your knowledge to various scenarios, some of which could be challenging, is what tests you as an individual, builds your character and ultimately makes you a more rounded person.

“Alongside this, I soon realised early in my career that I enjoy mixing my technical background with current business management challenges, and thus my interest in procurement begun. I really like the role and responsibilities of the function. You can face new challenges every day and in order to overcome these you need to work with multiple departments, suppliers and customers. You need to be open to hearing different viewpoints and this ultimately enhances your own personal understanding and capabilities. After achieving my Six Sigma Black Belt certification, I spent time giving Six Sigma and lean production knowledge training sessions to internal and external suppliers. This taught me the importance of sharing your knowledge with others and understanding the many business challenges that could occur from listening to those in the room with me.”

Why sugar?

“What really appealed to me was the scope of the role and the opportunity to deep dive into lots of new areas and supply requirements. Having worked in the automotive and manufacturing industries for many years; it wasn’t a giant leap away, but manufacturing an ingredient is very different. The team is made up of individuals from across China and the surrounding areas which expands my cultural understanding and we have a good time together! I’ve learnt a lot in the 18 months since I’ve joined and being part of a larger organisation through AB Sugar and Associated British Foods (ABF) plc, I’ve been given the opportunity to work with colleagues outside of China, in countries such as South Africa, the UK, Spain and many more.”

As we round up our chat with Cindy, we asked how she unwinds from a week in the office and who inspires her, she comments:

“At the weekends, my family and I enjoy spending time outdoors and eating together, we go hiking and I enjoy cooking delicious food for us to enjoy. In terms of who inspires me, it’s my husband. To see him excel in his career and achieve all that he has is a real inspiration for me and a valuable role model for our children to show that they can achieve anything they set their mind to.”

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