Posted on February 1, 2023
Meet Chompunuch “Chacha” Chachchaval, Head of Research and Development for Maersk’s NAM Contract Logistics organization.
Chompunuch (Chacha) Chachchaval started her career in Singapore, joining the “Go with Maersk” management training program in 2017. The challenge of the program – 2-years of job rotation and 2-years of expatriation – were appealing to this ambitious logistics fan. The program brought her to the United States, where she works today as the Head of Research and Development within the Innovation Center for Maersk’s Contract Logistics organization. It’s an exciting time to be working in research and development where Chacha is responsible for managing the entire Proof of Concepts (PoC) portfolio to help drive innovation and design thinking strategic capabilities. Maersk continues to create competitive value propositions by using emerging technologies, developing innovative products, and providing our workforce with tools that improve operational processes across our contract logistics products in North America.
When asked how she promotes empowerment for her team, Chacha had a few ideas that she encourages all of her peers to explore. “First of all, and not just for women, I tell my team that you are delivering value for the company, for the department. You’re helping navigate and develop new systems and processes,” Chacha says. “Focus on what you are bringing to the table and collaborate with your team.” Another area she encourages women to focus on is building trust, which can also aid in breaking any unconscious bias. “People may be afraid to speak up in unfamiliar territory, so I encourage my team with this principle: unfamiliarity can bring new insights and perspectives – that’s invaluable.”
Raise your hand and be your own cheerleader
Another area that has helped Chacha in her career is her drive to not only solve hard problems but find better ways of bringing a solution that is a win-win for all involved. It’s about adopting a mindset to go above and beyond in everything you do.
It’s also important to showcase your good work. Chacha advises that women should remember to showcase their work when they can and one way to do this is by “doing a knowledge sharing session with your team and expand your impact”. Small steps have long-running results.
She encourages women to embrace new challenges and to take on an opportunity before they think they’re ready. “I feel that no one is going to ever be ready 100% for a step-up opportunity, but if the opportunity is there, grab it, do it. I think sometimes we have doubts of, can we do this? And often we are afraid to make mistakes on something we’ve never done before.” she said. “It’s ok to fail sometimes but learn from it in your career journey. Understand why you failed and improve on it. We hold this mindset within the Innovation Center when we test new solutions and Proof of Concepts.”
Finally, it’s important to own your development by understanding what it takes to be better at your job and any future roles you want to take on. “Maersk is the kind of company that actually values personal development. All the managers I’ve ever worked with are very supportive and worked together with me to support me on my career development plan.”
Word of advice
So, what would Chacha say to other women looking to expand their career in logistics? Find your community.