Whilst POTUS pursues his wall building ambitions, here is a heart-warming story about how a first generation Mexican immigrant who dropped out of fourth grade, went on from being a janitor at Frito Lay to Vice President. A story of self belief and the will to succeed through a pursuit of excellence best captured by this advice from his grandfather when he got the janitor’s job “…his grandfather imparted a piece of advice that would always stick with him: “Make sure that floor shines,” the man told his grandson. “And let them know that a Montañez mopped it.” Montañez decided he was going to be the “best janitor Frito-Lay had ever seen” — and he quickly made his presence known. “Every time someone walked into a room, it would smell fresh,” he says. “I realized there’s no such thing as ‘just a janitor’ when you believe you’re going to be the best.”
“On an early morning in the late 1980s, a group of the highest-powered executives at Frito-Lay — the CEO, CMO, and a platoon of VPs — gathered in a California conference room to hear what Richard Montañez had to say. Montañez didn’t share their pedigree. He wasn’t an executive. He had no fancy degree. He had a 4th-grade-level education, and couldn’t read or write. Montañez was a janitor. But he was a janitor with an idea — an idea that would make the company billions of dollars and become one of history’s most celebrated and iconic snack foods: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. But first, he had to convince the world to hear him out.
…Today, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are one of Frito-Lay’s hottest-selling commodities — a multi-billion-dollar snack celebrated by everyone from Katy Perry to middle-schoolers on meal vouchers. There’s even a rap song about them. And Montañez is no longer sweeping floors: Over a 35-year career, the former janitor rose through the corporate ranks and is now the vice president of multicultural sales for PepsiCo America (the holding company of Frito-Lay). Before Montañez joined the executive team, Frito-Lay had only 3 Cheeto products; since then, the company has launched more than 20, each worth $300m+.
Recognized by Newsweek and Fortune as one of the most influential Hispanic leaders in America, Montañez is a gifted speaker who often tours the country giving keynotes. And soon, his story will hit the silver screen: Fox Searchlight Pictures is currently working on a biopic about his life, appropriately titled “Flamin’ Hot.” He still lives in Rancho Cucamonga, where he gives back to his community through a nonprofit he launched and teaches MBA classes at a nearby college. Recently, a student asked him how he was teaching without a Ph.D. “I do have a Ph.D.,” he responded. “I’ve been poor, hungry and determined.””
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Note: the above material is neither investment research, nor financial advice. Marcellus does not seek payment for or business from this publication in any shape or form. Marcellus Investment Managers is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India as a provider of Portfolio Management Services. Marcellus Investment Managers is also regulated in the United States as an Investment Advisor.
Copyright © 2022 Marcellus Investment Managers Pvt Ltd, All rights reserved.