We make steel for packaging.
We caught up with Joe Meringolo, Director Sales Packaging, to find out about his role at the Tata Steel site in Trostre, Wales.
What is your current job title and how would you describe your job to a group of children?
I am Director Sales Packaging, and I am responsible for all the packaging steel sales and the sales team members. We sell products manufactured at our Trostre works, supplying material into well-known household brands you will know such as baked beans, coffee, and shaving foam. We are No.1 in the UK market, and we supply across Europe and the USA into all applications including food, baby food, aerosols, promotional packaging, bakeware, and paint cans. They all require different quality and product specifications.
Importantly as a team we really connect with local communities to push the recycling and sustainability agenda for packaging steels.
I’ve had exciting opportunities and experiences since being in the role and can even see the achievements of the team when I come home, and I’m surrounded by cans in the house that I use!
How has Tata Steel helped you in your career development?
I owe a lot to Tata Steel for giving me opportunities, cultural development, and trust in many roles throughout my career. I started as a trainee and Tata Steel gave me the opportunity to study whilst working in a job which has enabled me to fulfil my potential. Throughout my career I’ve had many opportunities from various roles within commercial at all levels, diverse experiences, relocation overseas to the USA with my family, and meeting many wonderful colleagues throughout Tata Group.
As I reflect today, I am very grateful of the guidance and support given to me.
What advice would you give a school leaver?
My advice to any school leaver would be firstly, don’t stop learning. Enjoy what you do but don’t be disheartened if you are not sure straight away. It is good to jump out of your comfort zone as you learn so many new skills, things you like and things that you don’t. Be kind to yourself, if things don’t turn out on the first try, keep trying. Have drive, resilience, and work hard in all that you do. Lastly, make time for yourself and the things you enjoy.
What do you find the most challenging?
Probably one of the most challenging things I find is keeping still. I like to be active and connecting with people. COVID was a really challenging time for me as suddenly I was unable to meet people after being a regular traveller and being able to connect with many people and gaining energy from this. I had to quickly find new skills, like we all did. I am grateful today that we are now able to get back to a ‘new normality’ and meet customers again.
What gets you out of bed in the morning and into work?
I enjoy what I do in Tata Steel so for me it is not difficult to get out of bed. I enjoy working with the team and have found the right balance with family, friends, exercise, and business to ensure I maintain my mental health and wellbeing. For sure my family and friends are the main ingredient along with enjoying what I do.
Has Tata Steel and the company ethos changed over your time at the company?
In a simple answer no, the core DNA of Tata Steel is the same, but it evolves over time. Tata Steel’s values haven’t changed – and that’s why we are so successful in what we develop and produce. But we are seeing the company evolve as well, and this includes greater focus on our local markets, innovation around low emission steel making and education programmes, for example. We are very proud of our school workshops which has been incredibly popular across the UK and has really helped the next generation understand the environmental and practical value of steel packaging.
What has been your favourite project at Tata Steel –what are you most proud of?
Most recently, I’m proud of establishing the Packaging UK Commercial team which we have been working on since November 2020 and has recently gone live. For Tata Steel, packaging had been a totally integrated European business with a limited commercial presence, systems and resource in UK. I am also proud of the team who supported me to deliver this and today who now continue the ongoing work and building for the future.
What would you like to achieve in your next 10 years?
I’d like to have a successful Packaging sales team and support my colleagues and team members in delivering value for Tata Steel UK and for Tata Group. I will also continue to look for opportunities to continue my journey of growth within the business.
On a personal level I will continue to enjoy my family and friends and have fun relaxing and continuing to explore the world!
Just for fun:
If you could do another job in another industry for just one day, what would it be?
Being a DJ for sure would my dream job for a day playing my music to the masses with everyone dancing and enjoying themselves.
What’s your favourite activity or hobby outside work?
It’s got to be the gym. Now that my boys are older, they join me and are trying to give me a run for my money. After that it’s listening to music which I find is great for unwinding.
What is your favourite book?
This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay. It’s a great book that gives some insight into the life of a junior doctor with some hilarious, horrifying, and heart-breaking moments throughout.
What’s a fun fact about you that people may not know?
When I was younger my family grew vegetables, and we had a market stall selling our locally grown and imported produce. I think those early days, working Saturdays on the stall helped me develop my commercial instincts and taught me about developing relationships with customers.
What skill do you think everyone should learn at school?
Effective communication and listening, interpersonal effectiveness, resilience, drive and enjoying what we do. We are all different and should never give up on our passion to achieve.