The precision of Swiss life is evident the minute you use the SBB trains. The trains to Lausanne are famously prompt and efficient and after a 45 minute journey alongside Lac Leman you arrive in Lausanne, home of over 40 sports federations and governing bodies.
Here, the chance of bumping into a sports industry professional is high and the international nature of the city is evident by way of the multitude of languages you hear in the bars and restaurants.
At dinner with one of the key brand people at Philip Morris International, in a packed bar on a Tuesday night, we came across a number of other people from his company. The way they recognised each other was not from the obvious office connection but in fact from the previous weekend’s skiing in Verbier. Now in our larger party I counted 7 different nationalities present. Much talk was centred around the two screens showing Series A and English Premier League matches.
Interesting to hear why people have moved to Switzerland for work. There are a multitude of big brands with sizeable operations here, with the sports industry particularly well represented which adds to the attraction as a career destination.
If you are going for a job at Philip Morris, their offices are pretty impressive. Trivia fans take note - PMI has air conditioning in their offices, which is unusual, as the Swiss look down on air conditioning! Also the buildings near the Lac can only be two stories high, however PMI’s offices stretch back up the hill such a huge distance so they can always maintain the two storey rule but still achieve perfect views of the lake.
A short 20 minute train ride takes you to UEFA headquarters in Nyon. Spent a good two hours here discussing how they are approaching digital transformation within the business. No small task given the size of the business and the myriad of ways people engage with them on all the various platforms. It’s going to be interesting to see how they can harness the power of the respective brands in football, but they have the right people so it’s looking good so far!