THE MAGAZINE

Retail Security South of the Border

By Joseph Straw

 
In addition to his military background, Rosete has both business and law degrees and before joining Soriana, he had experience at a handful of multinational corporations, including Nokia Siemens Network and British American Tobacco. Despite his military roots, Rosete does not seek security specialists from among military veterans. Instead, he tries to hire from within. Among the reasons: Rosete wants to build a culture of security across the company as opposed to establishing security in a cultural silo. Facility and sales managers will understand security, and security managers will understand the business of retailing.
 
“We’re here to support business. We’re trying to be more focused on business security, and how we can align with the company’s strategy,” he told conference attendees.
 
Another reason Rosete hires from among the company’s nonsecurity personnel is they come without preconceptions, and they are open to novel approaches, he said. “What we found is that the less they know of security, their common sense is stronger. So what we’ve tried to do is promote people from the inside because they’re not biased about how to do things, and we teach them new stuff.”
 
Despite the culture of corruption that exists in the country, Rosete said problems of corruption among staff are limited. He has found ways to counter some such problems when they arise. For example, drug gangs had enlisted store security guards as “hawks,” who would call gangs via cellular phone to alert them when police or army convoys passed and were en route to their turf. Soriana solved the problem by forbidding use of cell phones by guards on duty.
 

Soriana tries to prevent corruption of management at individual stores, especially in security, through elevated pay. While no company can reduce crime to zero, Rosete noted that there has not been a single homicide in a Soriana store since he launched his program.

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