Inés Bermejo (HP): “My head goes a thousand miles an hour like a washing machine”

Foto del autor


Inés Bermejo says she fell in love with HP when she joined. She started as an intern and a quarter of a century later she was named general director for Spain and Portugal, a position she has achieved because she is very curious and has been brave to take internal leaps, she says. “Many years ago I was clear that I would like to lead the business and I prepared for it. I have had ambition, but also a lot of preparation and a lot of luck,” she admits. This 49-year-old from Madrid confesses that she likes birthdays, that she is a “very enjoyable” person and that she celebrates her anniversaries in style. How did you celebrate the last one? Answer. In a big way. Like a gypsy wedding. I always celebrate my birthday with family and friends by doing something special because you never know how long you will be able to celebrate. And I keep that in mind. This year we went to Marrakech with a group of friends for four days. It's been fantastic.P. What are your hobbies? A. I have many. The first: I love reading, it is not very original. I also love to dance. It helps me disconnect. I have a head that goes a mile an hour and I have a hard time stopping it. Dancing, since I have to concentrate on the choreography, I disconnect, reset and fill myself with energy.P. What dances? R. Well, a little bit of everything. A lot of Latin dance, a lot of reggaeton; I do Zumba too.P. What other hobbies do you have? A. I really like cooking, it relaxes me a lot.P. Do you do it every week? A. If all. On the weekend I cook for the family, but I also really like organizing dinners. I am a very creative person, I enjoy making pintxo dinners or like this Saturday, a dinner with friends in which each couple represented a cuisine from around the world and we started to make a Greek dessert, to invent it. I like it a lot, it makes me disconnect. Doing things with my hands gives me a lot of satisfaction.P. What is your signature dish? A. Without wishing to be humble: I have a few… I'm very good at wine cheeks. But since I try many different cuisines and many recipes, I invent them. I really like doing it.P. What is your favorite cuisine? A. As a good varied cook who likes to eat, I like many cuisines: exotic, Peruvian, Asian… Spanish cuisine, from all parts of Spain. Maybe the only thing I don't like so much is the offal. I really like visiting different restaurants. All types. From bars to places to discover, you never know what you are going to find.P. Which one have you recently discovered worth recommending? A. The last one I discovered that I loved is called Haramboure. It is a place that resets you, that gives you warmth, it is very pleasant.P. You have said that your head is going a mile an hour, do you have stress? A. Yes, it goes a thousand per hour like a washing machine. I am a person with a lot of energy. I do things with great intensity and with great passion. More than stress I have a lot of responsibility and a lot of commitment and what I try is to manage my energy well. I am very aware of when fatigue weighs me down and I turn to activities that help me recharge my energy. I am one of those who go on a trip, I come back at 10 at night and I go to have a drink with my friends and they recharge my batteries. The balance between my professional life and my personal life has helped me a lot in both areas.P. How do you divide personal and work time? A. I work a lot, but I always make sure that when I get home I have quality time with my family, with my children, who are young. I worry about their homework, how they did in class, how their mood is. And I worry about spending time with my husband or my friends. But I don't have any problem getting back to work later, reconnecting. Many times when I have moments of relaxation at home is when the best ideas come to me. When I do something I try to do it at 210%.P. And can you be at 210% all day and every day? It will end up exhausted…R. No, there are days when there is less personal time, there are days when there is some important activity for my children or when I have to go to the doctor and that part is a priority. I think it is very important to manage priorities. I am organized, I like to structure myself and above all be very clear about what the priorities are.P. What is your ideal weekend like? A. It's a weekend where there's a little bit of everything. With quality time with my family. And sometimes that means that it is not full of plans, that it can be improvised. That you can spend time with the children, walking or going on an excursion; Let there be time with friends because I always say that friends are the family that one chooses and I like to be very close to them. Much of who I am is thanks to them. I also like to have time with my partner and a little time for myself, to dance, to read and to cook.P. What are you reading?R. A book called Los misunderstood, by Pedro Simón. It is a very hard book that I am really liking. It talks about the importance of communication in adolescence, which I'm going to touch on shortly. It makes you think a lot.P. What you don't need, with that active head…R. Well, it's thinking in a different way. Connecting concepts has always been very good for me. Thinking helps me find a different way of doing things. But like everyone who thinks a lot, I also have to disconnect.P. And disconnect? A. Yes, dancing. It's my best way to disconnect. You tell me 'Don't think about anything' and I'm not able to do it. What men say that they can do it seems like a virtue to me. Dancing is how I achieve it best. I also like to meditate and it helps me disconnect.P. How often do you do it? A. I usually do it every week for a while, more on the weekends. During the week I have less time and I prioritize physical exercise. I like to get up in the morning and do a 20-minute exercise routine at home. A table that I have prepared myself and that helps me wake up and start the day with energy. I have to do meditation when I have more time.P. Is it indulgent? A. Yes, I can get some, of course. The last one was a bag. I read an article last year that I loved, which said that everyone spends the year waiting for summer. Thinking about what you are going to do, how you are going to enjoy it. The article was about saying that we have to make every day a little bit of our summer. And it inspired me and I try to give myself little treats, like playing a song I like, having a glass of good wine, gourmet treats… They don't have to involve spending money. Yes moments that you give to yourself. I try to do it almost every day. They are small prizes that you give yourself. In life you learn to love yourself, to accept yourself as you are, but also to take care of yourself. It is very important.P. Do you like to travel? A. Yes, we have traveled many places. When we didn't have children we went further afield and took one or two long trips a year. I have traveled a lot through Asia. I like it a lot. China, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia, Sri Lanka… also Latin America, Europe… Now I alternate shorter trips with some special trips. Last year we took a trip to Namibia with some couples of friends that I had done in 2006 and it was very nice. Here you can check the latest 'After work' interviews Follow all the information from Economy and Business on Facebook and xor in our weekly newsletter