Ti­tans of the Trade

Ganesh Mishra of Trent Hyper­mar­ket.

Progressive Grocer (India) - - Contents -

One trend that is clearly emerg­ing is that shop­pers are mov­ing to­wards health­ier choices and more nat­u­ral prod­ucts. — Ganesh Mishra Head Com­mer­cial, Trent Hyper­mar­ket Pvt. Ltd.

Ex­pe­ri­ence in re­tail

About 11 years in the re­tail busi­ness.

Your cur­rent job and des­ig­na­tion

I am des­ig­nated as Head, Com­mer­cial, and I han­dle cat­e­gory man­age­ment of the gro­cery busi­ness and also part of the gen­eral mer­chan­dise at Trent Hyper­mar­ket.

Role and re­spon­si­bil­ity

The pri­mary ac­count­abil­ity is to drive my cat­e­gory teams to de­liver on the sales and mar­gin tar­gets. Also, I am ac­count­able for de­vel­op­ing and ex­e­cut­ing the over­all cat­e­gory strat­egy, lead sup­plier re­la­tion­ship and de­velop a joint busi­ness plan with key na­tional and multi­na­tional sup­pli­ers. Re­spon­si­ble for an­a­lyz­ing emerg­ing shop­per trends and pref­er­ences and ac­cord­ingly make changes in as­sort­ment, promotions and planogram to meet the chang­ing needs of shop­pers. As a peo­ple’s man­ager, I am also re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity of the com­mer­cial team and put in place the right tal­ent, struc­ture and size to sup­port the busi­ness growth.

Area of spe­cial­iza­tion and ex­cel­lence

I have han­dled the FMCG busi­ness for a long time in var­i­ous roles. So I can say that I un­der­stand this busi­ness well. I strongly be­lieve that if I have to con­tin­u­ously ex­cel in some­thing, it should be on the ‘peo­ple’ front. Our busi­ness is all about peo­ple – be it our team, sup­pli­ers or our cus­tomers. We need to have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing and re­la­tion­ship with each one of them and to win with them. Treat­ing peo­ple with re­spect is one of our val­ues and that is em­bed­ded in our cul­ture here.

Chal­lenges in the cur­rent role

The chal­lenges are typ­i­cally with re­gard to the de­ci­sions on trade-offs that have to be made – sales ver­sus mar­gin, one brand vs. the other, range vs. space, etc. It’s a chal­lenge be­cause we would love to max­i­mize on both but that is not so easy.

Solutions to the chal­lenges

We have prob­a­bly the lean­est team amongst all the multi-for­mat re­tail­ers and with that we have been able to sup­port our grow­ing busi­ness. This has been pos­si­ble be­cause of the re­vised com­mer­cial team struc­ture, which has helped us to ef­fec­tively move out repet­i­tive jobs like data fetch­ing, etc. We have de­ployed a good model for mak­ing new launches suc­cess­ful. We call it the Five Star launch. All Five Star launches have over-de­liv­ered on the KPIS agreed with the brands and have out-per­formed the mar­ket.

Most sat­is­fy­ing part of your job

The best part is work­ing with my team to co-cre­ate busi­ness ideas with sup­pli­ers and land­ing them in stores for shop­pers and then see­ing the re­sults. This re­quires cre­ativ­ity, strate­gic think­ing, abil­ity to take risks and, fi­nally, good ex­e­cu­tion. And when all of them come to­gether as planned and achieve great re­sults, it brings us ut­most sat­is­fac­tion.

Ob­ser­va­tions about the cat­e­gory

The shop­per’s be­hav­ior in each cat­e­gory is very dif­fer­ent and it’s chang­ing quite fast. One trend that is clearly emerg­ing is that shop­pers are mov­ing to­wards health­ier choices and more nat­u­ral prod­ucts. At the same time, they are also look­ing for in­dul­gence. Premi­u­miza­tion is hap­pen­ing across cat­e­gories. Value­seek­ing be­hav­ior is on the rise.

Pre­dic­tion of fu­ture trends

Health, In­dul­gence and Premi­u­miza­tion are the hot trends.

Your learn­ings from this sec­tor

The key learn­ing has been with re­gard to the shop­per be­hav­ior and cus­tomers’ re­sponse to var­i­ous stim­uli and how it dif­fers from one cat­e­gory to another. I have seen great strate­gies of dif­fer­ent brands in ac­tion and the shop­per’s re­sponse to them. This learn­ing, I think, only the re­tail sec­tor can pro­vide. The cost-ef­fi­cient pro­cesses that we have de­vel­oped over a pe­riod in the busi­ness has been another big learn­ing.

What’s your goal in the job

The main goal is to strengthen our po­si­tion as the pre­ferred re­tailer for our shop­pers.

Ganesh Mishra Head Com­mer­cial, Trent Hyper­mar­ket Pvt. Ltd.

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