It was perhaps the most anxious time of my career with RB. The Management Trainee period was over and we were all set to be placed into roles based on our career aspirations. We were a batch of three Management Trainees, all from the same University and best of buddies, now fighting for the best positions in the company.
The wait was finally over. The announcements arrived and I got what I always wanted: a Key Accounts (KA) Management role based inKarachi. The International Modern Trade was fairly new inPakistanand was mainly driven by Cash ‘n Carries. However, the KA promised a great future because of the retail revolution that was changing the old Kiryana (counter) stores into self serviced Walk-in stores all across the country.
My experience at the Key Accounts was very exciting and extremely lucrative in terms of learning. Since International Modern Trade has higher cost of doing business, they are extremely demanding in terms of price and service levels required. We, on the other hand, are fighting for the best displays for our brands at premium locations in the stores at minimum rentals + working with KA for development of our categories. These make selling to these accounts extremely challenging and requires lots of follow-up and persistence.
But the most interesting part was the time that you spent on stores, observing the shopping habits of the consumers as they walk through the stores and the impact created by your in-store execution on the buying habits. The sight of consumers switching to your brands because of your superior/louder in-store execution makes your day. KA experience helped me improve my Sales understanding and negotiation skills. Above all, it helped me learn what has helped me tremendously in last few years at RB: BIGGER, BETTER and LOUDER, in terms of Sales, Displays and execution!!