05 September, 2011

Moving on… a lot happened over coffee! (Also my 100th column!)

I complete two years next month in my current role at Cafe Coffee Day, the largest cafe chain in India, third largest in Asia and fifth largest in the world. As General Manager – Business Development, I have been responsible for scaling up the cafe strength among Key Accounts spread across the country within various verticals such as Transit Hubs (Airports, Metros, Railways, etc.), Retail establishments (Department Stores, Hypermarkets, Book stores, etc.), Premium Institutions (Hotels, Hospitals, Educational Institutions, etc.) and Corporate locations (Offices, IT Parks, SEZs, etc.). With an able team working along with me coupled with excellent support from my Seniors, Peers and co-workers, we have managed to sign-up a number of cafes during this period. For me it’s a proud personal accomplishment that I have been part of some of the most exciting moments for the company and for the Indian Retail Industry which I shall cherish all my life.
Indeed, a lot happened over coffee!
With a heavy heart and after a careful thought process, I have decided to move on. The two year stint at CCD would possibly be the fastest period in my professional career – travelling three days a week, thrice a month across the country! Red-eye flights, multi city travel in a single day by air and road, delayed and missed flights; lounge vouchers, et al. Have enjoyed every moment during my tenure and as our famous slogan goes rightly – truly “savoury moments”. From Wagah border (in Punjab – the Indo-Pak border) to Kanyakumari (in Tamil Nadu, the tip of the country’s geography with rich history – the Peninsula), I’ve had the privilege to travel across the country and see its vastness, while also strategizing the impending business development prospects and opportunities.
These were happy times which I shall miss a lot.
Also, this is my 100th column! Wow. It’s been a special journey, “My Retail Journey” over the last ten years in the Indian Retail Industry and close to three years in the “Retail Blogosphere”. My blog has been viewed over 25,000 times during this period sans any advertising! Feel honoured and also humbled. Appreciate the encouragement and support shown by the readers and your continued patronage encourages me to post meaningful columns with retail insights that can be points of discussions! I was pleasantly surprised when someone recognised me at an “airport bus” – while ferrying from the aircraft to the terminal building; he said that he had read my various blogs which were crucial in clearing his job interview at a marquee Retail company in India! Was truly flattered and assured to myself that each and every blog that I write should add some bit of value to its readers. While many do not post comments below, these are discussed during my regular interactions with them in person or otherwise.

Thanks a lot, folks and I assure to keep writing nothing but the best in times to come.

The rise of Tier 2 towns

Have been on a pan-India tour for the past few weeks, visiting our stores, interacting with my colleagues, our valued franchise partners, ma...