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Retail: Consuming passions

Mayur Toshniwal, the young Chief Executive Officer, North India of retail brand Future Group feels that youth is an important component of the retail sector's growth story. Vandana Ramnani speaks to him. Shopperscape | Career Ladder | Quirky facts | Global opportunities | Skills required | Pluses & Minuses | Institutes in India | 'Retail is a simple business' | Business buzz | Changing scene

delhi Updated: Jun 27, 2012 12:27 IST
Vandana Ramnani

“My business vision is centred on the youth which is an important component of the retail sector’s growth story.” That's Mayur Toshniwal for you, the young Chief Executive Officer, North India of retail brand Future Group.



By his own admission, Toshniwal was a good student throughout though never an outstanding one. He says, “One subject in which I failed miserably was Biology. It never made sense to me.” So engineering it was for Toshniwal and as he puts it, in a few years time he became yet another mechanical engineer from IT-BHU, Varanasi. <b1>



After he finished engineering he had three options — get into a routine engineering job, pursue a masters degree or take the next flight to the US. As luck could have it, he received a call from IIM, Ahmedabad, since then there has been no looking back.



After a summer training at Hindustan Levers Toshniwal joined Asian Paints He spent the initial seven years of his career in the company based in different parts of the country in various capacities, and eventually became Purchase Manager.



He says, “I started with my first posting in Chennai and then spent three years in Kolkata, six-seven months in Jaipur and three years in Mumbai. After spending seven years in sales, an opportunity in the purchase segment came my way. I finally took the plunge after tremendous pressure from the top management.



Very soon I saw myself sitting on the other opposite side of the table. After selling, it was now my turn to purchase raw material.”



In February 2005, he decided to move to the Retail Industry and joined Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, as Head-Operations for North Zone. In his current capacity as CEO-North Zone for Future Group, he is responsible for strategic decisions, operations, and business development for the Group’s various business ventures in North India. He also acts as Director on Board for a few joint ventures.



“I was always a business person at heart and was looking at an opportunity to move back to business. Three years ago retail was being widely talked about. So, when I got to meet up with the group's owner and was offered an opportunity to join him (a decision he took in just about 15 minutes), I simply grabbed it. I’ve never regretted it though” he says, adding “This is the best that could have happen.”