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Retail Consuming passions

You’re surely cut out for a career in retail if you love interacting with people, shopping and spotting trends, says Vandana Ramnani

education Updated: May 29, 2009 12:50 IST
Vandana Ramnani

Mayur Toshniwal
Job:
President, retail operatons, Future Group

I was always a business person at heart and was looking at an opportunity to move back to the world of business...When I was offered an opportunity to join retail, I simply grabbed it. I’ve never regretted it. This is the best thing that could have ever happened to me.

“My business vision is centered on the youth, an important component of the retail sector's growth story.” That's Mayur Toshniwal, the young President, Retail Operations (Value formats) of retail brand Future Group, for you

By his own admission, Toshniwal was a good student throughout – though never an outstanding one. “One subject in which I failed miserably was biology. It never made sense to me,” he says. 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. “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.”

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

After 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, Toshniwal decided to move to the retail industry and joined Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited, as head-operations for North Zone. In his current capacity as president, retail operations (value formats), he is responsible for strategic decisions, operations, and business development for the group's various business ventures nationally. 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 happened.”

Career Ladder

Buying and merchandising
Level 1: Assistant buyer Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 a month Merchandiser or trader Rs 33,000 a month
Level 2: Buyer Rs 50,000 a month
Level 3: Category manager Up to Rs 1 lakh a month
Level 4: Business head Upto Rs. 4.5 lakh a month

Operations
Level 1: Customer service associate Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,500 a month, Check-out associate Rs 6,000 to 12,000 a month
Level 2: Team leader Rs 12,000 to 15,000 a month
Level 3: Department/service manager Up to Rs 1 lakh a month
Level 4: Store operations manager Rs 50,000

Pluses and Minuses
Good salary
Global exposure
Talent crunch means chances of quick promotions
This sector has five-day week
May not have to migrate from your hometown as new stores open up Top jobs usually go to graduates and MBAs
Long hours
Work in shifts and weekends
Pay relatively low for those in the lower rungs
Most of the new jobs will be in operations, not in buying and merchandising