Building retail business
Day in the Life: Sajan Thomas of Eros Group
Channel Middle East’s regular section that finds out what a normal working day involves for a member of our channel community, and what makes them tick.
Name: Sajan Thomas
Company: Eros Group – IT Business Group
Job title: Product Manager – Cisco Products (Linksys Networking & FLIP)
Time in the role: 3 Months
Time at the company: 2 Years
Previous companies: ITE Middle East (Logitech & Belkin), and Space Distribution – Caselogic Accessories (total 6 Years)
How would you summarise your role?
I am a product manager, with a focus only on how to increase the Cisco Retail Business in the power retail segment. My category includes networking as well as ‘FLIP’- an emerging product from Cisco; a handy full HD Camcorder with an amazing sharing software. We are all excited about this product.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office each day?
Check emails and reply back, even though my Blackberry is there, I feel more comfortable sending mails from my notebook. Then on to routine jobs.
What skills or qualities are required in order to do your job?
Self motivation, relationship management, more patience to deal with vendors and internal departments in the organization itself. Also, as usual more sales power and tactics are required as a salesperson.
What does a typical day entail for you?
As a product manager, a lot of reports are involved in my profile. Checking the performance reports from promoters who are positioned in all major outlets. Making some promotional plans to motivate them, making good offers for power retailers etc; helping the sales team to implement those plans. Also stock management is a major activity in a day, store visits are a very important part of the day for me.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Store visits and interacting with dealer reps, because its gives me a genuine picture of what is happening on the sales floor. Nowadays there are more visits required for FLIP, because it’s a newborn baby for us.
What is the hardest part of your job?
Reaching on time for meetings with customers in heavy traffic situations; After-sales issues with products, calls from service centres etc. Also getting approvals for promotions.
What criteria do you measure your performance on?
I evaluate myself with my daily, weekly and monthly numbers committed to Cisco; internal target achievements; and through result-oriented follow ups with the head offices of the power retail stores.
What’s been your most memorable moment in your current role?
When I received an award from my management for my outstanding performance for the year 2010. I was one of the first employees in the IT Business Group in Eros. The IT Business started in Eros very recently. Also it’s a memorable moment always whenever I get an appreciation from my vice president Sathish or from the head of the IT Business, Safeer.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I find myself in a very challenging position in Eros itself. There is so much to do with IT in Eros now. My vice president always says to me ‘Sajan, become a very important person for us.’
How much time do you spend out of the office each week?
Most of my time is in the office only; but every afternoon I make myself available for store visits - it’s very important for me to see my product’s visibility, get feedback from promoters, get feedback from section managers etc.
What do you get up to on your lunch hour?
I don’t eat much nowadays…I am a karate black belt; but still my weight has gone up a little high, so a quick bite of any homemade snacks. If I am out, lunch will be with a vendor or with customers.