In conversation with Chandan Roy, Senior Area Sales Manager, PepsiCo
Please tell us a little about your professional & academic background. Can you also brief us about your role in your current organization?
Quite frankly, I was sort of an aimless guy until my graduation. I really had no idea about what am I going to do with my life. I came to Mumbai and took up a small marketing job at a shipping company. That’s how I started to get some direction in my career and consequently, completed my MBA from JBIMS.
I did an internship with Procter & Gamble and joined UB Group from campus. After a grueling 6 months of management trainee program, I was confirmed as an ASM in AP. Being the highest rated MT from my batch, I was selected to be a part of a very ambitious division of the company which dealt into international markets.
After completing almost 3 years with my first organization, I decided to move on as I felt the need to have a hard core FMCG experience, and that’s how PepsiCo happened.
Currently, I am a Sr. ASM with the company, looking after North & East Delhi. I manage Retail, Wholesale as well as the Cash & Carry business and this makes my job challenging as well as enriching.
What is the single most important skill that you think is required to do well as a Sales professional?
As far as I am concerned, the single most important factor that can make or break your chances in Sales is interpersonal skills. It’s required at almost every link of the chain; both among internal as well as external stakeholders.
What had driven you to choose a career in Sales and what motivates you everyday to go to work? Is it the numbers?
Well, numbers is definitely one of the factors. I have been on both sides (Sales & Marketing) but honestly, the high that one gets at a good month end is unmatched! Moreover, as per me, Sales is probably the toughest and most critical part of any business and that makes you very responsible as a person. You can’t afford to take one wrong step here.
Also, in sales and unlike marketing, you don’t have to wait for a particular time period to see results. You can make a difference on a daily basis and that itself is quite motivating.
Talk about any critical project that you’ve handled and what were your takeaways?
When I joined the Emerging Markets team in UB, I was entrusted with the responsibility of launching our portfolio in the key market of Nigeria. At the outset, I was very nervous and apprehensive as it was the first launch of our team and therefore, all the more critical. However, I used the faith shown in me as motivation and the same kept me sane and grounded.
Once, we had a successful launch, I realized that if you plan things well in advance, success is probable. More important projects might consume more time at the planning stage and it’s worth the while. Planning should be effective and execution should be efficient.
What has been your most significant achievement till date and key learning in your career so far?
It’s a little quantitative and vain, but it has to be the performance of my current territory. When I had joined, the business couldn’t have been any worse – the wholesale business was at an all-time low, owing to undercutting and retail wasn’t doing well as the business needed restructuring. Nothing less than a turnaround would have done the job and I am very glad to say that I managed to do the same.
Consequently, my territory achieved its ever highest numbers in all channels and collectively. The whole experience gave a lot of confidence to me and I realized that nothing really is impossible if you give your best to it. It’s very important that you look at the problem in hand, from all possible dimensions and try to apply your past experiences notwithstanding, industry or sector.
Also, one needs to be very patient when faced with adversity and try to break the problems into pieces. Don’t try to find a solution for everything at once; it’s very important to identify ones’ must win battles on priority.