We had the utmost honor and pleasure of talking to Mr. Alok Sheth, Leadership Associate at ABG who detailed his path right from NIT Surat to XLRI which eventually led to ABG. He started with stating the reason he joined ABG in 2011 which was him wanting to gain as much exposure as possible across various businesses and verticals. He said that it has been a fabulous journey so far.
Mr. Sheth undertook 4 different assignments in the first year after joining ABG. He began with marketing for Idea at a time when the telecom sector was far more interesting and intense. Following that, he had a phenomenal stint with Thai Chemicals where he was exposed to a completely different country, different setup and different culture. He called it a truly humbling experience which got him acquainted with factory operations for the first time. This was superseded by his involvement in a Corporate Sales role with Birla Sunlife where he learned the nuances of Sales and learnt how difficult it is to sell something. Another stint in retail business concluded his first year with ABG which was an amazing experience, as he recalled.
Further down the line, he worked in Retail operations and Supermarket Operations for about a year and a half where he learnt people management, handling the expectation of a CSA and interacting with Head of Operations among a lot of things. He also spent 8 months in-property, where he acquired the skills of property analysis and store design. The ABG roller-coaster then took him to the buying and merchandising where spent 4 years, learning negotiations skills. “Life is about negotiations”, he said. Succeeding that, he landed up in fashion and retail doing hardcore sales, a role he currently is in till date.
The best thing he said about ABG was the openness within ABGLP to experiment with new challenges. He said that at a lot of other organizations, people think a lot before choosing you for a role. He added that there is a lot of trust in individuals at ABG. On being asked about the work culture at ABG, he answered that it was a culture high on integrity and very performance-driven. However, ABG also upholds traditional Indian values such as security at the same time. He further stated that everyone is very approachable at ABG. “You could go up to the CEO and raise an issue”, he added.
Mr. Sheth also stated that management trainees at ABG should be open to anything and expect to work in any domain in the beginning. ABG opens up a lot of opportunities for all. The conversation ended with him saying that it is important to be yourself as the process for ABG is very thorough and the best around. So, if you are suited to ABG, you will definitely make it by being completely natural.
The interview was very enriching for us and helped us have a close look at ABG.