Ms. Preeti Kaushik, Head of Planning, Van Heusen, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd took us through her 10-year journey at ABG which started even before she did her MBA with a stint as an engineer at Idea for 2 years from 2007 to 2009. While pursuing her MBA from IIM Lucknow, ABG again entered her life as she interned with the organization in 2010, doing market landscaping of the Acrylic Fiber global market in Bangkok which gave her the opportunity to go outside Indian shores for the first time. Her internship stint was very exciting as she got to learn market analytics and was exposed to a diverse workforce which included people of different nationalities.
She joined the group full time in 2011 as a lead participant and was sent to Indonesia to work on a plant in the outskirts of Jakarta. She was in charge of the planning campaign of a B2C product which was a big exposure for her. Her journey at ABG has involved her exploring various new businesses and functions, some of which have been very gruelling. She recalled visiting 13 towns in Maharashtra in a month for a market mapping project. After her confirmation, she was appointed to manage the Pan India gaming portfolio of Idea in 2011 which involved extensive travelling and interacting with a host of different people. The ABG ride then took her to Bangalore involving her with Van Heusen where she still is currently.
She added that working across two different domains such as telecom and fashion retail was very enriching and interactive. While the fashion retail sector is very store and retail-led, the telecom sector, on the other hand, was very exciting and booming when she was working there in 2012. She called the difference between two chalk and cheese and said that the two different stints have given her a lot of learnings and a varied skill set.
Ms. Kaushik believes that the setup and work culture at ABG is very empowering. “Nobody tells you what to do”, she said. From doing product roles to operations to buying and merchandising and now planning, she has worked seamlessly across domains. She emphasized that ABG firmly believes that if you have delivered in one role, you will deliver in the next role. “There is a lot of focus on potential”, she added.
“Be Open. The more experiences you have, the richer is your life”, this was her advice to the current students of IMT Ghaziabad. She believes that in spite of having 10 years of work experience, she feels every day that she is just getting started. She stressed on the fact that it is imperative for students to be true to themselves and feeling okay if they don’t have things figured out. About the ABG management trainee program, she said that it is very open and the initial one year does not decide anyone’s career. People are given roles which fit their skill set and offer them a chance to grow.
The chance to interact with and interview Ms. Kaushik was a very enlightening experience and kept us interested and curious about ABG and the life there.