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How to become a successful E-commerce Leader?

Hi everyone! Our team here at GoCrackIt would like to welcome Tridev Kundu, a highly successful person in the field of supply chain and E-commerce. Tridev has had a very interesting career journey starting from being an Assistant Manager in Schneider Electric (Manufacturing Industry) to doing his MBA from IIM Bangalore and joining Genpact as a Senior Manager in Supply Chain & Pricing Analytics (Consulting Services Industry) and then working with Flipkart as an Associate Director Last Mile Supply Chain (E-commerce Industry).

Hima: Hi Tridev, it’s a pleasure having you today with us and the Gocrackit family extends our gratitude and appreciation for your time and effort in helping us understand more about e-commerce and B2C commerce.

Tridev: I am pleased to talk and share my experience with you all. I love education and it’s a pleasure to share my thoughts and ideas with future aspirants.

Hima: How did you decide you want to pursue your career in the E-commerce field? Was it due to interest, skills, or family background or just a trending line of career and wanted to opt for it or something else?

Tridev: After spending 11 years in a traditional setup, moving to an E-commerce industry and joining a start-up was more like taking a personal challenge. The general thought process was you need to have special skills to be part of this industry. I wanted to challenge that thought process and prove that anybody can do anything if you put your heart and mind in it.

Hima: Were there any challenges you had to face to reach where you are today in your career?

Tridev: Challenges will always be there whenever you are embracing any change. Hence my transition into E-Commerce was also not smooth but that’s how most of the things in life are. So it won’t be wrong to say that it has been like a roller coaster ride, full of excitement, happy moments as well as low ones but overall full of new learning.

Hima: E-commerce is a field of work that involves dealing with a lot of people and managing them. What kind of challenges have you faced? And what advice would you like to give to the aspiring managers in this field?

Tridev: Stakeholder management is a big part of working in any company. The best way to manage stakeholders is always through effective communication. Clear articulation of the objective, the impact a business initiative will give and involving all the stakeholders in the core project team right from the inception of the idea is the key. Take feedback from all without biases and implement the right idea based on merit.

Hima:What do you think is the scope of E-commerce right now especially after the Covid’19 epidemic? What kind of challenges do you think are the aspiring managers going to face? And how can they overcome them?

Tridev: Potential in E-commerce will be huge as people will accept this new normal of social distancing to keep themselves as well as their family safe while they fulfill their needs through a non-contact stay at home transaction model, which an E-commerce supply chain model typically provides. Post Covid’19 I believe companies will primarily do two things in the first six months (1) Save cost, to fuel existing operation since funds from external sources will be scarce and expensive; (2) Focus on the core business, especially around essential items to capture the increased demand which the Covid’19 situation has created. I believe there will be a lot of opportunities in companies dealing with Grocery, EdTech, Logistics and Healthcare.

Hima:You have led the First Mile and Last Mile Design Charter in Flipkart. Would you like to give us some insights into the kind of work you did, the kind of challenges you faced, your experience?

Tridev: Mostly my work in Flipkart is around helping the business to optimize cost to take care of both business-as-usual as well as flagship sale events like BBD. In addition to this, I have played a significant role in launching new customer-facing capabilities for the company. Challenges were manifold, audacious targets, tough deadlines, constrained resources and the sheer complex nature of the problem to be solved. Defining a problem well by going deep without getting trapped at the surface level and breaking it into manageable steps is the key. Collect the low hanging fruits first, gain the trust of the stakeholders and then aim for the prized fruit.

Hima: Since you are in operation and supply chain management, it involves a lot of cost-cutting, managing resources, etc., so have you taken any kind of courses for it? If yes, could you suggest the aspirants a few of such courses that could guide them and help them in their career?

Tridev: No, I have not done any course. In any cost reduction initiative, try to understand the key levers responsible for the cost and start to think how these costs can be managed in a better way by changing existing assumptions, processes and sometimes even fulfilment models. Don’t struggle if you are not able to propose a disruptive solution, a collection of incremental improvements can also give significant cost savings for the business. Keep the needle moving no matter what.

Hima: What do you think are the most important skills a person should possess in order to become a successful E-commerce manager?

Tridev: Problem-solving, data analytics, product enabled process design/ re-engineering and leading teams under ambiguity will be some of the key skill sets that most of these companies will look at in a candidate. I would urge the students to build and sharpen these skill sets.

Hima: Would you like to share with us what your biggest achievement in life has been?

Tridev: Biggest achievements are difficult to pinpoint but an achievement that I am particularly proud of is getting the opportunity to pursue my MBA from IIM Bangalore. Also being able to live a happy life with my wife and daughter, being surrounded by a great bunch of friends and getting opportunities to meet interesting people across my personal and professional life are few blessings for which I am always grateful.

Hima: What suggestions or tips would you like to give to the other students out there who want to pursue their career in the E-commerce field?

Tridev: Keep believing in yourself, do your research and always try to think what synergies exist between the work you have previously done or currently doing, which can be of relevance in the E-commerce field. Prepare well for your interviews.

Hima: Thank you so much Tridev for your valuable inputs for our students, our readers, and working professionals. We would love to hear from you in the future again to learn from your experiences

Tridev: Sure! Whenever you want to, happy to talk, happy to help in any way.

–Interviewed by Hima Solanki

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