What does your current job entail?
"As Manager of Commercial Management Support I am responsible for a team of seven people. About half of them are former consultants. My department forms the analytical heart of our retail company. We offer senior management insight into performance and prepare strategic decisions. We are also responsible for pricing. On the other hand we support buyers on deciding what to buy. We zoom in on hand tools and conduct research into whether we are still offering the right assortment of products for the right prices, on how to bundle volume with Brico and how to lessen supplies etc."
Were you in any way into DIY?
"At first I was mainly drawn to the job due to the opportunities for improvement at Praxis and the support from our shareholder to realize those improvements. Moreover, I have always liked DIY, ever since I was very young. Now that I am involved in the field myself I have a much better understanding of where products come from and how they are being produced. It is also fascinating to fully grasp all facets of the buying process."
How did you like your transition?
"While I started out as a Business Developer at Maxeda Holding I soon learned that I am better suited being in a more practical position. A job that comes with a clear mandate, strictly outlined responsibilities, a team to manage and KPIs on which I am being judged."
And why Retail?
"I had already carried out a lot of retail projects at OC&C. What fascinates me about this sector at present is the enormous momentum with which it is being professionalized. Like time has been standing still for a long time and now is the time for an enormous leap forward. That appealed to me much more than FMCG for instance, which as a line of business is a lot more mature, but where many things have already been developed in the past."
Are you happy about your consulting exit?
"Absolutely, I wouldn’t have wanted to wait any longer, also because I had become too heavy for many starter positions, being a Project Manager. Apart from that I found the time had come to leave the well-trodden path; to learn how it really works out there, and in any case I figured it would make me a better consultant, should I not like it after all."
How will your career progress after this?
"I have been working for Praxis for two years now. That isn’t very long at all and I think I will definitely stay here for another five years or so. There are more than enough opportunities for me to be promoted to a more senior position."