Business Unit Manager – International Brand and Franchise Management

Ref: 1091374

Nationality: South African
Highest Formal Qualification: Degree
Other Formal Qualification: BComm (General)
Annual Package Range: ZAR 1.35 mil - 1.5 mil, per annum.
Total years experience: 21 Years

Quick notification of talent on the move10 specifics about a Business Unit Manager – International Brand and Franchise Management (merchandise: fashion retail, fmcg) – available for exploratory interviews. Ref: 1091374

Our candidate that we are showcasing today is a Business Manager responsible for 1) Business Re-generation, 2) Operations Management and 3) Profit and Loss Management. Achievements: His first career achievement dates back to 1991; from an application of 400+ candidates, he was 1 of 15 candidates selected to join the Edgars Merchant Development Programme. The first Trainee Merchant to be placed in the business prior to completion of the programme. In 1997 he received a citation for “Customer Service” from the Edgars Board. In 2008 as Business Unit Merchandise Manager for 8 brands, he took on the additional role as Head of Gap Merchandise and together with an excellent team they were responsible for turning the KSA Gap Brand from a loss to a profit-making Brand in 3 seasons”.

  1. Contribution Compass Profile (Natural Energy Profile Tool): Cultivator
  2. Ideal company (culture and values): My ideal company would be a multi-national firm with retail operations and an expanding global footprint. Honest leadership should permeate the company and it must value its people by recognizing & rewarding their achievements. All stakeholders must strive to entrench a culture of service excellence in order to exceed the expectations & deliver on its promises to all patrons.
  3. Skill area of competence: Strategic Brand & Business Management; Business Planning & Process Improvement; Merchant Fashion Buying & Planning experience;
    Brand/Supplier Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, People Leadership, Organisational Planning & Succession Planning.
  4. Career summary: 7 years International Fashion Brand Management exposure with Fawaz Alhokair, Fashion Retail Group; 6 years FMCG experience with the Massmart Group (now part of Wal-Mart) in South Africa; 10 years fashion experience in Apparel, Footwear & Accessories in the Edcon Group, South Africa.
  5. Nationality: South African.
  6. Discipline: Purchasing Management
  7. Qualifications/Affiliations/ Prof Registrations: Degree (Bachelor of Commerce)
  8. Software Skills: Microsoft Office; Outlook; Oracle Retail; SAP Retail; Arthur Planning (JDA).
  9. Salary Expectations: ZAR 1.35 mil – 1.5 mil, per annum.
  10. Location Preference: Open to positions internationally.

Candidate location: South Africa

Home & other languages: English, Afrikaans

Designation: Business Manager

Highest qualification type: Degree

University: University of the Witwatersrand

Division: General and Operations Management

Seniority level: Owner / Partner / VP / CXO / Director / Group Manager

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Indian

Nationality: South African

Other Formal Qualification: BComm (General)

Current / most recent job title? Business Manager

Primary purpose of current/most recent position:
Business re-generation,
Operations management, and
Profit and loss management.

Core elements or functions that must operate effectively in order to achieve primary purpose:
Responsible for overall business budgeting & forecasting
Developing and planning the achievement of agreed strategic objectives
Planning, directing and coordinating day-to-day business oversight, including operations sales, and business development
Instituting streamlined business processes and procedures
Implementing cost control & analysis and profit maximization strategies
Re-establishing supplier relationship management
Driving out marketing and promotional strategies
Conduct staff hiring, training and performance management

Description of self, along with greater purpose and passions:
I consider myself to be intuitive, self-assured and confident in my abilities. I am able to work under extreme pressure, exercise good judgment and I thrive on multi-tasking. I have the ability to leverage off the support and resources of cross-functional teams in a business, in order to successfully deliver on a project. I have a pleasant disposition with the innate ability to forge ahead regardless of related challenges whilst always striving for excellence. A key area of strength is that I am always professional in my dealings with all internal and external stakeholders. Above all, I pride myself on being customer-centric and I serve as an Ambassador for the Company in whose employ I am.

Ideal business title: Business Development Executive

Key responsibilities and accountabilities of ideal position: Conduct market studies in order to assess local and international retail markets by conducting research and completing a SWOT analysis with recommendations
Investigate and evaluate commercial business opportunities that would complement and augment the existing fashion retail portfolio of brands
Assess suitability of a new brand for the local and international territories and understand the new brand’s profile
Evaluate the new brand’s product strategy and understand its positioning and the scope of the required retail operation
Formulate a financial rollout plan for the territories in which the group trades
Enumerate and finalize the retail math model
Draw up and open to buy plan with agreed KPI’s in conjunction with the Head of the merchandise planning control department
Compile the draft head of terms proposal with the Chief Merchandise Officer
Provide input into and evaluation of the final contract and other formal & informal agreements between the Brand Partner and the Group
Determine and direct achievement of the requirements to meet the brand standards in terms of  logistics, marketing, visual and IT aspects
Coordinate initial and on-going communication between the Brand Partner and internal retail Support Functions
Determine the merchandise & product assortment mix to suit the customer profile in collaboration with the Brand Partner and the merchandise planning teams
Agree the pricing, promotion & markdown strategy for the commercial trading calendar with the Brand Partner and merchandise planning teams
Recruit & fill organizational team structures with talent required to operate brands
Hand the brand and operational structure over to the retail commercial teams once the first stores have opened for trade

Skill area of competence:
Strategic Brand & Business Management – My investigation, understanding and assessment of the market are key to acquiring a brand and together with the Brand Partner determining the brand’s value proposition. Potential market size, competitive landscape, demographics, consumer preferences and product & pricing studies are all part of my arsenal to woe a brand. Review and finalisation of the projected P&L, retail math and delivery models are key to establishing a sustainable business model. I also provided input on the commercial aspects of contracts.

Business Planning & Process Improvement – As Merchandise Director, I deliver input and ensure preparation of a suite of reports to indicate margin delivery and stock performance against agreed targets. As an Executive team we also have to present our results to the board on a quarterly basis. Internally we conduct brand reviews, store visits and meetings with cross functional teams every week and as required. I am involved in agreeing business priorities, resource planning and expansion plans with the rest of the management team. I was also an Executive Sponsor for the upgrade of the ERP solution in the CIS region.

Merchant Fashion Buying & Planning experience – As Business Unit Merchandise Manager, once my team and I understood a brand’s profile and positioning, the range & OTB planning work we did with our Franchise Partners on the final product assortments ensured delivery of sales targets by meeting the needs of our customers. In order to ensure margin delivery we worked closely with cross functional teams, especially logistics to ensure the most efficient and cost effective route to market.

Brand/Supplier Relationship Management – The foundation of a franchise business is a PARTNERSHIP. Whilst Brand Partners are the owners of the intellectual property around the brand, I always consider my team and I to be the custodians of the brand in the territories we trade in. Understanding the brand, tapping into its DNA and always considering its values is key to delivering the brand promise to our customers.

Supply Chain Management – Essentially, franchise retailing is about selling fashion, FAST. In order to cater to a demanding customer, stay ahead of the competition and deliver a profit, requires that retailers move product to shops in an efficient and cost effective manner. Franchising is based on a partnership which means we share in the profits, all the more reason to negotiate keenly, collect and deliver goods cheaply and distribute goods pre-retailed to stores with minimal handling. As the custodians of margin for the CIS, my team and I are involved in and actively influence Supply Chain Strategic imperatives.

People leadership, organisational planning & succession planning

Career summary:
7 years International Fashion Brand Management exposure with Fawaz Alhokair, Fashion Retail Group.
6 years FMCG experience with the Massmart Group (now part of Wal-Mart) in South Africa.
10 years Fashion experience in Apparel, Footwear & Accessories in the Edcon Group, South Africa.

Achievements: 
My very first achievement dates back to 1991, from an application of 400+ candidates, I was 1 of 15 candidates selected to join the Edgars Merchant Development Programme. I was the first Trainee Merchant to be placed in the business prior to completion of the programme. In 1997 I received a Citation for “Customer Service” from the Edgars Board. In 2008 as Business Unit Merchandise Manager for 8 Brands, I took on the additional role as Head of Gap Merchandise and together with an excellent Team we were responsible for turning the KSA Gap Brand from a loss to a profit making Brand in 3 seasons.

What do you absolutely love doing?
Reading short non-fictional stories & Business articles
Watching documentaries on National Geographic & History Channels on DSTV
Walking/hiking on the weekends
Travelling when time & money permit

Ideal company (culture and values):
My ideal company would be a multi-national firm with retail operations and an expanding global footprint. Honest leadership should permeate the company and it must value its people by recognizing & rewarding their achievements. All stakeholders must strive to entrench a culture of service excellence in order to exceed the expectations & deliver on its promises to all patrons.

Leadership style: Consultative, participative and supportive are the hallmarks of my leadership style. I make a conscious effort to manage my teams according to the following key principles: I always strive to maintain or enhance self-esteem; I actively listen and my response is proportionate and considered; I thrive on working with all invested parties to achieve an agreed business imperative; I provide support to my subordinates without removing their responsibility; sharing my thoughts and rationale come naturally. I build lasting partnerships to ensure profit delivery & customer satisfaction.

Motivation to move (please select): Limited growth

Location Preference: I am open to positions internationally.

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