I joined Vodafone back in 2009 as a Regional Manager looking after 20 retail stores across North London. I remember my first day in Vodafone like it was yesterday, the team were so welcoming, and the induction I went through really helped set me up for success in my new role.
My career in Vodafone has been positively varied, and the opportunities it has presented me with have been both regular and highly rewarding. Within a short period of time looking after my first region I moved into bigger roles across a number of different retail regions, my favourite one being London West where I spent my time looking after stores like Harrods, Westfield, Kensington and Kings Road. Customers in these locations tend to be very demanding, however through recruiting and developing the best Store Managers and store teams we really had a good time bringing new technology and connectivity to life across these locations and in doing so we ended up being awarded the coveted title of Region of the Year at our annual sales conference.
Since then, I have been lucky enough to work in a number of different roles and with loads of great people – this has ranged from Divisional Manager where I was responsible for over 150 stores and 1500 people, to leading one of our biggest investment programmes to open and refit hundreds of new stores. More recently I have had the pleasure of leading the Central Operations team – a team of over 70 people whose day to day purpose is to ensure the effective running of our retail estate, from reactive support for our store teams, to planning the future strategy of retail. Recently we commenced a great programme to introduce a new team of Technology Experts into all of our stores and a couple of people in my team created an amazing development programme to recruit and train over 500 Tech Team members who now offer a unique education experience in our stores to help our customers get the best from their technology.
My role at the moment is heading up the Commercial Operations function which includes managing the things that enable the successful performance of our own stores and that of our Channel Partners where customers can also purchase Vodafone products in places like Argos, Sainsbury’s and Carphone Warehouse.
My time at Vodafone continues to be exciting and varied, I love learning from our Global colleagues and collaborating with them on new ideas. We have recently embarked on a programme to change some of our existing retail stores into Franchise stores which is something we do across a large number of our other Vodafone markets (countries), leading this programme and allowing some of our best store managers to become owners of their own business is a fantastic experience and one that continues to demonstrate our commitment to developing our people and opening up opportunities to our teams.
From a personal perspective, I have been privileged to have been exposed to some amazing experiences. From having lunch with our Global CEO to discuss company strategy, to meeting the Prime Minister to celebrate our store investment programme. Add to this the opportunity I was given to run as a Torch Bearer in the Olympic Torch relay back in 2012, and the great chances I have been given to fundraise and carry out charity work all supported and sponsored by the Vodafone Foundation. All of this on top of great structured personal development and training to enable me to continue to progress my career and that of the teams I have the pleasure of working with day to day.
What’s next for me… Well, early next year I will be starting in a new Vodafone Global role where I will be the Head of Retail & Distribution for our Partner Markets – this means I will work with a team of Vodafone colleagues who work with, and travel to other countries around the world where Vodafone has a partnership agreement in place. My role will be to share best practice and ultimately help these teams to maximise the customer and commercial performance of their sales channels by sharing best practice from across the Vodafone global teams.
My advice to anyone thinking of joining Vodafone, or specifically Vodafone Retail is to embrace it and get on board. The day to day role of a retail colleague is hugely varied and incredibly rewarding. We aren’t just a sales team, we offer a range of customer service experiences too and we get to try out a truly exciting range of new technology that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. Our teams are amazing – friendly, diverse, inclusive, well trained and the roles open up opportunities for progression across retail, Head Office and even globally. The future really is exciting… I’m ready for it, are you?
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