“Demystifying Sales” – by Abhishek Sinha

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JBIMS had the pleasure of hosting a guest session by Mr. Abhishek Sinha, Regional Sales Manager, Britannia Industries Limited. Also present for the session were Mr. Rajiv Purohit, Regional HR Manager, Britannia Industries Limited.

The session started with Mr. Sinha giving a brief introduction of himself and his professional journey. With a summer internship from Marico, 2 years stint at Perfetti Van Melle and then his journey from an Area Sales Manager to his current role of Regional Sales Manager in Britannia Industries Limited, he has been a part of FMCG industry throughout his career. To kick start the session and keep it interactive, he encouraged the students to ask questions and thus began a thought provoking and an informative session.

With his 13 years of rich FMCG experience, Mr. Sinha gave insights into various aspects of sales in the FMCG industry. Staying with the core subject of ‘Demystifying Sales’, he began the talk with life in sales and various facets associated with it, the route to sales in a FMCG set-up, the roles of various stakeholders across the value chain, emergence of technology in sales, importance of system & processes and most importantly the perseverance required to excel in this field. Students were inquisitive to know what motivates and keeps Mr. Sinha going in the sales role. Speaking from his vast industry experience, he talked about how life in sales is full of challenges every day which keeps one mentally stimulated & on the edge all the time. He emphasized that ‘sales is not about numbers’, but about people handling (team work across levels), field process management and a lot of execution rigor which when done well every day, renders not only a huge sense of progression on business numbers but also a great sense of satisfaction. In order to be an effective sales person, Mr. Sinha said one has to be rooted in ground (read, market) and into the environment (read, competitively aware). He further added that one has to enjoy getting his/her hands dirty on-ground, overcoming language barriers and the physically exhausting market working conditions to survive and succeed in sales. He guided the students on how these challenging assignments and tough experience in initial years of anyone’s career sets the right foundation and makes them ready for future and higher roles in sales or related functions.

He also touched upon adjacent sales topics like Shoppers’ Behavior and Go to Market Process which witnessed enthusiastic participation from the students. The rising inquisitiveness of the students lead to some questions on the current industry realities and their implication on sales. Responding to the students, Mr. Sinha shared his point of view on the distinct need of different supply & service routes for categories with varying shelf life, on impact & readiness for GST regime, impact of demonetization on sales and the emergence of Patanjali as a competitor in the FMCG world.

Mr. Sinha then opened the floor for student interaction. Students asked a multitude of questions regarding various career verticals, to get a better understanding of career in sales & marketing. Addressing the student queries, Mr. Sinha shared his valuable knowledge on various roles within sales & marketing verticals, thus helping them make an informed career choice.

Though the session was intended to demystify sales, it turned out to be far more enriching for the students, encompassing various subjects of sales & marketing, which left them energized with Mr. Sinha’s invaluable knowledge sharing.