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Merchandise Buying & Planning Manager

Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
April 06, 2018

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Amit Bansal


** *****' experience in multi-unit retail management, including 5 years as a Buying & Planning manager led a team of 8 buyers & planners in the UAE (managed OTB for 110 of stores, with $1.1B buying budget).

Professional Experience

Key Skills:-

1. Merchandise Buying & Planning 4. Product Management 7. Vendor management

2. E-Commerce 5. Supply Chain Management 8. Inventory Control

3. Sales & Profitability – P&L 6. People management 9. Contract Negotiation

10. Financial Planning- SAP & Oracle 11. Problem solving & Multi-tasking 12.Manage OTB & Budget

SAS Overseas FZE – Dubai, UAE Jan’17 – Present

Self-Employed- Commercial Consultant

Developing B2B customers in the Middle East for two Indian conglomerates :-

1. As a Commercial Director for Smartbox E-commerce Solution Pvt. Ltd.: – Implement Smart Box Hardware, Software, and Payment system to E-commerce, Retailers, Postal Service and Logistic (3PL) companies in the Middle East to provide last mile delivery solution and offering the newest way for customers to click, pay & collect their parcels through a locker system. The Contract at signing stage with the Governmental entity- Emirates Post Group in the UAE and a key E-commerce partners in Saudi Arabia – Tech Genesis &

2.As a Business Development Manager for ADI Retail Pvt. Ltd: - Developing clients in the UAE for Retail Shops Fit-outs & Shelving units. The Clientele in the UAE –Landmark Group, Al Futtaim and Sun & Sand Sports.

Axiom Telecom – Dubai, UAE June’14 - June’16

Merchandise Brand Manager – UAE, Kuwait & Qatar

Key Responsibilities: - Fully accountable for Brand P&L, Data Analysing, Demand Planning, Buying, Sales Forecasting, and Managing Inventory Availability for Handsets, Tablets & Accessories for the following Channels :-

a). Retail Channel (110 stores) b). E-Commerce c). Direct Distribution to Retailers

1.Engaged in effective merchandising and trading of products online & offline in multiple operation markets in order to drive the success of the brand's Omni-channel in the Middle East.

2.Managed yearly Planning & Buying Budget of more than AED 4 Billion for major brands such as Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, Lenovo, Huawei, Alcatel, HTC, Sony, and LG.

3.Executed technical integration with suppliers and led projects to more efficiently source stock, manage prices, execute promotions and assimilate vendor catalogues.

4.Oversaw opportunities to improve on-site customer experience & conversion.

5.Designed process relating to sourcing-direct/indirect supply, brands, selection, and terms of trade.

6.Initiation and management of projects and promotions to achieve short- and long-term business objectives

7.Developed the promotional & marketing plan- Online, ATL & BTL in-line with principal & marketing teams.

8.Product lifecycle planning: pre-launching, launching, Sales performance and in-season management.

9.Continuous enhancement of all brands positioning in the market by consolidating Market research, consumer insights, implementation of relevant Consumer Marketing Initiatives, Communication and Plan.

Key Accomplishments:-

Negotiated Inventory rotation and price protection agreements, from 14 days to 30 days, with key suppliers, such as Samsung, Lenovo, Huawei & Microsoft -Nokia that reduced inventory risk exposure.

Implementation of tailor-made, simplest Open to buy (OTB) process for the business.

Designed comprehensive process (Service Level Agreements) such as fair share allocation & auto-replenishment to the selling channels as per current demand & supply tool to facilitate the best service.

Improve replenishment cycle and Customer Fulfillment rate to achieve availability at stores above 95% and save AED 1.5M as logistics cost at Axiom Telecom.

Sun and Sand Sports – Gulf Marketing Group – Dubai, UAE Sept.’13 - Apr.’14

Head of Central Planning – GCC Countries

Key Responsibilities: - Merchandising, Buying & Space Planning for Apparel, Footwear and Fitness products of international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Columbia, Northface, and Timberland for 88 Stores.

1.Delivered & Monitor ATV, UPT, Overall Density, Planning Inventory as per Sales & managed OTB of AED 1B.

2.Layout planning, “ABC” zoning, Store Grading, Sales forecasting and capacity planning by store.

3.Location Planning, Design and allocate space for all new stores as per Brand sales density.

4.Plan, Coordinate & drive Sun & Sand Store based events as per Marketing, VM Calendar, and Sale Planning.

5.Standardize the process of sales planning & introduce the concept of cost of reduction/markdown.

Key Accomplishments: -

Standardize the process of sales planning & introduce the concept of cost of reduction/markdown.

Retail consultancy Project with Sacoor Brothers for their Kids' brand

and Danube Home – Dubai, UAE April’13 - Sept.’13

Marks & Spencer – Al Futtaim Group – Dubai, UAE Nov’06 - Dec.’12

Senior Merchandiser (MENA Region) –Kids, Home & Food

Key Responsibilities:-

1.Managed the Merchandise Strategies cycle of Think, Plan, Buy, Move & Sell based on the following:-

1)Financials – Sales, Stock, OTB, Margins, Forward Cover Estimate, Order Value, Sell Thru & Markdown.

2)Store –category Level sales, Store Grading, Range Allocation, Availability, Replenishment & Store Planning.

3)Assortment – Department/Category, Design/Style, Pricing, Category positioning etc.

2.Managed a range that exceeds M&S customer’s expectations across Kid’s/Food/Home Range. Also, managed Space / Location Planning & Store Grading for all Categories of 22 M&S stores across the region.

3.Manage the intake/stock levels to minimize stockholding and maximizing opportunities.

4.Optimize sales in high/low-density Stores by balancing width/depth of range, options & space management.

5.Buy & Allocate AED 400M OTB for Kids/Home/Food depts. & managed markdown budget across 4 sales per annum, ensure that product appears in the right store in the right season with 95% availability & stock cover.

6.Delivered an authoritative credible range that presents the customer with real choice in MENA and Levant region (22 Stores). Construct the optimum range for the target market by balancing price architecture, by visiting seasonal Buying conferences for Kids’ dept. to the M&S – UK office.

7.Developed and managed a team of 4, consist of Merchandiser & Allocators.

8.Monitor competition & trends and take necessary action in order to inline the Kids’ range with current trends.

9.Analysing customer buying patterns and predicting future demand and market trends.

10.In-seasonal promotional activities, and end of season markdowns to ensure, stocks kept to the target week cover. Profitability through effective cost control, stock optimization, stock turns, rebates & space allocation.

Key Accomplishments:-

Successfully launched Back to School and Eid specific creative range for all stores on time with 100% availability and achieved 12% increase in sales in the year 2012 over the previous year 2011.

Maintained the availability of Never Out of Stock Lines at 93% in 2012 and achieved 12% incremental sales.

Reduced the Stock week cover from 21 to 16-weeks cover during the year 2012.

Increase the sales mix of Kid's dept. to the business from 11% to 13.5% in the year 2012.

Food dept. grew from 3% sales mix of the business to 5% sales mix year in the year 2011-2012.

Introduced Kids and Food Catalogue in 2010 for the first time thereby increasing sales by 15% in 2010.

Achieved consistent average fill rate of 93% & Stock turn up to 3.25 from 2008 to 2011.

In 2010-11 Revamp the Basic Boys & Girls Category as Good, and Better & Best, based on SAP terminology of Customer Decision Tree & Assortment Planning.

Sharaf Retail- Dubai, UAE July’05-Nov’06 Buyer – Home Furnishing and Accessories

Accountable for Brand Bayti Brand - Developed & plan range, budget, Costing and Vendor management for all categories such as Lighting, Vases, Frames, Gifting, Ceramic, Dinner Sets, Cutleries, Indoor Furniture & Storage.

Key Accomplishments:-

Introduced Store grading system to Bayti Brand and improved merchandise planning and ordering process.

Launched Colony & Claremont & May brands of Candles & Fragrances and increased sales in 2006 by 22%

Built vendor base in India, Philippines & Thailand and improve the vendors fill rate to 95%

Re-negotiate Trading commission with new & old vendor base and reduced their commission by 1.5%.

Atraco Industrial Enterprises- Dubai, UAE Oct.’02-July’05

Merchandise Planner & Coordinator – Fashion Garments

A Multinational Export House Managing Production for USA Brands, e.g., Wal-Mart, K-mart, Target & Sears.

Home Store India Ltd. in New Delhi – India as Buyer - Home & Accessories Nov.’01-Sept.’02

Bought and planned for 28 stores across India.

Star Alliance Import House in New Delhi – India as Jr. Merchandiser for Evening Wear Jan.’98-Oct’01

Managed sampling for USA Brands, e.g., Laurence Kazar, Adrianna Papell, Dillard’s’ & Sears.

Training & Courses Undergone

Art of Negotiation - level 1&2

HSE Training – M&S London

Front Line Business Management Course

Personal Leadership Programme

Situational & Team Leadership

Continuing Professional Certificate (CPD Certified)

Zodiac – Business Finance and Strategy

Financial Concept Workshop

Conflict Management

M&S Merchandise Range Planning

Academic and Professional Credentials

Bachelor of Commerce Degree, In Business Studies, New Delhi –India from the University of Delhi.

One Year Diploma Course, In Fashion Design & Clothing Technology, New Delhi- India from India Education Centre, Affiliated with School of Art and Fashion -London.

Recently started learning the Arabic Language from Arabic Learning Center – At beginner stage.

IT Skills

Optimiza- Merchandise Financial Planning

SAP ver. ECC6 & 4.7

Oracle - ERP

MS Office (Excellent Proficiency in Excel)

Personal Dossier

Linguistic Abilities : English, Arabic & Hindi

Passport Status : Valid Indian Passport

Visa Status : Investor Visa

Driving Licence : UAE & India

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