Samit VermaCountry General Manager of Amplifon India Pvt ltd
Samit is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Amplifon India, a subsidiary of Amplifon Spa-Milan, an Italian multinational corporation specializing in hearing care across 28 countries. With over 21 years of experience in retail, wholesale medical devices, health, wellness, and FMCG, Samit excels in managing country operations, initiating strategic business operations, and driving growth through a balanced organic and inorganic strategy with a strong focus on profit and loss. He is dedicated to people excellence, inspiring and providing growth opportunities for his team. Samit’s expertise in business development is evident in his successful implementation of go-to-market strategies and channel innovations. His leadership has played a key role in setting up and growing business operations sustainably and profitably. Known for efficiency improvement, he establishes robust SOPs and implements system and process automation across operational touchpoints. Samit’s hands-on approach, combined with creative thinking, contributes to achieving business excellence.
ORGANIZATION STRATEGY/ KEY CHALLENGES
1. What is the key deliverable expected out of your current role?
The market in India is largely unorganized and fragmented, with very low levels of penetration when it comes to global standards. This offers huge headroom for growth, and we are obsessed with the opportunities.
With our growth journey being focused around best in class customer experiences, enabled by awareness & improving accessibility to quality products and services, we are witnessing improving market share YOY. Building a sustainable business with a very solid foundation, capable of scaling up quickly over the mid-long-term horizon, is the key deliverable.
2. How much of that has been achieved?
I am extremely proud of the work done by team in India over the years. We have been market leaders over the years and are scaling rapidly to beat peers in the category. We expect the YoY growth to further consolidate our position in India as market leaders.
DOMAIN SECTOR (TO CAPTURE CURRENT SECTORAL TRENDS DEVELOPMENTS CHALLENGES)
3. What are the key focus of your organization? Both immediate and long term. And what steps are you taking to achieve this?
There is strong double digit category growth being witnessed in India & our focus is largely centered around best-in-class customer experience, customer devotion, and service innovation to not only acquire customers but drive long term retention.
4. How has the Pandemic/technology/globalization/economy affected your sector?
Our sector is one of the most resilient, limiting the impact of the pandemic. The use of technology improved rapidly post pandemic, and we embraced and & adopted technology faster than before, which has helped us in improving both internal and external customer experience. Digitalization and technology are driving awareness & providing the right options to the customers, helping them take informed decisions, thus making customers much more powerful than they were in the past.
5. What is your talent strategy? How do you draw a balance between home grown vs lateral hiring at the leadership level?
Talent lies at is the heart of organization, our people makes all the difference, our endeavor Is to grow our talent by rotating them through critical roles in order to prepare them. For future roles and fulfilling career. We try and strike the right balance between Stability and fast track growth thus nurturing Home-grown talents to take up roles with increasing responsibilities and hire lateral talents to create diverse workforce fostering innovation and fresh perspective to the business.
6. How does your organization identify and develop future leaders?
We invest in our talent and encourage them to learn on the job by providing buddies and mentors internally and also offer exposure to various global and local leadership programs.
SHORT/MEDIUM TERM OUTLOOK & STEPS TAKEN
7. Every crisis is a learning opportunity, what lessons have you picked up from Covid?
Always keep challenging the status quo.
8. In a world full of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity (VUCA), innovation has become one of the most important factors to transform a crisis into an opportunity. How do you promote Innovation?
We are driven by our core values and one of the core values is centered around “Power up your Purpose”, which actively engages and encourages people to promote the culture of ideation and innovation. Purpose brings in fresh ideas to business, and innovation is a continuous process and therefore it needs to be driven by core values and culture. For example, service innovation is key to customer engagement, acquisition and retention in our industry, and we keep encouraging innovation to drive agility & customer centricity.
9. How do you define and practice leadership?
The leadership requirement keeps evolving through the different stages of the organization, but the most fundamental leadership responsibility is to help organization and people navigate through opportunities and challenges effectively. This can be done by empathetically empowering and inspiring people to deliver great results, through a very well-defined strategic road map which leaves no room for compromise on execution.
Effective communication and continuous engagement to ensure one goal one team is one of the effective ways to practice good leadership. Have the right talent, build the right culture, and help them succeed in their roles – success brings in positivity and confidence to do more, failure helps in learning and becoming more agile and if one believes in their team, the likelihood of succeeding is much more.
10. We see many Indian leaders on the global stage. How can more Indian leaders become Global Leaders?
India continues to play a pivotal role in steering the global economy in the right direction. Amidst geopolitical tension, there is the availability of a very strong talent pipeline, either in India or among the Indians abroad, who are already making their personal impact felt in several industries. This is only going to increase as the economy catapults to become the 3rd largest economy in the world. The Indian talent needs to show more agility in driving the ESG agenda strongly, to support organizations to create a better community with a clear focus on sustainability. This, along with the language barrier advantage, will enable more Indians to reach the helm of global organizations.
11. What are the 3 most pivotal moments in your career that you learned from and/or that got you where you are today?
Life is full of lessons, both on the personal and professional front. Every day, there is so much to learn from our colleagues, friends and family that it’s very hard to pick 3
The first lesson that I learnt very early in my career as a Sales Manager is “Inspect what you expect”. Every time I visited a distributor before visiting the market, I would land up having quite an ineffective communication & not a very successful business trip as I completely failed to understand the challenges and opportunities in that particular market and hence the disconnect. Therefore, know your market well before you start communicating with customers, never judge your team or business partners & be the change that you want others to be.
Secondly, always undertake one staff role in life, where you have to influence some of the best minds, including senior leaders who don’t report into you but sign off on a critical strategic road map for the organization, thus requiring huge change management. This kind of a role makes you extremely patient and resilient, apart from building strong influencing skills. You leave behind a personal impact that builds a lot of confidence and risk-taking ability in yourself. My GTM strategy role at PepsiCo was transformational in so many ways.
Thirdly, the size of the organization does not matter, as long as there is a strong sense of purpose behind it. After having worked with some of the biggest FMCGs in India, I decided to shift to a totally unrelated business which was to be built from scratch but had a strong purpose behind it and I held on to that purpose strongly, thus creating a market leader in its category even though we feel we can do much better. Working for an organization or a role with a strong sense of purpose keeps you grounded and fulfilled.
12. What message would you like to share with young professionals?
Today’s young professionals are already much more informed than the previous generations, given the rapid digitalization, networking, and learning opportunities available through the abundance of content available online. The level of agility, given that they are processing so much already, is a real pleasure to witness but Rome was not built in one day. So patience and resilience, along with being nimble footed & having their feet on the street would certainly make a difference when standing out in the crowd. Always be surrounded by people with strong values and a sense of purpose as they would be the guiding force behind your success.