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May 9, 2019
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By Sarah Khan

“It’s a jungle”, “It’s a dog-eat-dog world”, “Not a place for women”, “It’s not a field where women can thrive”, “You will be forced to violate SOPs. That’s the only way one can progress in Sales”.

I received these and many more similar reactions from friends and family every time I broached the idea of entering the field of Sales. Although, I can’t recall why I had the urge to join the field in the first place, I’m pretty sure the desire to challenge aforementioned reactions was one of the main reasons for taking the plunge.

Having previously worked in the Marketing Department of a bank, I knew FMCG sales would be nothing like the cozy environment I was so used to working in. I knew Sales would be a very tough nut to crack, considering my gender and personality traits (I see myself as an introvert, others might disagree) but I was up for a challenge. Having joined Abudawood Pakistan as a Management Trainee, I was overwhelmed by the open and inclusive culture, strong systems and procedures that were in place, the crème-da-la crème of the industry – and I knew at once that this is the place where I will nourish my hunger to grow professionally.

I got my first glimpse in the field of sales while on a rotation. That taught me the fundamentals; a sales pitch, order-taking, negotiating strategies, conflict resolution, stock planning, relationship building with internal and external customers and much more. That’s when I truly started understanding how business was done. I spent a major part of my day with Sales Representatives (SRs) and that experience formed the foundation of my learning till date. Route-riding was exhausting especially in May when temperatures hovered at 40°C, but it was the most satisfying as well. I developed a new-found respect for SRs during these days; mainly because I realized the laborious efforts they put in and also because of their unmatchable knowledge of the market.

I was assigned my current role – Assistant Key Accounts Manager- in the tenth month of my traineeship, i.e even before my training period officially ended. That’s the best part of this company; it gives you a chance at a very early stage, preparing you for leadership right from the start. The role requires me to look after Global Customers (Metro and Hyper) in South, a portfolio of approx. PKR 85 million. The responsibility that comes with this portfolio is indescribably huge, especially for someone who’s been in the field for less than a year. But then again, it also shows the company’s and the top management’s trust in my capabilities, which is encouraging.

I transitioned from being a trainee to a coach, trainer, mentor and manager of three Key Account Officers. The challenges of being a female leading a team of males are unique. An invisible wall existed in the form of communication barriers, which I had to put in conscious effort to pull down and was successful in due time.

A typical day in my life includes: checking the sales achievement first thing in the morning as I enter the office and discussing brand-wise, line-up wise performance with my officers. We delve into which plans are working well and which ones need improvement. We discuss in detail all that is wrong in stores and must be corrected immediately. These include; prices, shelf-shares and unavailability of articles in stores, if at all, merchandising issues and then individual customer queries. After reiterating the day’s minimum sales objectives and reviewing current plans with the team again, officers are sent off to the market.

My experience so far has been a mix of highs and lows; and both have taught me immensely. I’ve had days that have been grueling, rigorous and extremely frustrating. I’ve had to deal with all sorts of people; mostly nice but also some not-so-nice ones as well. I’ve had times when I felt like I would crumble under pressure; I’ve had disagreements that have erupted into fights with colleagues. All that said, I’ve also had managers who have been kind enough to teach me the basics of everything – the most fundamental things like negotiating and the best way of dealing with people. I’ve had colleagues who’ve been my support system through rough days; who’ve guided me into better decision-making. I’ve also had customers who have treated me like royalty. I’ve also had days when I’ve felt like I could achieve anything; days when I’m brimming with positivity.

In a nutshell, it was never supposed to be an easy ride but every effort during the journey is well worth it. Abudawood is an institution in itself. It teaches and makes you grow, personally and professionally, like no other. With one year and eight months behind me, I can say with confidence that Abudawood is hands-down the best Sales and Distribution company in Pakistan; especially with regards to its culture and its people. I don’t mean to wax lyrical about the wonders culture can do and how it’s integral to a company’s progress but I DO want to say that I’m experiencing the effects of a good work culture first-hand. When you know you can walk into your Country Manager or General Manager’s room without hesitation, to discuss anything you want, you know you are truly blessed to be in an environment that values you as a person, your ideas and your aspirations.


admin
March 4, 2019
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By Komal Azhar

While being interviewed for any position, one key question that often arises is that “Why do you think you are a good fit for the company?”. At that moment, we recall the answer that was rote learned for this particular question before appearing for the interview, and conveniently deliver it.

What we often miss is the crucial step that comes prior to the interview. We need to sit back and think about whether the organization is right for us. Give importance to yourself and your opinion, because only YOU are aware about your professional aspirations. Therefore, when I heard that “so & so” company has the best Management Trainee Program in Pakistan, I didn’t just take their word for it. Instead, I explored what qualities lead them to be the “best” among other programs.

Here are a few tips to gauge if you and your organization are a perfect match for each other.

  1. Question yourself

Before you move ahead with any decision, discover yourself and ask some basic questions on the basis of which you will decide further the kind of organization you want to join.

  • Are you more comfortable working solo or in teams?
  • Do you want to work in a casual, friendly work environment or a completely professional one?
  • Would you opt for flexi hours or strict 9 to 5 jobs?
  • Are you comfortable with frequent traveling?
  • Do you want to socialize with your colleagues after work or not?

These are just a few of the many questions that you should be questioning yourself on.

  1. Ask for the Job Description

A job description is a document that will list down what the organization wants from you in a role. But more importantly, it tells you whether you want to manage those responsibilities DAILY for a few dedicated years of your life. If you are the least bit skeptical about those duties, then simply back off, because trust me, you do not want to work in a role that you won’t enjoy.

Unfortunately, in Pakistan, the concept of JD is nearly non-existent. Companies usually do not develop it, and if they do, it is merely a “copy-paste” version of other JDs found online for the same position. While organizations do not usually send it in our country, I suggest do not shy away from asking for this essential document before going for the interview; read it carefully and clarify any questions you have over an email or in the interview itself.

  1. Engage in research

When interacting with the company in any form, be very vigilant. Take indications from every interaction, because they will give you clues to your puzzle!

Explore the company on all digital platforms such as Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Snapchat and what not! Study the company’s website in detail. Talk to people working in the organization and ask them about their experiences and specifically about the role you are interested in/applying for. Questioning them will give you an inside view of the workplace, which will help you gauge the culture of that organization. Specifically look at what values and practices they hold dearly, then analyze whether the same values are coherent with your personality. For example, if you someone who is comfortable with flexible working hours, then a job with traditional 9 – 5 work arrangements will demotivate you.


admin
February 21, 2019
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The Success Story of Abudawood

The sales and distribution leg of any FMCG company has always been considered as the biggest contributor in revenue. The key drivers in establishing a robust, efficient and cost-effective sales and distribution arm are a well-planned go-to-market strategy in line with the market dynamics.

For any FMCG company the most optimal way to launch its product portfolio quickly is to partner with a reputable sales and distribution company in the relevant territory. Abudawood Pakistan has successfully established its name in a very short span of time as the biggest distributors in Pakistan with numerous success stories to its name e.g being the first FMCG distribution company at national level in Pakistan with automated order processing via hand held terminals in SAP environment.

The open secret behind the success of Abudawood Pakistan is based on promoting an integrity driven culture where the voice of every employee gets equal importance regardless of his/her position in the organization. Every employee is encouraged to be judicious, to cherish diversity, to respect each other ideas, to be open in communication and to focus on teamwork, empowerment and accountability. These aforementioned values are the pillars of Abudawood’s success story.


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October 12, 2018
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  • We are among the leading supply chain and logistics companies of Pakistan and the biggest distributor of consumer goods in the country.
  • Being distributors of P&G, Duracell and Jacobs, we have cemented our position as the top FMCG distribution company of Pakistan.
  • Our rich history of retail distribution in several markets enables us to offer a unique one-window solution for companies looking for best-in-class, self-driven distribution and supply chain services.
  • Our state of the art warehousing and logistic services, provide a highly cost- and time-efficient route to market to our partner brands.

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October 12, 2018
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  1. As the largest retail distribution company in Pakistan, we enable you to sell to the remotest areas and hardest territories.
  2. Our years of experience and trained and dedicated sales force provides us the cutting edge needed to survive in an increasingly competitive and ever evolving market.
  3. We take pride in being the largest supply chain and logistics company in the FMCG sector in Pakistan and our dedicated supply chain team ensures end to end service delivery while maintaining high service levels.
  4. We partner with our clients to ensure a mutually beneficial relationship. Our lifelong relationship with big clients such as P&G is a big testament to our abilities.
  5. We are humble and realize that our success comes from God. We seek his guidance in our work.
  6. Integrity is our core value. It defines our business and our dealings and is central to what we do.
  7. Our sales team is trained to specialize in various sales channels in order to maintain laser sharp focus on the fundamentals and requirements of each channel.
  8. As an integrated service provider, we are a one stop solution for all your business needs. Our expertise is spread over sales, warehousing, logistics, finance, brand management, merchandising and IT.
  9. Our biggest strength are our employees. We commit to their professional growth and keep them motivated for what lies ahead.
  10. We are forward looking and look to consistently improve on our past performances.

Abudawood

Head Office

3rd Floor, Executive Tower, Dolmen City, Clifton Block 4,Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi, Sindh 75530 Pakistan.
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