by ABFRLadmin | December 7, 2022
We at ABFRL, present stories excerpted from our internal newsletter In Touch, where we celebrate stories of our people and their contributions.
Peter Englands second Kumbakonam store is a treat for the customers and its friendly staff. Opened in July 2021, the team brings youthful spunk and the gift of experience. What started as a homecoming for store manager Sridhar following the pandemic has become a place for his team to stay and thrive.
The pandemic changed many lives, some for the better, some for the worse. When Sridhar was forced to move back to his native place, Kumbakonam, a year ago due to COVID, things looked bleak. He applied for the role of Store Manager (SM) in an upcoming PE store; his role as backend Manager in telcos helped immensely. The franchise partner and ARM observed that he was confident and well-groomed to handle store business and perform well. The team members include Alex (Assistant SM), Hari, and Ajith (CCAs).
Beyond an eye for getting together an exceptional team, he also brought with him a slice of the corporate culture. He introduced a few small but important practices among the store team that went on to build a strong bond between them.
The first practice Shridhar introduced was celebrating each team members birthday in the store. For each birthday, all other team members pool money for the cake and invite the birthday boys family members as well for a small celebration.
This way, families could appreciate what each member did for a living and feel pride in the store. For SM Sridhars birthday, the team invited his wife and son to the store. This way, the bond is created beyond the workplace, and families understand and appreciate the nature of the job of each employee.
This bond has grown beyond the store walls, with employees attending each others family functions, including CCA Haris sisters baby shower and SM Sridhars daughter’s first birthday function. The team visited Haris home to help with the arrangements for the function as well. They even shared half of the expenses for the meals served at the function, which was around INR 15,000.
This idea of celebrating the team’s birthday was new to the franchise partner himself, who owns close to six retail stores. Apart from gifting a shirt to every member who celebrates his birthday, he has also replicated the practice in his other stores.
Sridhars house is set on a farm. He grows organic vegetables, poultry, and meat at home. He also has a pond where he gets fresh fish. After one homecooked food treat, Sundays have a new ritual. Every Sunday, Sridhar gets home-cooked food for the entire team. The inside joke on the team is that everyone loves coming to work on Sunday and wont quit lest they miss their weekly treats! Over the course of almost one year, the team has bonded better than before, and they have come to support each other many times.
The team also comes together to support each other at work. If any members want an extended leave, others are willing to support them by working extra shifts and avoiding any weeks off to compensate for the manpower shortage. The team believes that these small, thoughtful acts from everyone help create a positive vibe at the workplace and help the team give their best.
Kumbakonam is a very competitive market, with most of the competition’s brands also making their presence felt. The team made the store their own, and they showed superb fighting spirit to keep the PE flag flying high in the town.
They took continuous efforts to retain the customers by means of tele-calling, WhatsApp communication, arranging for home delivery to regular customers, quick alteration (one of the CCA is an adept tailor), and arranging for bulk orders in a short span of time to keep the customers satisfied. These genuine efforts made the store stand strong among the competition.
In the last six months, PE RED Kumbakonam has emerged on top of the table for four months, against the likes of Louis Phillippe, Van Heusen, and Allen Solly. The teams motivation to work for the brand is also increasing every day, leading to great customer service and satisfaction.