We at ABFRL, present stories excerpted from our internal newsletter ‘In Touch’, where we celebrate stories of our people and their contributions.
It’s finally Friday, and the long work week is finally in its last hours. Your friends call you to chill at a party, and you realize your work casuals don’t vibe with the party setting. You dash to the VR Punjab mall, which is closest to your office, and feel drawn to the Forever 21 store. You look at the dapper clothes on display, confused about which one you would look the best in. Suddenly, you feel someone tiptoe around you, observing you closely. You turn to the store executive and hurriedly explain what you need, only for him to gesture he can neither hear you nor speak to you. Just before you can react, his gentle smile puts you at ease. He gestures, enquiring about the size of shirt you are looking for, and suggests a smaller size may work just as well.
He runs down the aisle, gets you several options and urges you to try them. When you step out, he gives you a verdict on how each one looks on you. When you had plans to walk out in one shirt, you soon realized that you’ve walked up to the billing desk with three instead!
You ask the store manager how to say thank you to this god-sent angel who worked hard to make you feel like a star at the party you were excited to go to. He smiles and shows you the gesture, and you relay the same to your new-found friend. He smiles and thanks you in return, with a twinkle in his eyes.
Meet Bhuwan Kapoor and his mentor Deepak Arora, who are helping us at ABFRL become the change we want to see in our retail operations.
Bhuwan is one of 15 active employees who are part of MFL’s pilot project in brand stores across Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. As they familiarized themselves with retail operations in the back office including apparel folding, virtual merchandising, managing online orders, and visual merchandising for a year, different MFL teams were on course to create a sales kit that helped them move up the ladder and become part of the front-end team.
This team had the added responsibility to create a sensitization program for the other store staff. While we endeavor to treat all peers equally, 13 of our Differently-abled Friendly Personnel (DFP) who transitioned into frontline roles need a bit more empathetic and patient approach. A cultural change needs more time for nurturing, and our HR teams ensure that processes are tweaked appropriately and there is constant feedback to make the workplace conducive for all. What makes life easier for everyone, is that our DFPs are very focused individuals who have an enormous appetite to learn and push boundaries. They have an eye for detail and a great attitude, which helps to work with the team together.
If you ever stop to shop at Forever 21 – Noida, or the Louis Philippe, Phoenix Market City – Bangalore, don’t forget to say a quick hello to Sujit and Bhuwan. In a world frequently overwhelmed by the blinding noise of the mundane daily grind, these fine folks remind us that now and then we need to pause, reflect, and slow down for a second. Hidden behind their intricate expression of hand gestures that echo beyond words, is a lesson in empathy, exuberance, and a zest to lead a life beyond your boundaries!