Meet the Game Changers

Gurinder changed the game by
turning the performance of her portfolio around

I joined RB after doing an MSc in economics at the University of Birmingham, and am currently in my second year of the graduate scheme. My first year was in marketing on the cold and flu category. This year I’m in sales, managing an account in our personal care portfolio, which includes Veet, E45, Clearasil, Dettol Soap and Steradent. The opportunity to gain experience in both marketing and sales was one of the key things that attracted me to the RB scheme.

Key highlights for me so far? I went to a TV shoot on my very first day, which was a great way to start. I also had an early opportunity to provide creative input when we went to the studio to record an ad. The ownership and responsibility you’re given at RB is truly second to none. Even at graduate level, you have the opportunity to make a real difference to your business area. And it’s amazing when you then go into a major retailer and see the product you’ve been working on actually sitting on the shelf.

In my current role, I am responsible for making decisions on the levels of investment, promotions and in-store activities we do. I also represent the external face of RB, which involves meeting regularly with our customers and talking to them about new products and initiatives.

Not long after I started this role, , the performance of the portfolio I managed was not as expected. My objective for 2013 was to improve it. The first step was to try to understand why it was underperforming. What were the key drivers? Which brands and which decisions had not given the return we were hoping for? By doing this, I was able to work out how to optimize trade investment and promotions. I also spotted an opportunity to increase distribution of one of our product ranges. The data clearly showed that by increasing shelf space in store, we would be able to grow our customer’s sales. The next step was to present our findings to the customer and get them to agree.

There was a lot of back and forth between me and the customer, and there were times when it felt like we were not coming to an agreement. But all the training I’d had on negotiation and business planning came in really helpful when the going got tough. Now, thanks to my powers of persuasion, and as a result of the activities we put in place, the portfolio is back in growth.

That’s how I changed the game.