Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Nestlé and Kraftshala Collaborate to Groom Sales Professionals  

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A profession in sales offers a dynamic learning environment with accompanying challenges, opportunities, and ambiguities, which is actually quite unlike the popular perception that sales roles are suitable only for individuals who are outgoing or charismatic, overlooking the strategic thinking, negotiation skills, and industry knowledge required for success.

Some such myths were disspelled by Sushrut Nalluwar, Director, Sales, Nestlé, during a session aimed at dispelling misconceptions surrounding sales careers while highlighting how to bridge the skills gap preventing professionals from exploiting the immense potential and growth opportunities in the field.

The session was organized by Kraftshala, an online skilling institution that is dedicated to transforming the educational landscape for Indian students at scale. Established in 2016 by FMS- Delhi alumni Varun Satia and Eshu Sharma, it has become one of India’s largest marketing and sales-focused higher-ed institutions.

Speaking at the session Sushrut pointed out that a profession in sales offers a dynamic learning environment with accompanying challenges, opportunities, and ambiguities. He added that the profession provides a firsthand opportunity to witness the “whole VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world in all its glory” and a sales professional’s response to this challenge often has the potential to impact the business.

“You’re hit with that VUCA world as the first line and you almost have that responsibility of how the company responds to that VUCA, both in unlocking new opportunities and responding to challenges. And that’s a great place to be in because it, in a way, defines what the company’s response will be in terms of the way forward. So it’s a position with a lot of responsibility, and the immense opportunity to create an impact both on the business and the people’s front,” said Sushrut, who is an MBA from IIM Mumbai (formerly NITIE) and holds over 17 years of industry experience.

Sushrut highlighted that all jobs have accompanying pressures, and while it is believed that a unique kind of sales pressure comes with well-defined deadlines, the joy associated with delivering in the critical area of the business was also the most gratifying part of the sales function.

“There is no pleasure without pressure, let me put it that way. So they coexist, but that is not unique to this job. Every job has different kinds of joys and pressures that one has to deal with,” Sushrut said.

Varun Satia, Co-Founder & CEO, Kraftshala, who was moderating the session offered an example from his early professional career to highlight the exhilaration achieving sales targets provides. “I had a stint in sales in Kalyan, not far from Mumbai City, during the time when it was referred to as Mumbai City 3. The feeling of accomplishment when I met my sales targets after initially falling short was truly rewarding. Compared to marketing, where results could take months to materialize, the direct impact in sales was deeply satisfying. This immediate sense of achievement mirrors the fulfillment of entrepreneurship, making sales uniquely rewarding.”

Sushrut added that sales along with other commercial business functions have a lot of options available to grow in the business world. “This is a career path with immense gratification and control over outcomes. Within the sales function, there is a diversity of roles available today and there is a need for awareness around this.”

The collaboration between Kraftshala and Nestlé forms part of an ongoing initiative to help people start their career in Sales through a Post Graduate Program in Sales and Business Leadership where students get trained through industry experts and get roles upto 18 LPA.

Kraftshala concluded admissions for its pilot batch and has already received great response from recruiters who are always in dearth of good sales talent. Like all Kraftshala programs, this one also comes with placement accountability where if the student doesn’t get a job, Kraftshala shares the responsibility and refunds the majority of the fees. Through such endeavours, the aim is to equip aspiring professionals with the requisite knowledge and skills to excel in the dynamic world of sales and beyond.

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