Interview with Vaidyanath Swamy, CEO, N-Vision Consulting
How would you define the current momentum of the retail sector in Asia?
The momentum continues to build in parts of Asia, but in certain countries like China it is slowing down. There is a slow shift from growth at all costs to efficient growth.
Where are the growth areas for the retail sector in Asia?
The growth areas continue to be countries which are still in its preliminary growth phase like India.
What are the challenges and issues?
The number one challenge is driving profitability through efficiency. Retailers who manage this effectively do very well. Retailers who work well with suppliers and develop a plan to cut costs and create win-win situations do very well. The second challenge is navigating regulatory and local reactions to retailing whether it is the closure of mom and pop stores in India or regulatory challenges in China.
Vaidy has been in the FMCG industry since 1988. He was with Procter & Gamble for 24 years, and 2 years with Kellogg Company. He started his career in finance and after various roles including the CFO of P&G Vietnam, moved to General Management in 2000. He has lived and worked in 6 countries – India, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore successfully delivering breakthrough business results across different cultures. As a General Manager, he has held various positions in Procter & Gamble as Managing Director of Vietnam, Head of Export Operations Asia, Managing Director of Malaysia/Singapore, and GM of Snacks & Pet Food Business Unit - Asia. Vaidy also successfully led the business and organization integration of Gillette with P&G in Asia and most recently integrated the Pringles business from P&G successfully into Kellogg’s with a 97% retention rate.
During his two-year stint in Kellogg’s, Vaidy was the Vice President of Asia Snacks business in addition to managing the Kellogg’s Cereal business of South East Asia and China. He has now started his consulting company N-VISION CONSULTING to focus on management consulting, coaching, training and development.
Vaidy has also chaired the AMCHAM FMCG committee Malaysia, in addition to his active participation in the AMCHAM in Malaysia and Vietnam. He was also invited by the Vietnam Govt to Washington, as part of their investment drive.
During his 26 year career, he has had extensive coaching and training experience – both 1-1 and classroom training. He has groomed & developed talent across Asia into key leadership positions – several of his direct reports are holding GM and senior leadership positions in FMCG Companies. Having multiple experiences across cultures, he recognizes the diverse challenges and tailors the coaching accordingly, while maintaining a result oriented approach. He has trained various courses like Time Management, Career Development, and Positive Power & Influence – a global program run by MNCs and has conducted this program in Singapore, Vietnam, India, and South Africa.
He is also a firm believer in social responsibility, Vaidy is involved in E4E, a group which focuses on building schools for underprivileged children in Asia including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.