5 Minutes with a Manager

What is the secret to this young leader's success?

Chintan Gandhi, sales and marketing manager at office supplies company Jaybel Office Choice in Brisbane, is one of AIM’s 30 young leaders under 30. His ability to adapt is a key to his success.

By Susan Muldowney, Photography by Richard Whitfield

1. On the job

I head up a team of account managers and marketing executives. In the past two years we’ve acquired three companies and I played a key role in this. I’m also part of a national sales and marketing committee for Jaybel Office Choice. There are about 155 businesses – we are the largest in Brisbane and one of the biggest Australia-wide.

2. Career progression

I was doing my MBA and working part-time in the accounts receivable section at Jaybel Office Choice when the director told me there was a role in sales if I wanted to take it. That’s not where I wanted my career to go, to be honest. But it meant getting a full-time role without much effort, so I thought I’d give it a go and I haven’t looked back since. I’m passionate about marketing and I wanted to be a brand manager. I think if you have a passion for something, people notice it. I started off in sales and then got given more responsibility.

3. First job

I come from a family business background so as a kid I’d always seen that kind of culture and my earliest ambition was to run a business. But my very first job was with JPMorgan Chase, working in their back office as a market analyst.

4. Dealing with stress levels

Yoga helps me manage stress better at my workplace. Being in the role of sales and marketing manager in a highly competitive industry, the stress levels are always high! Yoga helps me to clear my mind so I can make decisions with clear thoughts and attain inner peace. Overall, by doing yoga my productivity increases.

5. Greatest challenge

The key challenge for me at the moment is people management. We recently went from an office of about seven people to one of about 28. Growing exponentially over a short period of time means workflow and training and developing teams are challenges on a day-to-day basis. Change management is also a challenge because we are now a medium-sized business and the mentality of the way we do things has changed a lot over the past two or three years. I have a very good team – not just my direct team, but higher management as well.

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