Behind the scenes of our buying department with Kiran Rakhra

We got the opportunity to talk to newly promoted Head of Buying, Kiran Rakhra, on the current vacancy she has within the frame buying department. The frame buying teams primary focus is to deliver a world class frame range to each of our markets through the sourcing, selection and development of new frame ranges. Kiran’s role as Head of Buying at Specsavers is to ensure they have the right strategy to continue to drive our world class frame range forward – making sure we have the perfect frames for all our customers – and you could soon be a part of this!

Does this sound like you?

Senior Category Manager for our branded portfolio. An experienced category manager who has the vision, commercial acumen and product development capability to deliver the very best new product to market. Working closely with key internal and external stakeholders on critical path management, product development, negotiations and management of a team, this role requires an experienced individual who is flexible, forward thinking, highly articulate and organised and has the ability to develop and manage relationships,  build long term sustainable ways of working across multiple time zones. As with all senior buying roles, this opportunity will require significant travel and flexibility to meet the needs of the role.”

What skills do you look for when hiring for this role?

  • Commercial acumen
  • Negotiation skills
  • Ability to build credible long term partnerships and relationships
  • Critical path management
  • Range planning
  • Category management
  • Highly organised
  • Articulate and confident in presenting (verbally and written)
  • An eye for trend and fashion

A snapshot of some of the activities you will be involved in on a day to day basis?

  • Early calls with our colleagues in Asia or Australia discussing progress on range development
  • Range building – developing new product
  • Finalising sign off packs to present to the Director of Frames and Head of Buying
  • Speaking to our frame suppliers on progress of production with factories and addressing issues through to resolution
  • Supporting, coaching and developing junior team members
  • Negotiating prices on products
  • Engaging with key internal stakeholders on the latest frame developments

We asked Kiran about her three years at Specsavers, how she’s been supported and supported others in their own development.

“I love to see my team members developing and growing within their roles through opportunities that are available to them, supported by their hard work and determination (and my guidance)– therefore to see members of my team being promoted in recent months makes me feel really proud. My recent promotion to Head of Buying, which has been my career ambition for a while gives me a great sense of achievement and positively recognised for my contribution within Specsavers.” 

And finally, if someone is thinking of applying for this role what advice would you give them?

“If you are joining from another industry have confidence that your core buying skills will be a great foundation to the Senior Buying Role. Be open to learn new processes but be prepared to challenge the status quo so we can learn from each other and get the best results for our customers.”

If you think you’d be great for the role then we’d love for you to apply.

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