The Trend Letter

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Assistant Buyer, Divisha Khera, gives us a Glimpse into the Exciting and Challenging life of a Fashion Buyer

Job Profile and Responsibilities
I am an Assistant Buyer for the men’s wear brand Nuon, at Westside-Trent Ltd.

Best Thing About the Job
Fashion buying is a very creative field. It involves tracking trends, colours and fabrics. I wanted to explore the retail field and fashion buying was the best way to achieve that. As a fashion buyer, I gain new knowledge every day, track trends and happenings from across the world and perceive what our customers would like to wear on the basis of that. Every week, we monitor the sales reports which tell us which products have sold well and which have performed poorly. It is exciting to find out whether a trend you planned has sold or not.

Additional Perks
Senior buyers travel to cities like London and Dubai to track the latest trends. Also, as part of our job, we are sent to shop floors once in two weeks, where we have the opportunity to interact directly with our customers. This process helps us understand the needs of customers, introduce them to new fabrics and trends and gain valuable feedback.

Growth Opportunities
There are a lot of growth opportunities in this field. However, your growth, like in any profession, depends on your passion and dedication to your job. Currently, there is a lot of potential in retail buying, especially in men’s wear, which is an untapped market. Since it a growing category, there is a lot of scope of personal growth in men’s wear.

Remuneration
The amount you can earn as a fashion buyer varies from company to company. However, on an average, an assistant buyer can earn around Rs. 3-4 lakhs per annum. At a senior level, as a buying manager you can earn around Rs. 20 lakhs per annum or more. However, the amount you earn may vary, depending on your talent and dedication.

Challenges
The most challenging part of a fashion buyer’s job is making sure customers like your product. Sometimes, what you think your customers will like, might not work well with them at all. Depending on your choices, your products will either fly off the shelves or remain there for weeks. Therefore, when your merchandise hits the floor, there is always a risk involved as you can never be sure about what will work and what won’t. Therefore, it is important to believe in your product and understand your customers. Also, developing your product from scratch can be challening as you have to ensure that your thoughts are first effectively translated to paper and then executed effectively as well.

A Typical Day at Work
A typical day at work usually involves regular co-ordination with vendors, suppliers and sourcing officers. Right now, I am simultaneously working on the spring-summer as well as the autumn-winter collections. Therefore, it is essential to be on top of things to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Qualities/Skill Set
The most important quality one needs to possess in this profession is creativity. You must have the ability to think out of the box and not play safe. Those who dare to take risks, excel in this career. Also, you need to be confident while presenting your ideas so that others can share your belief. Another very important quality one must have is good communication skills, as you have to interact with vendors, suppliers and internal teams on a regular basis.

Education Background
After completing my bachelor’s degree in management studies, I obtained a diploma in fashion retail management, while working with a designer. After that, I pursued a master’s degree in fashion management from NIFT. These courses helped me understand more about the various career prospects within fashion. When most people think of a career in fashion, they mainly think about design. My education widened my horizon and exposed me to other avenues like buying and merchandising.

Scope in India
The retail industry is booming in India. After the FDI approval, international brands will be able to enter the country directly, unlike before. Therefore, there will be a demand for people with relevant knowledge to help international brands understand local markets. Hence, fashion buying is definitely a booming career option, which will not reach saturation anytime soon.

 

Volume 2 Issue 2

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