Retail industry is one of the most happening industry as far as risks are concerned. Here’s the breakdown of a day in the life of a Chief Risk Officer in the retail sector.
Once you wake up in the morning, you scan through the newspapers headlines to see what is happening across India and around the globe. The government is very proactive to grow jobs locally and issuing guidelines at a fast speed, leaving business to interpret government intentions. Marking headlines for further follow up with concerned departmental heads for their feedback, your smartphone comes to your rescue.
You take pictures of the news stories and send the same to departmental heads for their information and feedback.
The commute to the office goes in making plans and changing the pre-scheduled plans, based on newspaper headlines.
You raise issues based on newspaper headlines and ask department heads to follow up and provide initial feedback. Other department heads also discuss their concerns and priorities. You compare your notes to see if any new issue has come up.
Post Morning Huddle:
Follow up on weekly meeting with management/notes for upcoming meetings:
- Property related:
You review the notes made while discussing various properties for legal risks, operational risks, contractual risks, third part risks, etc. For some properties, you also review IT risks, data privacy risks for sharing the sale data/using the landlords point of sale system. You make a note for follow up with IT team on the status of information system audit of various locations.
- Customer related:
You review the new consumer complaints from the previous week and root cause of the same and make note for follow up on quality assurance team on the new concerns that has come up; HR for additional training to salesman to handle the customers.
Visit to a department head:
You visit the head of customer relationship management. You discuss the new system implemented to give company a 360-degree view on customer. The system can capture emails, crawl social media sites, consumer issues and generate an issue list and heat map of various issues being discussed on social media/consumer complaints sites. You discuss ways in which company can change the consumer complaints to consumer compliments.
Sudden call from CEO:
The CEO has asked you to come to his/her office post-lunch. The company is acquiring another company and the CEO has asked you to do a risk assessment of the company within the current and next week and give the key concerns areas.
Additionally, he/she informs that company is going to push aggressively for e-commerce business and make it a substantial part of revenue and afraid that some of the risks are not being taken up in right manner by senior management of e-commerce vertical. He/she asks you to refresh the risk register and discuss the risks with vertical management. He/she will join if time permits.
Surprise visit by a department head:
It’s evening and your procurement heads come over for a chat. They say that with restriction in place on China, they are evaluating the options of going for South America for finding good sources of raw material/finished goods. You say that you will look at country risks, but they need to be cautious while doing due diligence of the buyer to ensure that they are not government officials and on the US sanction list.
Going back to home:
While heading back home, you summarise what you have accomplished today and what will be your goals for tomorrow and rest of the week. You note that the introduction of a module on ethics has reduced customer complaints regarding false claims and increased NPS for quality products. The meeting with procurement is slated as a series, which is happening with department heads that you do not have to initiate. They come to regard you as a friend and guide.
Submitted by: Manoj Agarwal, Head of Internal Audit & Risk Management.
Metro Brands Limited
Strategic Advisory Board Member (IRM India)