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Tuesday Transformation - Anjali Lilani

Anjali Liliani - Retail Buyer- Housewares and Gourmet Foods (Regional), Dwellings Home

Who is Anjali Lilani?

When you ask yourself, “Who Am I?”, How do you answer? There are so many different aspects of “you”. Anjali Lilani is many things. I am a career- oriented young woman, a professional, a daughter, a significant other, a sister, an aunty, a spirited friend and a soulful lover of life. I try to be each one of these identities in unison; and live a balanced life.

What does a typical day for Anjali entail?

A typical weekday for me goes like this: I wake up, get ready for work, I pray and light a “Dhiya”, which is essentially a candle made from a cotton wick dipped in oil. This lights the path for a good, auspicious day. After this, I grab a hot, double shot almond milk latte from Café 195 or an Americano from Open Kitchen. This lights the path for a successful day 😊. I then go to work, which consists of various tasks and operations. After my day has ended, I drink some green tea and I go train with my Personal Trainer (PT), Kevin Frederick, who ensures that I am extremely winded by the end of our sessions at this time of the evening/ night. After this, there is not much left in me but to have a nice meal and enjoy a glass of red wine.

Is Procurement a career you always wanted to pursue?

No, I never thought I would have a career in Buying. When I was finishing my degree at university, my mind always wandered to Marketing, Banking, Real Estate, you name it. But I never saw Procurement as a habitat for my career. An Unknown love.

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of this career?

Well, there are many challenging aspects of a being a Retail Buyer. It is so much more than just being given a budget $ and sitting behind a computer and purchasing goods. You are a part of the creative mind of a company, you are the gateway to providing what the industry; what the consumer needs and wants; and essentially a business cannot do what it does if you do not get it right. This is a huge responsibility and leaves little room for margin of error. Also, when dealing with importation, you are always relying on various other intermediaries and stakeholders; so when there is a hiccup somewhere along the pipeline from Origin to your Warehouse, it creates a bottleneck and can affect how you conduct business, what is on- shelf and at what time of the year and at what price point.

How do you remain motivated during tough days?

I try to remind myself of how hard I have worked; all that I have gained within the last few years. The experience, the knowledge, the opportunities, the brilliant people I have met, all the love I have received. I try to encourage myself to continue being the sponge that I am and soak it all in, the good and the bad. It will help me grow. Never lose faith.

What advice would you give someone who is interested in pursuing a career in Procurement?

I would say, just work hard. Try to learn as much as you can, become involved in industry- related projects, networking; that is key. You also must have just the right amount of resilience, but show that you are moldable, approachable. No matter what people say, you will always learn a lot from your “superiors”, the older, more experienced people in the industry. Be respectful and carry yourself well.

Pancakes, Waffles or cereal: One has got to go.

That’s easy, cereal. Because pancakes and waffles are just so good!! You can do so much with them! So many different toppings to eat with them, so many different methods of cooking them, even gluten free! Chicken and Waffles!! Cereal? What do I do with that?

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