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My Fashion Career: Haroun Saleemi, E-commerce Manager at Quiz Clothing

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Whether you dream of being a designer, fancy yourself as a photographer, or are made for marketing, we’ve spoken to individuals currently working in various areas of the fashion industry to find out how they made themselves stand out from the crowd in this increasingly competitive industry, and what their job is really like!

Haroun Saleemi is E-commerce Manager at international fashion retailer Quiz Clothing, which offers a wide selection of clothing and accessories online and across 150 stores. He spoke to The National Student about his role within the company, and how he got there…

‘I completed an undergraduate course at the University of Glasgow and a postgraduate course at University of Strathclyde,' he says. 'My first degree was actually in electronic and electrical engineering – it was a very challenging course and all 4 years were very intense. It wasn’t until I did my Masters in Business and IT that I realised I didn’t want to be an engineer, but wanted to focus on Business and, in particular, e-commerce. I absolutely loved my time at university; I found my passion and made friends for life.

‘I had always thought that I was going to be an engineer but, a few years into the course, I felt that it wasn’t for me. It was very technical and just didn’t fit my strengths. My aim then was to graduate and pursue other avenues. At the back of my mind business was always an option and the retail sector was where my opportunity came from. There is no greater buzz then contributing to growing revenue!

‘I was always interested in the online world but, as I say, it wasn’t until my postgraduate course that I realised I wanted a career in e-commerce; linking the gap between businesses and new technology appealed to me. Being able to work out how technology can add real business value and help to differentiate your business from competitors is an exciting challenge.

‘On a typical day, once the laptop has been switched on, I spend a few minutes analysing sales and stats from the previous day. If any immediate action needs to be taken, I’ll discuss the options with my team. I then spend some time going through loads of emails making sure all the priority ones are dealt with; in fact I often need to respond to emails at home as there just isn’t enough time in the day!

‘I will then often have meetings with key member of the team to ensure the day to day running of the operation is being handled well. A large part of my role is business development and I can often have 5 or 6 major projects on the go at any one time, therefore I need to go through each project and make sure all tasks or milestones are being met. Meetings and calls with suppliers is also very important and can take up a large portion of the day. I also report directly to the board so I often have to attend meetings to provide updates or discuss strategy.

‘My life revolves around e-commerce and in particular the e-commerce website. It’s open 24/7 so my mobile is set up to alert me of any issues as prolonged downtime is not acceptable. Thankfully, these kinds of situations are very rare! I am also responsible for all financial management of the department, I need to ensure that costs are managed and that I deliver a profit.

‘I was responsible for delivering the company’s first e-commerce site, and since then have developed it into a very successful and profitable sales channel, so I’m especially proud of that achievement every day.  I have also been involved in multi-channel projects such as “click and collect”. My team and I project managed this from start to finish and had to come up with some unique solutions to get it live.

‘If you’re looking for a fast paced and exciting career that is on the cutting edge of technology, then e-commerce is definitely an option. If you are sales/performance driven but also want to express your creative side, e-commerce allows you to do this. You have to stay on top of the technology trends and look for continual improvement all the time. E-commerce is the fastest growing area of retail and although the market is maturing there is still massive potential for innovation in each sector. I can’t think of any other area of business that can offer this!’




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