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SAY HEY TO ALI, OUR NEW COMMERCIAL MANAGER

by Maddy de Winter, 2nd October, 2019

Welcome Ali, our new Commercial Manager to the Team! He actually started at CKHQ about 5 weeks ago but we've been so busy with launches of new products that we have only just had time to introduce you all to him now! Having previously worked for Mondelēz, he is here to tell us all about himself and his role at Candy Kittens. Welcome to the team Ali!

What is the best part about working for Candy Kittens so far?
For me the best part so far has been witnessing how agile and fast paced the
business is. I’ve been here for 5 weeks, and, in that time, we have taken 4 new
products from idea stage, right through to proposing them to retailers. Being involved in this short product to market process from day one is not only really
exciting but has also meant that I’ve been able to impact the business straight
away. In most other businesses you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do this so
early on. Also, the total cross functional team at CK is incredibly supportive!
Everyone’s there to help and it’s great that people are so enthusiastic about
everything!
Describe a day in the life.
There’s genuinely never a ‘standard day’ I’ve tried to highlight all the random
things that happen day to day;
  • 6:00 - Wake up
  • 7:30 - Catch the train
  • 8:30 - Arrive at the office
  • 8:30 - 17:30 - Customer meetings / internal meetings / delivering sweets / send some samples / come up with NPD ideas / speak to Jamie about his foot injury / forecasting / attend a trade show / call a customer / check invoicing / sign off invoices / model a promotion / LUNCH / send proposal to a customer / store visits / catch up on industry news / answer blog questions / move stuff in the office due to leak / Try new flavour samples / build a mock-up / update grocery data.
  • 18:00 - Train home
  • 19:30 - Play / watch football, meet mates, dinner
  • 22:00 - Off to bed
What is the best part of your role?
In my current role I look after a number of the main grocery accounts. It’s rare to
get the opportunity to gain experience planning and implementing a number of
joint business plans across the likes of Sainsbury's, Tesco, Waitrose in the same
role. I also have the freedom to make key commercial decisions and set the
overall strategy across these retailers. Having this level of responsibility is
definitely the best part of the job.
Which upcoming Candy Kittens event are you most looking forward to?
I don’t have one in particular, but I know that there are a lot of Christmas shows
coming up, I love Christmas!
Favourite flavour?!
It’s close, but the sour watermelon just steals it for me!
Tell us a fun fact about you!
I can play a tune or two on the piano.