Name: Jasmin Dehghani
Role: Business Controller, Buying Office, Stockholm
Background: Master of Science, International Business and Trade from University of Gothenburg
Hi, who are you?
Hi! I am Jasmin, a travel and music lover from Gothenburg Sweden who has been a part of the H&M family since 2015. I started at H&M as a Business Trainee and then took on my first independent role as Business Controller at the Global Buying office where I have been since.
Tell us more about your everyday at the office!
The Global Buying Office is divided into small Sections; everyone responsible for designing, product developing and buying their specific products to all store- and online markets worldwide. At Ladies Small Accessories, my team and I work closely together to make sure we offer the kind of jewelry, sunglasses, phone shells, key rings and other accessories that our customer loves and buys. Offering the best customer assortment means that we constantly optimize not only the style and outlook of our products, but also the timing, quantities and price points, within the budget we have. I spend roughly half of my time taking these sorts of decisions together with Buyers, Assistant Buyers and Designers, and the other half in front of the computer doing sales analysis, budget follow up and risk assessment to back up the ideas I bring to my team members. Fashion is a fast-paced industry, so the decisions we take on a given day might be completely opposite to what we thought a month earlier. That unpredictability is something I really like; new opportunities and challenges arise all the time!
You mention your team a lot – who are they and who do you work close with?
At each section at the Buying Office, there are so called ’3-teams’, which is kind of the management team for each section. It consists of the Section Head who is staff responsible for the team and ultimately responsible for the collection and result, the Concept Designer who is responsible for the visual goals and design expression and last but not least, the Business Controller. We work together to set long- and short-term strategies, follow them up and make sure the entire section works in the same direction. Within the section there is then the buying teams consisting of Buyers, Assistant Buyers and Designers with whom I also work closely to implement the set strategies.
In what way do you act as an informal leader in your everyday work?
Seeing as I am the only Business controller in the team, my competence and point of view is both unique and valuable, and therefore it makes it even more important that I am able to communicate my conclusions in a clear way in order to get the teams on board, working towards the same goals. Other examples include implementing new working methods and coaching and developing Assistant Buyers within the skills they need to take on a future Buyer role.
What was the biggest surprise with the role?
How quickly and often I make business decisions (or ‘take actions’ as we say at H&M) and how fast it goes. If I see sales potential in e.g. massively increasing the number of earrings in the collection and taking that quantity from necklaces, I just need to go over to my buyer’s desk, discuss it briefly and the change can be made immediately through a few clicks on the computer. No powerpoint presentation or report that needs to be sent off to someone else who takes the decision. I was really surprised to be given this trust and responsibility early on, and that the role is so much more about doing business than cracking numbers in excel.
So what do you actually do as a BC?
By analysing sales data I work strategically with setting goals, visions and working methods, and operationally to take a lot of actions that I drive together with my team. The result of those actions are the products that I can find in our stores and on our website worldwide, that’s pretty cool!