Navigating Retail and EMBA: Seamus Louis’s Path to Leadership
Meet Seamus Louis – an accomplished retail professional who has been making waves in the retail industry over the past two decades. Originally from Mumbai and based in the UAE, Seamus has worked in various retail settings ranging from large format stores to boutique outlets. He started his career as a sales associate and climbed the ladder to become a senior store manager. In his current role, Seamus manages inventory and merchandising for a brand boutique store.
What sets Seamus apart is his expertise in team management, customer interaction, and sales strategy. In this interview, Seamus shares why he chose to pursue an Executive MBA after two decades in the industry, how he has benefitted from the program, and more.
Q. What made you decide to pursue an Executive MBA program at this career stage?
Seamus: Although I have two decades of work expertise in the jewellery, real estate, and luxury watch industries that helped me build transferable skills, I felt that I had to deepen my knowledge in business. To take my career to the next level, I needed to understand finance, leadership & business strategies. Getting an MBA was the best course for me to develop into a more rounded business professional.
Pursuing an Executive MBA program has helped me learn new ways of thinking. It has made me confident, relevant and competitive by providing the knowledge and skills I need for today’s evolving business landscape.
I have also expanded and improved my visibility and gained more impactful and meaningful connections by taking advantage of the opportunity to meet and network with my cohort and professors.
Q. How has your experience been with the EMBA program so far?
Seamus: My experience at SP Jain has been excellent in every way. Being one of the most prestigious business schools, my firsthand experience with the school in the last 12 months has far surpassed my expectations.
The quality of instruction, world-class resources, ELO technology and student support is astounding. I have had the opportunity to learn from outstanding professors who are experts in their fields, and they have challenged me to practice critical thinking and develop my ideas.
The academic program and the faculty use real-world examples to make learning more meaningful.
Q. What do you enjoy the most about the Executive MBA program?
Seamus: I love quite a few things about the Executive MBA program. But my favourite has been the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals, professors, the cohort, and diverse perspectives and experiences.
The program is designed for today’s professionals’ needs, using real-world projects and case studies, which has helped me learn new skills to overcome challenges in real life. The program has helped me focus and develop my leadership skills which will help me advance my career.
The program is also highly flexible and adapts to your busy schedule. The SP Jain EMBA was created with working professionals in mind. I like being able to juggle my career commitments with my academic obligations.
Q. How has your classroom experience in the program been?
Seamus: The classroom experience of my MBA program has been gratifying and educational. The program has provided a diverse learning environment. I had the opportunity to interact with a talented and driven group of cohorts from different professional backgrounds.
The professors have been excellent; they brought a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience to the classroom, making the coursework challenging and valuable at the same time. Hands-on experience with real-world scenarios, working with a group of diversely experienced professionals, and contrasting observations and insights has prepared me to take on any challenges.
The Executive MBA program has significantly impacted my professional development. The program has helped me gain a deeper understanding of leadership, finance and business strategy, which has enabled me to take on more responsibility and perform better in my current role.
The program also gave me access to a diverse network of business leaders and executives, which broadened my perspectives and gave me new insights into my industry. The classes have also helped me develop my leadership skills, allowing me to take on more responsibility in my current role.
Q. Tell us more about your work at the Rivoli Group. How do you skillfully build and maintain relationships with high-end individuals in your industry?
Seamus: Excellent communication and relationship management skills are necessary for building and maintaining connections with high-end individuals in the retail sector. It is crucial to prioritise these people’s needs and concerns, thoroughly comprehending them and providing relevant solutions. It’s essential to communicate frequently, provide lasting value through exchanging industry news and new ideas, and offer support when necessary.
Additionally, professionalism and ethics are necessary for building solid relationships in the retail industry. Being transparent and honest, keeping your word, and maintaining a customer-centric approach will help you develop trust and credibility with high-end individuals in the sector.
Building genuine relationships requires authenticity. Be honest about your intentions, show genuine interest, and avoid appearing insincere or opportunistic.
Q. Lastly, what advice would you give future Executive MBA students to make the most of this program and achieve their career goals?
Seamus: Before enrolling in your Executive MBA program, consider your career objectives. You will be more motivated during the program if you have clear goals.
Get to know your cohort and maximise all opportunities to build a network. Your cohort is essential for support through this journey. Connecting with your professors and cohort might result in new employment prospects and meaningful partnerships.
Put everything that you have learnt into practice at work. This will enable you to obtain real-world experience and convince your companies of the value that you can bring.
Organise your schedule wisely because the Executive MBA program can be pretty demanding. Don’t forget to set deadlines for your assignments. MBA is a commitment that you make to yourself. The time that you sacrifice will be fruitful in the end. Remember, an Executive MBA program is a significant investment, so make the most of it by being proactive, focused, and dedicated to your goals.