Meet the Bramwith Team: Amit Desai

Amit Desai was one of Bramwith Consulting’s early employees, joining us as a Trainee Consultant in 2008. He spent 4.5 years progressing with the business before moving to a Leadership & Development Consultancy, where he individually  worked with FTSE 250 Senior Executives to support their career ambitions, help define strategies, drive change and champion innovation. Amit rejoined Bramwith in 2015 and played a key role in growing Bramwith’s internal infrastructure. He now oversees the UK and Global Businesses and was promoted to Director in 2018.

What do you love most about your job?

My job now is very different to my role when I re-joined the business three years ago, and even more so from when I first started at Bramwith as a fresh graduate. I’ve gone from being a pure biller to managing a team and it’s fair to say that I’ve enjoyed both. But for me, managing a team and developing and furthering the careers of others has always been most satisfying. My current role has seen me take on greater responsibility and I also love being involved in setting the strategy and executing the growth of the business. Taking a lead role in our rebrand, delivering a new website and setting up our New York office have been great highlights of 2018.

What drives you? What makes you push yourself that bit harder to succeed?

The idea of learning and developing from every experience to make you a better version of yourself. No one has all the answers, whether you’re at the bottom or the top. I believe that you learn more from failures than successes. We all get given opportunities at some point in our lives but it’s what you do with them that matters and defines you. At Bramwith we work in a meritocratic environment where you get out what you put in – I like that there’s no hiding place.

You started your career at Bramwith, left for a while and returned. Now you’re a Director. What brought you back – what is special about Bramwith?

Great people. I only left Bramwith because I hadn’t worked anywhere else and the business could only offer one role at the time. Saffa and I remained close and on good terms and she came to me with a new opportunity which I was very interested in. It was the easiest decision I’ve ever made. I still knew a lot of the people in the business and that’s the thing – it’s all about the people. We’ve changed a huge amount culturally in the past three years, all for the better, but what remains true is the people, the values and the fundamentals that the business was built on. I’ve honestly never looked back.

What are the top trends for talent management in 2019?

Good people are hard to find in any field, and we should never take them for granted. There’s a lot to be said for reminding your staff when they’ve done a great job. As human beings we are naturally very quick to criticise and point fingers, but you have look at yourself first. Treat your staff with respect, challenge them to better themselves, push them outside of their comfort zones even when they resist it and go on a journey together. It’s not so lonely when you have someone else alongside you. I’ve always thought that there’s a lot to be said for being approachable, sometimes you just need to be there for your staff.

What about the Procurement landscape? Any key trends for 2019? Is the candidate’s market set to continue?

Ever since I started working in this space it has been a candidate driven market and I don’t really see that changing. Even in the world of recruitment it’s the same, we all want to hire talented people. The calibre of procurement professional has significantly increased over the past five years – some of the talent coming off the procurement graduate schemes just wasn’t there five years ago, and the salaries being bandied about support this. I think we’ll continue to see growth in consumer goods and packaging, in line with a lot of sustainability initiatives in 2019 and it is now almost imperative that individuals are competent and comfortable with data and using technology to derive value from it.

What do you think will be the biggest disruptor for Procurement over the next few years?

The obvious answer is technology, though this is nothing new. Hiring talent with exposure and experience of AI, cognitive procurement, blockchain etc. has been high on the agenda in 2018 and I suspect will continue for the next few years. I believe that new technology will continue to be the biggest disruptor – it’s impossible not to be, considering the sheer magnitude and speed at which tech continues to advance. It will continue to disrupt many sectors beyond procurement.

Sustainability is a challenge that seems to have crept up on us and only now are people starting to take a hard look at their own economic, environmental and social impact. Considering that procurement has a huge role to play in driving sustainability, with the power to affect change along supply chains, I think it will continue to be a hotly debated topic in 2019 and beyond.

Finally, how do you see Bramwith evolving over the next few years? Where would you like the company to be by 2023?

The future looks very bright indeed. We’ve just taken new, bigger office space in Bank which gives us more room to grow our UK team, as well as our New York office. It promises to be an exciting time. The UK is where we started and even with our Global growth, it will continue to be an important hub. We want to ensure that we continue to grow our UK market share, as we have done year on year.

The US is a venture that we are all very excited about. Having been out there twice in the past three months, I’ve seen first-hand what an incredible opportunity it presents for the business to replicate our UK offering. Our plan is to build out the New York office and likely open further offices when we feel the time is right. But regardless of growth, we want to ensure our culture and values remain the same – developing and bringing talented people through the business will always be the key priority. Our Consultants of today will be our next Managers and Leaders.

Get in touch with Amit on if you’re looking at your next career move or searching for top candidates.

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