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Talking Tech: Zahid Ansari, VP-Information & Retail Technology, Forever New

In today’s day and age, any CIO worth his salt must know how to leverage technology to create value for the business. No longer are CIOs department heads of a support function. Instead, they are in the driver’s seat and are more than just subject-matter experts.

According to International Data Group (IDG)’s ‘State of the CIO Study 2022’, 58 percent of workers outside of IT describe their company’s CIO as a “strategic advisor who proactively identifies business opportunities and makes recommendations”.

CIOs today have taken their rightful among their C-Suite peers, helping companies transition to the digital age and generate revenue through technology and innovation.

In this special feature, IMAGES Business of Fashion showcases the torchbearers of retail technology. This week, the spotlight is on Zahid Ansari, VP-Information & Retail Technology, Forever New.

With over 15+ experience, Zahid Ansari has assisted global enterprises to transform with technology and digitalization, while ensuring the technology is efficient, durable. He offers consistent investment value to the company.

He is passionate about his work and this passion drives him to deliver projects with perfection.

Role & Responsibilities:

As a functional head his role includes creating a long-term and short-term IT strategy. He also works towards creating and constantly improving the digital roadmap for Forever New which aligns with business growth, profitability and the company’s expansion plans.

He also focuses on elevating brand experience for customers by leveraging digital technologies and enabling advancements in operations by closely working with businesses, partners and other stakeholders.

READ MORE: Forever New to grow 4x in 5 years: Dhruv Bogra, Country Head

Prior Experience

Zahid has extensive experience in various industries including Retail, FMCG, QSR, and hospitality. He has been recognized with back-to-back rewards and certifications over the past 5 years which speaks volumes of the work done by him.

Prior to joining Forever New, Zahid worked at Dyson as IT Head – India and SEA
(Sep 2017- Nov 2021), Adidas Group as IT Infra & Operations Manager – Global IT
(Oct 2012- Sep 2017), McDonald’s India as Deputy Manager IT (Oct 2007- Nov 2012), Nestle India Limited as IT Executive: Distributor Management System (Oct 2005- Oct 2007) and at Gillette India Limited as IT Executive (Mar 2004-Sep 2005).

Educated at Kuvempu University from where he completed his Master of Science in IT (2005-2006), Zahid actively follows ITIL practices, with an expert level ITIL certification.

His work skills include  

  • IT Infrastructure Management
  • IT Project & Program Management
  • IT Service Delivery
  • IT & Business Strategy Alignment
  • Disaster Recovery

Strengths & Weakness

Zahid saus his strengths include:

  • Digital Business Transformation Success
  • Adaptability
  • Architectural Vision

Meanwhile, his weakness, as per him are:

  • Micro-management
  • Harsh Self-Criticism
  • Numbers & Analytics

Aspirations He Wants to Fulfill

Zahid says he constantly looks to innovate and bring the best out of retail technologies. Alongside this, he aspires to enable the best possible consumer engagement experience.

“Learning and adaptability skills, as well as self management have helped him succeed in his industry,” he adds.

Zahid’s 3 Game-Changing Retail Technologies

  • Live Commerce & Social Commerce
  • Personalization
  • AI Chatbots & Voicebots

Take on the Future of Retail

“Technological disruption will accelerate and bring business changes at a more rapid scale. 5G, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Augmented / Virtual Reality will become more practical and evolve in business enablement and operations,” Zahid explains.

“Retail organizations will have to spend most of their investments on technological advancements,” he adds.

He concludes by saying that his industry role model is late Apple CEO Steve Jobs and that his tech and life mantra are, ‘Stay hungry stay foolish’.

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