Career Forum Apr 2016: Shadow a CEO Programme – Get hands-on experience in a high-growth market with DFS Group’s Benjamin Vuchot
Five top executives will be taking part in the latest iteration of Classified Post’s Shadow a CEO Programme. Find out more about Benjamin Vuchot, region president, Asia north at DFS Group and what he has planned for his shadows below.
What does your business do?
DFS Group is one of the world’s largest luxury travel retailers, operating duty free stores in 17 major global airports and 17 downtown T Galleria locations. The group was established in Hong Kong in 1960 and now employs over 9,000 people. Today we are privately held and majority owned by Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury conglomerate, alongside DFS co-founder Robert Miller.
How many brands do you work with?
We carry over 700 of the world’s most luxurious brands across five categories: watches and jewellery, fashion and accessories, beauty and fragrance, wine and spirits, and food and gifts.
What activities do you have planned for your shadows?
We have three large T Galleria by DFS stores in Hong Kong, as well as operations at Hong Kong International Airport and a substantial presence in Macau. So we look forward to showing our shadows the breadth and depth of our operations, and how a career with DFS combines the best of two amazing worlds: the exciting world of travel and the dynamic world of retail.
What do you hope your shadows will get out of the experience?
We hope they are able to learn more about travel retail and the exciting career opportunities that this industry offers. We offer career paths in store operations, retail operations, merchandising and planning, consumer marketing, business and market development, finance, HR, and IT.
What leadership skills or lessons are you hoping to impart?
DFS teaches people how to work in an ever-changing environment. As such, we need to react quickly to changes while at the same time staying focused on our customer. We offer the opportunity to lead high-performance teams, while providing hands-on experience combined with a lot of scope for creativity and independence.
What skills and experience are you looking for from applicants?
Although we are based in Hong Kong, everything about DFS is international. So we are looking for people who are passionate about retail and interested in working in a global organisation for a global customer. We also highly value creativity, innovation and agility – people who are able to think on their feet and bring a “can do” attitude to their jobs.
What is the job market like for graduates in your industry?
The luxury travel market is a high-growth area and we are a growing organisation. Because DFS works across several industries, the skills we provide are easily transferable and highly sought-after.