e-Commerce CEE Regional Manager: Leading with an open mind
András Tar highlights his journey with iSTYLE and how the team is kicking things up a notch
András Tar is eCommerce Regional Manager for iSTYLE CEE and he is one of the rising stars of the Midis Group. Here, András tells us how he developed his career, how he manages people and how he views the current explosive growth in e-commerce.
Q: You have been in the Apple Premium Reseller (APR) business for more than 12 years – how did you get started?
A: I was obsessed with Apple products for a long time and bought my first iPod on the secondhand market when I started university, and then my first Mac in 2006. At that moment I knew that it would be a life-changer. Basically, immediately, I applied for a job as a Sales Representative in the first of the APRs in Hungary, and after six or seven months I got in. In those days, the iPhone was a totally new product, and we felt it will change how things work in our day-to-day lives.
Q: What did you study in college or University?
A: I studied Physics in two universities but already worked full-time for the most part, so after a while, I chose my career over formal education. But the time I spent there totally changed my mindset. The scientific view became a very important way I approach issues, and I do my best to stay open-minded and re-evaluate and even reform my past acts when necessary.
Q: You have had a great career path so far – starting as a sales consultant, then store manager, retail manager, then onto being a development and purchasing manager for iCenter Hungary. On joining iSTYLE, your role changed to a regional one – Operations Manager and now, from last year, as the eCommerce Leader for CEE. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a career like yours today?
A: Yes, I’ve had quite a lot of positions in my career; my experience – and this is my advice to everyone – is that you have to find something you’re really passionate about because that will be your main motivation even in the hardest times. You will fail many times, but never be afraid of failing; our biggest drawback is when we can’t admit our faults, because it gives us no ground to evolve. Think, act, evaluate and rethink, this is my advice.
Q: What would you say about the way that Midis Group/iSTYLE is nurturing talent?
A: I feel very lucky to meet so many of my colleagues, and if I have to highlight one thing above all, it’s really important in iSTYLE that we’re always trying to promote colleagues from within the Group, to fill our vacancies from within our own teams and give people opportunities. As an iSTYLE family member, your attitude to work is always more important than what qualifications you have, and if you’re persistent, you’ll have the opportunity to grow here.
Q: In the last few years, e-commerce and digital transformation have changed business. Impacted by COVID, online markets are growing more than anything else. What challenges has this brought for iSTYLE and for you, as a regional lead?
A: Yes, the last years have made the e-Commerce business accelerate as never before. It is a great challenge from many angles. We have had to rethink our whole operation to serve the needs of our customers the very best we can, in the shortest period. I’m very proud of all our colleagues in the whole region; they have shown great skills to adapt to many new challenges. We still have a lot to learn and change, but every single person I know has worked really hard to reach the point where we’re at today.
Q: How do you see the e-commerce business in the following years? What we should be preparing for?
A: The recent past tells us – even the ones who have never tried online shopping – that the way of things is changing. People are realising what can be done from the safety of their homes, and this process won’t stop here. We’re working every day to provide the Apple Premium Reseller services and feeling to our customers, regardless of whether they are buying from their chairs or in one of our shops.
Q: What about team management? How is that working for you, blending management and leadership skills in your leading efforts?
A: I think leadership is very different these days, and I don’t mean this in the manner of thinking. We are lucky today in that we have countless tools to work effectively even from great distances, but we also have to find the right balance to use these tools, not weaken productivity. Our team leaders and teams in the nine countries I’m responsible for are showing great skills of autonomy. Our communication is always open and I try to avoid micromanagement.
Q: What are you most proud of in this job and what would you change as a New Year resolution?
A: I’m most proud of the bridges we build in iSTYLE between the different teams and countries. What I see these days is that there is a thriving culture of ‘helping the other’, even on days when everybody has more on their plate than they can deal with.
But I never do New Year resolutions! I believe in constant change and development, but if you ask about the next challenge we’re taking on, it is to ‘kick up a notch’ how we’re serving our customers. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say it includes the pace and the quality too.