Legacy, as some say, is not defined at the end of the road: Vidya M Chhabria, Jumbo Group


March 23, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Legacy, as some say, is not defined at the end of the road: Vidya M Chhabria, Jumbo Group Photos Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

As the Jumbo Group is set to turn 50 this year here is our exclusive interview with Vidya M Chhabria, Chairperson of Jumbo Electronics Co. Ltd. LLC.

Over two decades ago Chhabria took over the reins of Jumbo following the sudden demise of her husband and founder of the company Manohar Rajaram Chhabria. She has been steering the company’s growth since then and has been scripting the organisation’s multi-brand strategy and directed Jumbo’s foray into the B2B segment.

Asked what she considers as her biggest legacy and achievement, Chhabria said, “Legacy, as some say, is not defined at the end of the road.”

“From the very beginning of our journey, we’ve taken the cue from this amazing nation. The aspirational vision set forth by the UAE’s rulers spurred our growth, transformation and helped us prepare for the future. Matching stride for stride, in December 2023 – the same month the UAE will turn 53 – Jumbo will turn 50. The journey alongside the nation has been both exhilarating and challenging. All along, I’ve tried to uphold the values of my late husband and held myself accountable to build upon those to strengthen our business. To have played a part in shaping this 50-year-old organisation is a matter of great pride.”

A people-oriented leader Chhabria is conscious that it’s not just her family’s fortune that is tied to Jumbo but that of 2,500 employees and their families.

Explaining her leadership style, she shared, “Contrary to what most people think, I believe you can be assertive and compassionate at the same time. While still affording individuals the freedom to work independently, I remain focused and pay attention to details. Today, I see myself more as a mentor offering strategic direction for achieving our long-term business goals while nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and integrity of our teams.”

As an organisation that has constantly evolved and innovated over the past five decade, looking ahead three key focus areas for Jumbo include growth initiatives, offering delightful customer experience and stewardship of ESG.

“For the past two years we’ve been seeding and investing in growth initiatives within all our businesses. As a result, we’ll see the addition of new brands, launch of new services and solutions and the expansion of our geographical footprint,” Chhabria revealed.

As Jumbo continues to accelerate digital transformation the focus this year is to also use technology to make customer experience even more hassle-free. The newly upgraded jumbo.ae is one such effort. The Group is also constantly monitoring evolving technologies to make customer experience more interactive and immersive.

“Finally, at Jumbo, we’re making conscious efforts to make ESG processes an important part of our strategy. Even historically, our governance framework has been sturdy, but we want to minimise any room for errors. We’ve taken decisive measures to increase the transparency and accountability of our processes and are exploring ways to give back to society through meaningful partnerships with charitable organisations,” Chhabria concluded.

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