Opportunity knocks for Shane Boswell

Opportunity knocks for Shane Boswell

he fact that Renaissance Brands is so quickly taking on diverse brands, adds an interesting dimension to being a product manager at the distributor, says Shane Boswell.

“It means you’re not just stuck in one role – I’m the BDM, the marketer; you deal with everything. It makes the job a lot more interesting.”

As a former retailer and then retail representative covering much of the North Island, Boswell is also pleased he can still get out to visit clients in his latest role. “You do feel isolated when you’re stuck in an office all day.”

Like many guys in their twenties Boswell had an interest in computers and technology, but got to where he is by combining retail and technology.

Originally from Tauranga, he took a job at Dick Smith Electronics in nearby Mt Maunganui after finishing school. Working for Dick Smith was interrupted by a two-year stint at the Warehouse, before he was asked to return to the electronics retailer to head its new Whakatane store.

“It’s good walking into something new, because you can make it how you want it,” he says.

Although he liked the town, he got bored there and approached one of his former bosses about working in one of Dick Smith’s Auckland stores. That resulted in a move to the Karangahape Rd branch, which Boswell says is not among the very biggest but “makes a lot of profit”.

However, the role lasted only four months as a Renaissance representative, who dealt with Dick Smith, gave Boswell a chance to make the most of his retail connections.

“He told me they were looking for a retail representative and I told him I was pretty interested.”

After only a few months, the rapid adoption of new agencies at Renaissance saw a change to his current product management role shortly before Christmas last year.

His first brand was Palm, followed closely by Bullguard security software, online backup product Carbonite and the recently adopted Novatel EVDO data cards.

It’s now a matter of juggling the demands of each, especially when one product is launching and others need daily management too. Boswell now finds himself dealing with head offices rather than stores, while handling everything from setting pricing and margins, ensuring stock levels, dealing with marketing resources and raising awareness through the media.

“It was hard at the beginning because Palm was well established, but it actually took a lot of time, then Bullguard was brand new and we have to make sure people are aware of it.”

Boswell enjoys the fun atmosphere at Renaissance where every Friday there’s a social day theme, along with there being a “great bunch of people” to work with.

Although his previous retail representative role allowed more travel around the North Island, including seeing family in Tauranga, he still tries to get to his home town about every month.

Though with the approach of Christmas, it means there’s plenty in Auckland to keep him busy. “I loved in-store at Christmas. It’s a lot more fun when it’s approaching because everybody’s always happy.”

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