2021 Star Women in Grocery winner Nelm Khangura (Q&A)
Canadian Grocer staff
Vice-president, Store and Colleague Solutions Loblaw Technology
Loblaw Companies Ltd.
How did you get into the grocery business?
It was a combination of the Loblaw reputation and the energy of the retail industry that attracted me. With an undergrad in mechanical engineering, an MBA and experience in steel and manufacturing industries, I was ready for a change. I was presented with an opportunity at Loblaw and decided to take it. Fifteen-plus years later, the grocery business has provided me with amazing experiences to work on some truly transformational initiatives. As part of some great teams, I have been solving problems and delivering experiences for customers in so many neighbourhoods across Canada. It’s great to be able to make such an impact.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
Work hard and stay humble. You will face change and challenge; you must persevere with grit, determination and resilience to move through the clouds and into brighter days. Also, you will achieve success—without humility, success can reflect poor character. Don’t forget how hard you’ve worked and the people who have helped you. Don’t forget to pay it forward and be kind always. Solid character will be reflected through consistent behaviour in times of trial or triumph.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I focus on collaboration, transparent communication and timely feedback to develop teams and people to be successful, today and in the future. I believe in fostering a positive and inclusive environment where everyone feels motivated, engaged, encouraged and empowered to do their best. Equally, I will always act with integrity, ownership and accountability and I expect the same from the leaders on my team.
What do you like most about your job?
The people I work with and the impact that we make. The people: Loblaw has so many amazing leaders. I enjoy working with and learning from them every day. We have large, complex problems to solve and manage to have a lot of fun while doing so! And the impact: providing technology solutions for around 200,000 colleagues and 14 million customers daily, across Canada, provides me and my team with an opportunity to make incredible impact.
Anything else you would like to add?
I greatly appreciate the nomination and being selected; it is really a wonderful honour. We all know the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child”—this phrase is equally applicable to our professional careers. The importance of our networks and the relationships we build with mentors, sponsors and coaches is vital for success. I am grateful to have built relationships that have helped me to nurture and evolve my own career path.
Click here for the full list of 2021 Star Women in Grocery award winners.