April 25, 2024
From Marketing to Leadership, Ani Xhetani

Ani Xhetani, Country Manager – Jumbo Albania

If you’re wondering whether marketers make good leaders, we suggest wondering no more. Ani Xhetani, former Director of Marketing & E-Commerce at Jumbo, has just assumed the role of Country Manager. Yes, marketers can make excellent business leaders for several reasons: strategic thinking, data-driven decision making, adaptability & innovation, etc. But what has distinguished Ani in retail has been his people-centric focus. Be it customers or employees, Ani sure knows how to empower both.

Ani, tell us about your professional journey at BALFIN Group.

The beginning of my career at BALFIN Group started 9 years ago, as an exciting and quite challenging journey. I joined the Group as a Marketing Specialist at ACREM and after a 2-year break in another experience, I returned as the Marketing Manager of Jumbo. This return was an important step for me, giving me the opportunity to work for the four states where Jumbo operates. After a 5-year experience at Jumbo, I have just been promoted to Country Manager for Jumbo Albania.

What was the moment when you knew you had made the right decision to work at Jumbo?

I can say that I was sure of the decision I had made, as I was positive about returning to the Group and Jumbo was a growing company. But the sense of security was definitely reinforced during the years of expansion, when we completed the formation of the marketing team and focused on our online presence. During those years, I was an active part of building the Happy Loyalty Program and customer care teams, innovations that continue to differentiate us in the market.

What are your main priorities and goals in the new role?

The new role of Country Manager is of course a challenge to me. But I am sure that, together with my colleagues, we will continue to have very good results and grow further. The priorities are in line with the innovations of the industry. The focus will be on the consumer experience, along with being as close as possible to customers physically and online.

How do you think your previous experience as Director of Marketing & E-Commerce will influence your new responsibilities?

In the case of Jumbo (as well as for other companies), marketing has played an important role in our differentiation and growth, where we have always worked closely with the sales department. On the other hand, the experience in online sales has helped me in acquiring more than operational aspects. However, working with a very good team of professionals will make this experience easier.

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What are you most proud of in your career at BALFIN Group?

In my career at BALFIN Group, I am proud of the gradual progress I have made, step by step. But above all, I take pride in the trust that the company, the Group, and my colleagues have given me. Over the years at BALFIN, I have created a network of friends among professionals, which to me is a great asset.

What is something that can only happen at Jumbo?

Since we have had several promotions in the last month, I would definitely highlight the opportunity given to everyone to grow within the company. All positions, without exception, have been filled with existing staff, demonstrating a culture committed to staff development.

Do you remember the best day you had at work?

Working in a dynamic environment in four countries is always full of surprises and challenges. I would single out the days when through Social Responsibility activities we manage to put even a little smile on the faces of children. It’s become our tradition. I really think that it is an initiative that differentiates BALFIN Group and gives us a real sense of pride.

What advice would you give to someone aspiring to a similar career?

My advice to those aiming for a successful career is to focus on their work and love what they do. Patience and dedication, along with commitment beyond the ordinary tasks, are essential to achieve success.