Raj Kumar, Executive Sales Director at Red Education, has a simple but powerful mantra that he lives his life by: have courage and be kind. He repeats this same phrase to his children every night before they go to bed, believing it to be important to be strong, but even more important to take care of the people around you.
Looking after a team
As the leader of a growing high-performance global sales team, Raj says that the reason he enjoys coming to work each day is to find ways to benefit his team and enjoy their success and happiness. He says the reason he loves his job is that he knows everyone on his team personally, offering each of them their job and helping their growth in the company He is motivated by taking care of people and seeing them happy, doing well in their jobs and improving their lives.
Raj has experienced his own share of success within Red Education since he joined the company in 2015. He started as a Regional Sales Manager, soon becoming National Sales Manager the following year. He was then promoted to be an Associate Director and then became Executive Director in 2020.
A background in counselling
Raj did not start his career in sales or IT, however. He has a Masters in Psychiatric Counselling and also completed a post-graduate diploma in Women and Child Development. Although he chose not to pursue a career in counselling, he says that this background is a great help in his current role, leading a team, understanding and responding to their emotions and needs.
He applied for his first job, in customer service, because he had been told that he was good at talking to people, and he found that his counselling experience helped him listen to customers’ issues. After that, Raj moved into insurance sales then banking. He then moved to technical training sales and then accepted a role with Red Education.
Global sales strategist
Now, as Sales Director with Red Education, Raj’s main responsibility is developing the sales strategy for the company, strategizing what we sell and how we sell, as well as understanding demand and market trends. With a team that spans the globe, Raj stresses the importance of developing a different approach for each market and tailoring a sales strategy accordingly.
A talent for empathy
Raj says that two of his greatest strengths are being tolerant and being a good listener. He also describes himself as highly empathetic enabling him to always see a topic from someone else’s perspective. He says this is a fundamental skill for a sales manager, who always needs to be able to put himself in the shoes of the customer. Raj believes that his parents were among his greatest influences in developing these skills. He says that his mother and father were completely opposite in nature and always had different perspectives, so the young Raj soon learned that there was always more than one point of view. He also says they were extremely kind people and he learned from them to always look for ways to help others.
Be dedicated, be genuine and work hard
Now responsible for recruiting and developing a high-performance sales team, Raj has three pieces of advice for junior colleagues. He says, ‘be dedicated, be genuine and work hard’. He says that you can work hard, but if you are not genuine, you will not be successful. If, on the other hand, you genuinely look after the interests of your customer, you will do well.