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What is it like to work in the propositions development team at Three?

Could you make a difference to Three Mobile's customer experience? Rishi Malhotra, head of propositions development at Three, tells us about life in his team and his top tips for career success.

Rishi Malhotra, head of propositions, Three
Rishi Malhotra, head of propositions, Three

Rishi, tell me about your team and the work you do

I manage a fantastic team of proposition development managers whose core aim is to explore opportunities that will enhance our mobile phone customers’ experiences. We want to drive value back to our target audience (millennials) so that they consider Three as a brand favourably. To help achieve this we work collaboratively with stakeholders across the business - we analyse customer insights, identify their pain points and what drives them to make the all-important decision on which mobile phone operator to choose.

I give my team the freedom to explore, to move about, to not just sit still in the office. Our customers don’t sit still, we need to move with them to understand them better!

How would you describe the team culture?

It’s important for the team to arrive each day with an outcome they hope to achieve. The team looks to enjoy each day that they spend with one another and we have a great work ethos around promoting wellness, which I encourage each member of my team to incorporate into their day jobs. I give my team the freedom to explore, to move about, to not just sit still in the office. Our customers don’t sit still, we need to move with them to understand them better!

We typically spend Tuesdays and Thursdays at our head office in Maidenhead and arrange the face-to-face meeting time with internal stakeholders that we need for those days. The rest of the week we encourage the team to work from one of our partner agency’s offices around London. London is a tier one location for our customers so it’s a great place to experience where our customers live and breathe.

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What exciting projects are you working on?

We are continually exploring new opportunities that resonate with customers. Mobile has become a utility for many people and price has become less prevalent. We’re always thinking, how can we bring value back to customers’ lives? We recently developed a Snapchat proposition that enables customers to use Snapchat as much as they like without using up any data allowance, nor relying on wifi. It’s this sort of proposition that moves things into the direction of giving customers what they love, not just what they think they need.

How did you land your role at Three?

My career at Three began 11 years ago, in retail - I was a part-time store specialist whilst studying business information technology at university. Upon leaving university I took up an opportunity in Three’s head office, providing support for all of our retail stores across the country. From there, I moved into performance management, looking after customer retention and managing a team in the UK. My role evolved in that space, I took on more responsibility and started getting involved in the planning side of things.

Three years ago I moved into marketing and took the position of senior international and Pay As you Go propositions manager (marketing). My role has evolved further since then and I’ve been promoted to head of propositions, where I’m now responsible for leading on how we bring propositions to life and making sure we work on the right propositions in the first place.

What do you love most about your job?

It has to be the culture - knowing each person I work with every day is looking to make a difference. Three gives you the chance to be creative and I took this role knowing that I can develop great propositions but more importantly with the purpose of identifying opportunities that will make a long term difference to customers. I have insights into what makes a great proposition but it’s only possible to deliver on it if the people you work with are also on this journey with you to make a difference.

Tell a story with meaning and make sure people know the difference you will make.

What are the main challenges your team faces?

Let’s face it, we’re going to face challenges day in, day out. The question is, what can you do to make a difference? How can you bring everyone along on that journey? You need to be agile. Tell a story with meaning and make sure people know the difference you will make. Bring people along with you from the start in true collaborative form - that’s how you’ll make a difference - and that’s the main challenge we rise to each and every day.

Are you recruiting at the moment?

Yes, we’re looking for propositions managers who are capable of owning a proposition end-to-end, can identify customers’ pain points, deliver campaigns that are consistent from start to finish, and know how the proposition lives and breathes day in day out so customers get to see and hear about it. You also need the ability to balance a commercial mindset with the brand consideration to ensure the campaign is delivered successfully.

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What kind of person would make a great fit in your team?

Someone who comes in every day not just looking to do their best but is also ready to be there for others. Arrive and leave with a smile on your face. This isn’t easy every day but you should enjoy the interactions you have, be learning every day and bring a sense of passion to everything you do. You need experience in delivering campaigns or propositions end-to-end and understand every touch point that a customer goes through. There are no hard must-haves when it comes to qualifications but someone with marketing acumen would be well suited.

Be willing to learn continuously - this will help you to be successful.

What career tips would you offer aspiring marketing professionals today?

Stay focused and be mindful of where you are working and whom you are working with. Be willing to learn continuously - this will help you to be successful. A key skill is being able to really listen to those around you. Collaboration is second-to-none. Each person has their own great skills - you can learn from each other, learn to ask the right questions and learn techniques to prompt for the right feedback. The marketplace is invaluable - look outside your industry, learn from other brands on what makes them successful and how you can apply it to your own.

Be clear on what you want from your career and where you see yourself next.

How can people progress their careers in your team?

I’m a firm believer in career development and encouraging people to grow. It comes down to what you want to achieve and get out of your experience. Be clear on what you want from your career and where you see yourself next. External training could help you get there, or there could be people internally you could learn from. I believe that progression can be horizontal, not necessarily upwards. I help my team members to build a plan in the first 12 months to help point them in the right direction to where they want to go.

Sum up what makes a wonderful workplace for you

For me, a wonderful workplace is somewhere that people come to work knowing they will be happy with what they’re doing and who they’re working with, regardless of the daily challenges. Having each others’ support plus an element of fun gives you a perfect recipe for a great team culture. A happy workforce is a productive workforce!

Find out more and apply for the propositions manager role at Three.

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