After studying economics at the University of Nottingham, Jamie (left) joined family business Keshco in 2009. “I looked at my options and decided that joining the family business was somewhere I could really make a difference,” he says.
The firm currently comprises 5,000sq ft Nisa Broad Street, and 1,800sq ft Nisa Victory Avenue, both in Whittlesey, Peterborough, and Jamie was keen to introduce smarter ways of working. He has achieved this in a number of ways, including the addition self-fill ATMs to save on banking charges, automated ordering, and a new cash management system to save time cashing up and improve accuracy. “The more processes you introduce, the less decisions need to be made in-store,” he states.
He has also changed the layout of the stores to create a stronger focus on fresh and chilled. “If someone buys a chicken, they’re going to roast
Aged: 29 and 27
Stores: Two Nisa stores, Peterborough
Despite coming into the business with plenty of big ideas, Jamie remains firmly grounded. “I grew up with my parents running the business and one of the current store managers used to change my nappies!” he laughs.
Younger brother Anish has a degree in Architectural Engineering & Design Management and had been working as a project coordinator at a construction firm, until returning to Keshco in January 2012. “There was an application lodged for a Tesco or Sainsbury in the town centre and I wanted to protect the family business,” he explains.
Thankfully, the mults’ bid has been riddled with planning issues, which has left Anish to focus on growing sales at the firm’s Victory Avenue store. In just two years he has taken the shop from £18,000 turnover to an impressive £33,000 by implementing a series of changes, including increasing its opening hours and finely tuning the store to the needs of its customer base.
“It’s a close knit community so we had to focus on building relations with customers - knowing who they are and if they are a growing demographic,” says Anish. “For example, we wanted to encourage parents with pushchairs to shop more at the store, so we’ve put more emphasis on value with more promotions and round pound price points.”
While the brothers don’t always see eye to eye, they don’t necessarily see this as a negative. “We don’t always agree, but it’s good to have an opposing view so that you can see both sides of the story,” says Jamie. They split their responsibilities and play to their individual strengths, with Jamie focussing on operations across the business, and Anish on the shop floor and managing staff.
The company’s current body of staff stands at 49, more than double what it was four years ago. This is down to Jamie hiring more part-time workers in order to create more flexibility. Since joining the firm, the pair have grown net profit by 72% and increased turnover by 25%. They are now about to embark on a big expansion project at their Victory Avenue store and have just exchanged on a third store in nearby Glinton.
“We’re pleased with where we’ve taken the business so far, but none of it would have been possible without the great team of people we have behind us,” says Jamie.