Paula Da Silva has more than 10 years’ experience in the retail industry. Currently, she is responsible for the growth and administration of CitiXsys’ global channel partner ecosystem.
What’s your story?
Hi, I’m Paula Da Silva, Executive Vice President of Global Partners and Alliances for CitiXsys. I’ve worked in technology throughout my career and more specifically in driving channel excellence. I joined CitiXsys in 2006 when it was a startup, and I’ve held a variety of roles and been part of building the company from the ground up into the recognizable brand and global market leader in the retail industry that it is today.
What excites you most about your industry?
Integrated omnichannel is the next phase of multi-channel retail, and it’s all about incorporating these different retail systems used to sell more products and improve customer fulfillment on the front-end by improving data visibility for the head office on the back-end.
An efficient integrated omnichannel experience is one where sales channels are integrated, inventory is managed in real-time from a common stock pool, products are merchandised according to valuable data insights, and the organization has a 360-degree view of the shopper with a consolidated database of purchase history; when this all comes into harmony the customer gets the product they want, delivered how they want it, and comes away feeling positive about their interaction with your brand and sales associates. Ultimately, integrated omnichannel retail seeks to safeguard that the shopper experience is bespoke and streamlined and that any touchpoint a customer interacts with along the path to purchase results in a consistent experience.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Presently, I hold responsibility for the growth and administration of CitiXsys’ global channel partner ecosystem, managing it from recruiting on to training and business planning. It is a concerted effort to enlarge our global footprint as a company and to ensure that we are well-placed to help our partners get the results and success that they desire. I also oversee sales operations in the Asia Pacific, so my recent trip to Singapore was a great opportunity to come up to speed on the industry buzz, and get that important face time with our Channel Team in Southeast Asia.
Favorite city in Asia for business and why?
At the moment it’s Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Such a buzz in the air as retailers forge ahead with their investments in technology so they do not get left behind from the global competition. Omnichannel the driving force initiating this change. It also helps that our Channel Sales Director, Pauline Jacintha, is also in KL and as a result has been successful in establishing a name for iVend Retail in Malaysia.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
In business, the best piece of advice given to me was “Do not let fear overcome you”. This was shared with me at one of my previous roles early on in my career as I was ambitiously climbing the corporate ladder. I live to this advice still to this day and it’s often the same advice I pass on to my team.
Who inspires you?
Today I spend most of my time doing what I can to inspire others given I currently hold an executive-level position within the company, I am often looked at as someone who should have all the answers.
What have you just learned recently that blew you away?
Sometimes I feel like as someone who works in the industry, that I’ve seen it all and then along comes new technology and suddenly it’s exciting again. For me that’s been the incorporation of IoT into retail – here’s this technology that provides so much context about the customer and their shopping habits that can be used to identify a customer need, and respond proactively. The other day I was shopping with my family in Sydney, and a popular shoe store we frequent every 3 months or so pushed a digital coupon right to my smartphone. The most personalized offer in the world is useless if it doesn’t make it to the right shopper at the right time and in the right context, and there we were, right out front, with every intention to shop and now with a valid coupon in hand; needless to say, everyone got a new pair of shoes that day. Whether it’s smart-store, smart-warehouse, smart-transportation, or the connected consumer, IoT brings that frictionless customer experience of online shopping into the store.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Honestly… I have a love for health and natural therapies and with that passion, if I could do things differently I would have pursued a career in that direction, either a Holistic General Practitioner combining western and traditional medicine together to help fight illness. Instead, I make this a part of my everyday life and as a remote employee, I am able to do my job and still make time for all-important self-care.
How do you unwind?
Yin Yoga and meditation; I try to get away to my favorite Yoga studio in Sydney to escape it all at least three times per week.
Favorite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I have very fond memories of Boracay, Philippines and whilst I have not returned the many island choices of the Philippines are an easy choice for me for a quick escape.
Everyone in business should read this book:
At present, I recommend Future Fit, How to Stay Relevant and Competitive in the future of work. I can relate to it as I am conscious of not remaining stagnant in my role and generally in my career.
Shameless plug for your business:
CitiXsys is a provider of integrated omnichannel solutions for retail and hospitality chains worldwide. Our flagship software solution is iVend Retail, an integrated omnichannel platform that combines all of the many IT systems business is running to produce a harmonized retail ecosystem where data flows instantly and freely.
iVend Retail is about empowering retailers to provide remarkable customer experiences throughout the entire shopper and dining journey, so shoppers have a seamless experience with the brand wherever and whenever they interact.
iVend Retail is comprised of point of sale, loyalty, digital passes, analytics, and mobility solutions with out-of-the-box integrations to Sage 300, Sage X3, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, SAP HANA, SAP Business One, Magento Commerce and other common 3rd party customer-facing solutions.
How can people connect with you?
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.