What we think

This is where you can peer into our minds and learn a bit more about us as recruiters, consultants and humans. Expect plenty of insight into Consumer, Retail, Recruitment, and life in our Leeds and London spaces. Some tips from the top and the odd guest appearance. Enjoy and please feel free to leave us a comment!

Career interview: Farrah Mosaheb, Premier Foods

24th March 2022

An exemplary career in Category & Insights, Farrah Mosaheb started her working life at Dunnhumby and was Customer Marketing Executive at Reckitt Benckiser before joining Premier Foods, where she is currently Category & Shopper Category Controller. Seven have a long-standing relationship with Premier Foods and we worked with Farrah to place her in her first role there as Category Manager in 2013. In this interview Farrah tells us the importance of taking control of your own career development, how she measures success in Category and how to build credibility and influence in a big business like Premier Foods.


So Farrah, eight years at Premier Foods! What do you like most about working there?

I’ve always had very good managers and I feel like a part of the successful journey of the business. Premier Foods have always been very proactive with my progression and giving me new roles and challenges, so I haven’t had the chance to get bored! I feel appreciated and respected, and I work flexibly which works with my lifestyle. Premier Foods was very supportive as an employer over the pandemic, so I feel very lucky. If something is not broken, there’s no need to fix it!

You’ve had a very classical career in Category so far, starting with an insights role at Dunnhumby. Why did you get into Category and what’s kept you there?

I did start my career at Dunnhumby which was all about shopper insight. What I wanted to do after that was be on other side in terms of working for suppliers to see the impact of the recommendations we were making. I like being in Category because it’s like you’re the trusted friend of the retailer; you can add value and help people. Although my current role is no longer customer facing, because of my experience I understand different retailers and the different types of pressures my team face. My current role is new and it’s motivating to be able to set my own agenda.

Now that you’ve moved from a customer-facing role to leading a team, you are focused on delivering success through others. What do you think is the key to success when leading others?

You need to be a good listener, focused on them delivering on their strengths, and helping the individual with growth through opportunities. It’s important to be very supportive, provide guidance and pass down knowledge. The most rewarding bit is seeing others succeed partly because of your input, it’s just as rewarding as achieving something yourself. I enjoy seeing people and projects develop and grow.

Has your perception of success changed over the years?

Having a great meeting or delivering a brilliant presentation can often feel successful, but if it doesn’t cause anything to change, or there is no action to come out of it then for me it’s almost pointless. Driving change and seeing it happen is true success in Category Management.

When it comes to driving those changes key to success, how do you build the credibility that will enable you to do this?

Really understand the data, what it means and the implications of it. If you can do that and truly understand the customer, then you can add value. In Category you need to be objective and look for different angles to approach conversations with retailers. The better relationship you have with retailers, the more you can bring back to the business and start implementing change internally. It’s easy to get very carried away with data analysis, but you need to be very specific, for example thinking of three key things you need to do, say or change. Keep things simple!

It can be hard to see the wood through the trees, but the more experience you have the more you can narrow down what the key points are and get straight to it. With time you grow confidence in what you’re saying; I’ve found just getting to the insight instead of sharing all the data is helpful.

‘Beware of the intellectually fascinating’ is good advice I received from a manager once. Keep it short and simple. In our data-driven world it’s very easy to get distracted, but we must have focus.

In terms of Premier Foods, we have a lot of competition out there. We need to bring something that’s extraordinary. I always think the way to stay ahead of the game is by doing something different and impactful.

That’s brilliant insight into your world Farrah thank you. Thinking back to your early career, what advice would you give yourself if you could go back?

I was in my first year at University when Seven was established in 2002. I don’t believe in regrets; everything happens for a reason. But I would tell myself don’t leave things to the last minute! Even though I do work best under pressure, too much pressure isn’t good!

Believe in yourself and take control of your own career. So think ahead, take responsibility, take charge of your own development, ask for those promotions, be proactive; this is what I would suggest.


Thank you Farrah!

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