"When it comes to learning new things, the sky's the limit."

Selvano Usmany

Product Owner

Product Owner

Connecting people is one of Selvano Usmany’s key strengths. It’s one of the reasons why his role as Product Manager at Ahold Delhaize Europe Digital fits him like a glove. “I’m there to ensure that our family of brands use the pricing tool we’ve built optimally – not only from a technical point of view, but also on a tactical level. I love the end-to-end responsibility and the diversity that comes with my job.” 

In March 2017, Selvano began his management traineeship at Ahold Delhaize’s Dutch brand Albert Heijn. Little did he know then that five-and-a-half years later, he’d still be working for Ahold Delhaize. “My traineeship was amazing. I learned a great deal about the company in such a short space of time. If anything, I discovered there’s still so much more to learn, and so many opportunities to grasp. I realized how much impact you can truly have as an individual, working for such a huge international company. And then there’s the fact that I can really learn anything within this organization – the sky’s the limit!”  
 
Fast forward to today, when Selvano is Product Manager at Ahold Delhaize Europe Digital. According to his LinkedIn profile, he also holds the titles of Manager Implementation and Business Consultant. “My role encompasses all three. I’m responsible for our pricing tool, which enables our brands to set the right price for their products, based on the data we have on margins, competitors’ prices and our pricing structure. We started implementing the tool at our local brands in five countries in 2020. Alongside the technical implementation, we had to show the new users how to adopt the tool in their businesses optimally, in line with the organization’s commercial strategy and tactics.  

 

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“So, in addition to the technical aspect (implementation and integration), my role also has a strong consulting component. Recently, I visited the countries where the tool was implemented – Serbia, Greece, Romania, Belgium and Luxembourg – to connect with the pricing teams and help guide them in the adoption process. That’s crucial, because if they don’t provide the tool with accurate input, it won’t lead to the desired outcome. Having such an impact and that end-to-end responsibility and being so closely involved in the whole process is unique and quite typical of the opportunities we’re given at Ahold Delhaize.”  

Making all the difference 

Selvano’s team – part of the organization’s Digital team – goes by the name Team Lemonade, short for “Leveraging Merchandising Optimization across Ahold Delhaize Europe.” “There are seven of us: me, three other product managers, a technical lead, a management trainee and our manager. Everybody has their own track, corresponding with our commercial capabilities – pricing, promotions, assortment and sourcing – but we work together very closely. Although we’re responsible for different tools, their goals and ways of working are similar. Ultimately, as product managers, we all have the same objective: to enable our end users to achieve their goals and to position our brands in the best way possible. We want to move our people and brands forward – and make a difference. By showing the brands what they can achieve and helping them set up the roadmap to get there, we can make that difference. That’s one of the most fulfilling parts of my job.”  

It’s not just Selvano and his team who share knowledge. “We’re building a community around the tool. In this community, we bring together the countries that have adopted the tool, so we can share experiences and best practices. There’s just so much we can learn from each other. Building and spearheading that community is super exciting and extremely valuable. It’s a first for this stream within the wider Ahold Delhaize organization. We recently invited all the different country delegates to Zaandam to meet in person. That was very insightful and really great.”  

Cherished traditions 

Selvano’s personal and professional lives have always been very close to one another – quite literally. Whenever he works at Ahold Delhaize’s headquarters in Zaandam, he gets a glimpse of his parental home. “How ironic that I grew up just a few meters away from our HQ.” But no longer, as he’s soon to move to his new house in Amsterdam-Noord. Whatever happens, though, he’ll still meet his dad at 6am sharp at the gym – as he always does on a Monday morning. While Selvano boxes, Dad follows his weekly workout routine. “We’ve been doing this for quite a while now. Aside from being a perfect kickstart to the week, it’s also special time I get to share with him. At 66, he’s still pretty fit.  Even though I’m leaving the ‘hood, it’s a tradition we’ll uphold.”  

Selvano’s other favorite pastime is making music. “I play the guitar and create electronic music. Every now and then I meet up with a few friends for a lively jam session: one at the piano, one on drums, and me on the guitar. We play and sing, and I even send recordings to my colleagues to listen to sometimes. Making music takes my mind off everything – work, too. It is relaxing and liberating – it truly takes me into a different headspace.”  

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Name: Selvano Usmany (1990) Started working at Ahold Delhaize: March 2017  

Studied: MSc Business Administration (University of Amsterdam, 2014) 

Living with: My girlfriend  

Hobbies: Sports (soccer and boxing), making music and going out with friends 

Wake me up in the middle of the night for: My mother’s gado gado (Indonesian salad) 
Favorite holiday destination: Bali 

Life-changing event: Becoming an uncle for the first time. My sister, whom I’m extremely close to, gave birth to my nephew in 2012. Holding him for the first time was a moment I will always treasure  

Biggest source of inspiration: My parents. As second-generation Moluccans in the Netherlands, they didn’t have the opportunities that I’ve had. They’ve always motivated me to push myself above and beyond, and to embrace everything in life 

Best advice I’ve ever received: “Don’t take things too seriously”  

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