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Refuelling India with bigger, better convenience store: 7-Eleven

7-Eleven has over 81,000 stores in 18 countries and regions. In India, the company is working with master franchisee Reliance Retail to modernise the small-retail environment and bring greater convenience to shoppers.
Jennifer Goschke
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Last month, global convenience store giant 7-Eleven, launched its global solution centre (GSC) in Bengaluru. This is the company’s first such centre outside the US. 

Analytics India Magazine caught up with the VP and country leader, global solution centre – India, 7-Eleven, Jennifer Goschke, at their global solution centre in Bengaluru, where she spoke in length about their future plans in the country, alongside her vision for the company, work culture, and more. 

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Goschke’s obsession with Slurpee and Big Gulp – a brand name for carbonated slushies sold by 7-Eleven – is on another level. The pop-art of Slurpee (designed by Gensler) behind her work desk explains that. She said that her journey with 7-Eleven has been very personal. 

Jennifer Goschke

“I grew up with 7-Eleven. I used to ride my bicycle to 7-Eleven every day when I was in 7th and 8th grade to get a Slurpee. And then, once I got my driver’s licence, I would drive to 7-Eleven, sometimes twice a day, to get a Big Gulp of Coca-Cola — because it is the best!” said Goschke.

Now, to be working for the company, after having grown up with the brand, is really just a dream come true, she added.

She said that 7-Eleven has always been about serving customers what they want, when and where they want it. “One of our leadership values is customer obsession. I am dedicated to leading the GSC and following our mission to act as a trusted resource for 7-Eleven, providing capability and dedicated expertise to deliver high-quality, innovative services,” said Goschke. 

Before joining 7-Eleven in 2018, Goschke has worked in senior leadership roles in companies like Walmart, K-Mart/Sears, and Office Depot, among others. 

Leadership challenges 

“Recruiting talent in a fiercely competitive job market to a brand that is just getting started in the region has proven to be my biggest leadership challenge,” said Goschke. She has been tasked with bringing this iconic brand to life in Bengaluru, living and modelling their values and leadership principles daily to provide a positive 7-Eleven brand experience for employees. 

“I strive to ensure my team knows I care about them personally and professionally, and I am here to help them be successful, make their lives better, remove roadblocks and invest in their development,” said Goschke. 

7-Eleven has over 81,000 stores in 18 countries and regions. In India, the company is working with master franchisee Reliance Retail to modernise the small-retail environment and bring greater convenience to shoppers. In the coming months, the company looks to expand aggressively in Mumbai and other cities. 

The convenience store giant competes with various retail companies, including Target, Tesco, Metro Cash & Carry, Walmart and others. The question is, how are they different from other players in the market? To this, Goschke said: Although 7-Eleven is a nearly 95-year-old company, it is newer to India compared to other retailers who have been here for a decade or more. Some might consider the GSC the world’s oldest startup, backed by almost a century of history but with the energy of a new business. 

In 1927, 7-Eleven invented the convenience store – and they have been doing it every day since becoming the premier name in the convenience-retailing industry with more stores than any other convenience store chain. The company believes that it has remained laser-focused on innovating to meet customers’ needs – anytime, anywhere. 

7-Eleven store in Mumbai

Why Bengaluru? 

Goschke said that Bengaluru was a natural choice, as it is India’s technology hub, and access to the right talent allows 7-Eleven to elevate its digital innovations. Currently, the GSC has more than 170 employees and is hiring for IT, information security, finance, and accounting roles, and plans to double it next year. “We have recently started construction work on additional office space to accommodate the expected growth of our team,” shared Goschke. 

Further, she said that the GSC plays a key role in 7-Eleven’s strategy by developing products that support business activities at stores. Also, the GSC accelerates digital strategy and expands internal IT capabilities in information security, networking and data science. 

Team 7-Eleven at the inauguration of its new global solution centre (GSC) in Bengaluru

Team structure 

Goschke said the GSC is an important resource for their Dallas-Fort Worth-based core technology team. “Our India and US offices complement each other and support innovation to enhance our services,” she added. 

Like the US, 7-Eleven’s Bengaluru GSC is structured in two main categories – Center Enablement and Service Delivery. Center Enablement includes the roles needed to support the operations of the GSC, such as HR, finance and facilities. Service Delivery includes the functional teams that provide services to the US, including IT, information security, finance and accounting.

7-Eleven’s tech innovations 

7-Eleven has migrated all its applications and processes to the cloud and leverages AI/ML capabilities in both the US and India centres to provide the best customer experience. The team said its entire tech stack is hosted on the cloud. They follow a multi-cloud hybrid approach, where they work with multiple cloud providers in their setup. 

Here are some of the analytics use cases at 7-Eleven: 

  • Ordering AI: Use of algorithms that power their supply chain. 
  • Scheduling AI framework: Using sales forecast to help determine the appropriate labour hours/scheduling needed in the stores. 
  • Personalisation: Multiple ML models built in-house to help them develop personalised offers for their customers in their 7Now App. 

Work culture 

Goschke said that the GSC is a close-knit group of people who are excited to learn, eager to innovate and passionate about making a meaningful contribution to the company. 

When asked about collaboration and partnerships, Goschke said that she looks for integrity because, without it, everything else crumbles. “I also look for energy – someone who has a passion for what they are doing. High-energy people electrify the workplace. Another trait I look for in a candidate is excellent collaboration skills,” she added. 

Exciting times ahead 

“7-Eleven’s mission is: ‘Be the first choice for convenience. Anytime. Anywhere,’” said Goschke. 

She said that at the GSC, they strive to be a one-stop shop for their teams in Dallas and collaborate closely with them to complement and deliver on the 7-Eleven brand’s value proposition. “We are eager, willing and ready to innovate to meet customers’ needs and make their day a little more awesome by delivering fast, personalised convenience – when, where and how they want it,” she added, saying that they look forward to GSC’s continued growth.

More Great AIM Stories

Amit Raja Naik
Amit Raja Naik is a seasoned technology journalist who covers everything from data science to machine learning and artificial intelligence for Analytics India Magazine, where he examines the trends, challenges, ideas, and transformations across the industry.

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