Karan Bhatia

Karan Bhatia

Global Enterprise Account Manager, Vodafone New Zealand
Bachelor of Business in Retailing

One of the benefits of being employed by a global corporate like Vodafone is working with customers and stakeholders from around the globe, says business alumnus Karan Bhatia.

“As part of Vodafone’s Global Enterprise Sales team, I get to partner with top international business accounts and manage those big brands with a presence in New Zealand. I own the customer relationship for a dedicated range of premium and corporate global Vodafone customers, and am responsible for a portfolio of $10 million.

“In this role, I’m directly involved in the customer journey from strategy right through to planning, while teaming up with external and internal stakeholders to transform businesses and identify areas of growth for our customers. I could be presenting to a procurement manager from Italy one day and speak to a CFO in Singapore the next. It’s such an amazing experience getting to know how international businesses work and their strategy to stay relevant, and how I can be a part of their transformation journey.”

He is proud of the achievements he has had in his career so far.

“During my six-year tenure, I’ve been promoted three times and have been recognised as a true asset to the organisation by senior management. For three years back to back, I was recognised as a top performer within the whole of Vodafone New Zealand, receiving the award for the business account manager of the year in 2017 and the business development manager in 2018 and 2019. What I’m most proud of is receiving a personal phone call from Jason Paris, CEO of Vodafone New Zealand, for winning top performer of the year and recognising my contributions to the business.”

A passion for business
Karan has always been fascinated by the world of business.

“How the business to business and business to consumer market works, and what to do to be a successful business or international brand really excited me. I could see that the Bachelor of Business would help me gain a solid understanding of how businesses operate and the key issues I would face as a future decision-maker in business. Because AUT is known for connecting more students with employers through New Zealand’s largest internship programme I knew that my future was in safe hands.”

There were plenty of highlights throughout his time at university, says Karan who was recognised as the one of the AUT Business School’s top students in his final year at AUT.

“The highlights for me were learning in an environment that is so diverse and embraces the different cultures, and provides a safe and professional environment. I’ve made lifelong friendships during my time at AUT and collaborated on group projects and presentations, which was key to understanding how individuals from different backgrounds come together to create something extraordinary.

“Whether I wanted to work for a company or start my own business, through the Bachelor of Business I developed skills for the future of business. I progressively built on my knowledge, which laid the groundwork for my final-year workplace experience, and I also enjoyed exploring socially responsible decision-making and problem-solving.”

Advice for other students
Karan, who graduated from AUT in 2012, has some great advice for other students.

“Don’t be scared to try something new and fail. It’s a part of the journey that will help you understand your strength and weaknesses, and push yourself to do better. The only competition you should have is with yourself and to be a better person than you were yesterday. Until you try a new subject, a new job or a new city, you won’t realise your true potential to learn and adapt to something new.”

The resources and help available at AUT are enormous, he adds.

“Use your lecturers, attend the public lectures by guest speakers, talk to student mentors, and reach out to family and friends who have attended AUT. The guidance and information you’ll receive will help you develop into a successful individual who can learn from other people’s success or mistakes. During my time at AUT never once did I feel lost or confused. There’s a great sense of direction and the staff make the effort to be involved and support you.”

*The Retailing major is now part of the Marketing, Advertising, Retailing and Sales major.

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