Tammy Redpath talks Target in India

While you won’t find Target stores in India, the bullseye is a growing presence in the city of Bangalore. Sometimes called the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore’s culture of innovation and technology has led many U.S.-based companies to open global capability centers there. Today, Target employs around 3,000 team members in Bangalore. They work on almost every area of Target’s business – from technology and data to marketing and supply chain.

Tammy Redpath, a Target executive from Minneapolis, is just completing her second year as president of Target in India. The Pulse caught up with her to talk about what she’s working on in Bangalore.

What are some of your top priorities for Target in India?

Tammy: The things that are important to Target in India are the same things that are important in United States – delivering our brand promise to guests, investing in the future and making Target a great place to work. But because we don’t have stores in India, our community brand is largely built on team member experiences. For leaders in Bangalore, our job is to build an inclusive culture that values people and helps them build meaningful careers.

How are you building a strong employment brand in Bangalore?

Tammy: We have a really high performing team here – some great minds with incredible experience. Target in India isn’t just delivering back office support. Our team members in India work closely with their Minneapolis counterparts to solve some of the most complex problems in retail, like computer generated imagery and artificial intelligence.  So, when I think about branding ourselves as an employer of choice, we’ve got a great story to tell. It’s about curiosity, innovation and continuous learning. And that shows up in all kinds of ways. For example, we host an Accelerator Demo Day at Target where team members get one-on-one exposure to entrepreneurs and start-ups. We also created a team member incubator program to help those who have a great idea but need mentoring and resources to bring it to life.

Is Target seen as a great place to work in Bangalore?

Tammy: Absolutely. We’re doing a lot to invest in our teams, like giving every technology team member 50 days this year to devote to learning. And we know that everyone’s first obligation is to their family, so our policies reflect that. We offer competitive parental leave and pregnancy care options for expecting moms. For women who’ve left the workforce to be stay-at-home moms, we offer a program that helps them sharpen their skills if they decide to return. There’s also Ignite, a developmental experience to give women the confidence and skills that will help with their career journey. We even have an immersion opportunity that identifies promising engineers and teaches them the soft skills they’ll need to one day manage a large team.

Any advice for someone who’s considering a career at Target in India?

Tammy:  I often tell our new team members, “Don’t just work somewhere, work somewhere you love.” That’s the thing that’s kept me at Target for 28 years. This is a company that cares. From the day you pick up your badge, you’ll have tremendous opportunity to make a difference, while growing your career at the same time.

Interested in a role with Target in India? Explore opportunities and apply today.

An Enriching Career in Analytics at Target

I am part of the business intelligence team where we focus on processing and enriching the data coming from a variety of sources. I always wanted to work on a project where I could deal with lot of data. I believe processing data at scale hones your technical expertise. Target was an obvious choice for me because it provided me this opportunity to work with volumes of data, along with the robustness of Target’s enterprise BI intelligence platform.

At Target, we recognize that our competitive advantage in offering value to our guests hinges on our ability to leverage the full capability of our data assets. We build technical solutions to collect, manage and store data from a wide range of sources. The output is leveraged to drive Target’s important strategic objectives for creating compelling and differentiated experiences for our guests. Traditionally we used to have this data enrichment in Datastage and Teradata.

With the emergence of Big Data, we have been using a lot of tools available in the Big Data ecosystem such as Hive, Oozie, Sqoop or custom MapReduce programs to process data at scale. We have been trying to build a federated enterprise layer with a perfect blend of traditional and open source technologies. To add to that, we are also investing in the development of in-house tools to cater to business specific needs. This approach has provided opportunities for team members to apply fundamental computational techniques in order to solve real world problems. These tools are proving to be a great enabler for business to drive decisions.

There is a huge demand for real-time analytics and operational reporting, for which we rely on technologies like Kafka and Storm. Furthermore, we build data platforms by ingesting raw data from varied operational systems in order to explore different aspects of data. This was traditionally hindered either due to the lack of storage or processing.

Our team is technology agnostic. Real learning comes at the cost of occasional failures, which is well-accepted across the organization. This has resulted in a culture where team members are willing to experiment. There are several solutions that my team has helped build through such experiments. There is no bias shown towards any programming language or technology. Team members are encouraged to pick the right language (be it java, scala, python or R) that suits the need. All team members have access to technical training portals like Pluralsight, Datacamp, Safari online. These are proving to be good technical sources for team members to upskill.

Adoption of agile tools and practices have drastically improved our pace to implement solutions in production. In-house PaaS capabilities further add to our agility. Team members are able to focus more on building solutions rather than creating development environments. We use a gamut of tools to automate our infrastructure and code deployment viz., VM as a service, OpenStack, Chef, Jenkins, Drone, Ansible, Git, etc.

My technical journey at Target has helped me evolve as a professional. I started with working on traditional tools then progressed to solve complex new age business problems with latest technologies. In retrospect, these challenges have always proven to be great learning opportunities. For a person who is passionate about Open Source technologies and excited by the idea of building solutions at scale, Target is the place to be!


Living My Calling

Ten years at Target!  As I reflect on that milestone, one thought pushes itself to the forefront:  Target to me will always be a place that lets me bring my passions and interests to work.

My current role leading Corporate Social Responsibility at Target India is the one closest to my heart.  This is what brings me to the office each morning, knowing that I get to work on my passion: to make a difference. I have always been passionate about volunteering. Call it good luck, but during my very first week of my employment at Target I participated in a volunteering event and I was hooked for the next 10 years.

The best thing about my job is that no two days are ever the same and every day my experiences teach me something new. The leadership team has always been supportive and open to new ideas. For instance, recently, I decided we could get some Target team members to crochet/knit hats for children undergoing treatment at a local cancer hospital.  I was not sure how this idea would be received, as crochet/knitting is not something everyone would call cool and we would need volunteers to support the initiative.

I was in for a pleasant surprise when the leadership team was supportive and we received an overwhelming response from volunteers.  Some team members even took the trouble to learn to crochet and involve family members, so they could contribute to the cause.  We reached our target number of hats way before the deadline.  And the smiles of the children when they received those colorful caps brought tears to the eyes of all the volunteers. They thanked me for giving them the opportunity to make a difference.  It made me realize that my job enables me to see a very emotional and vulnerable side of people.

As I think about the journey that brought me to this point, I reflect on my first job at Target on the pharmacy team.  My educational training and my passion for health and healing made this a natural fit.  As I started looking for additional responsibilities, my leaders were supportive in finding me additional opportunities.  One such opportunity was in the field of technology. It was poles apart from my current field, and I was unsure that I would fit in.  However, with my leader’s encouragement I took the plunge and it opened up a whole new world.  It was a humbling experience to be taught the intricacies of software development from scratch, not to mention learning a whole new lexicon just to be able to understand and to be understood.

Through my journey, I have realized that the right attitude and a willingness to learn is all that is needed to achieve one’s aspirations.  Target is a company that will go the extra mile to help build one’s skillsets and ensure that team members bring their passion and interests to work. Most importantly, Target respects the multifaceted personality that is you and helps provide the balance that all of us strive to achieve.