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Drapers 30 Under 30 2018: Dharmesh Patel, ecommerce merchandiser, River Island

Age: 28

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 What he’s learnt: “Tackle a challenge face-on, even if it’s out of your comfort zone.”

After graduating with a degree in accountancy and economics from Cardiff Metropolitan University, River Island’s Dharmesh Patel thought he was heading for a career in finance. However, after a series of interviews, he realised it was not what he wanted. Instead, he decided to turn his natural head for numbers into a career in merchandising. After stints at Tesco’s F&F, he has risen rapidly through the ranks at River Island, working his way from assistant merchandiser to merchandiser in two years.

Patel puts his progression down to his willingness to learn, a sentiment echoed by River Island’s ecommerce merchandising manager and Drapers 30 Under 30 alumnus James Malysz: “Dharmesh has had to adapt to an ever-increasing amount of information, taking core merchandising skills and applying them to the digital world. He is able to see through the overwhelming amount of information to what is relevant. He has become a sounding board for other merchandisers in the ecommerce team when tackling complex problems, as his opinion is so widely respected among his peers.”

Career path:

2017 Merchandiser, menswear (ecommerce), River Island

2015 Junior merchandiser, menswear (ecommerce), River Islan

2015 Assistant merchandiser, menswear (ecommerce), River Islan

2014 Assistant merchandiser, F&F

2013 Trainee merchandiser, F&F


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