‘Dear India, You’ve Changed Me.’ Looking Back on a Year of Leadership

October 10, 2018 - Article reads in
Tammy Redpath takes a selfie with teammates in front of a wall of team member photos

This week, Tammy Redpath, president of Target in India, and her team in Bangalore kicked off their annual meeting, celebrating milestones and preparing for the busy holiday season. As she looks back on her first year as president, Tammy reflects on the journey so far, and her hopes for what’s to come.

On September 18—one year since I came to Bangalore to lead the Target in India team—I sat down to write a journal entry. It began like this:

‘Dear India, You’ve changed me. I am a better person and leader than I was when I arrived here. I’ve learned so much, and not just about business. Friendship, empathy, resilience, putting yourself out there ... All those things have new meaning for me here.’

I truly meant that—the past year has been a wild and wonderful ride.

When I got off the plane last year to embark on my first international assignment, I was nervous. I’d been a Target team member for 27 years, working first in the stores and then on the marketing team. I’d worked closely with the Target in India team for several years already, traveling back and forth as we brought the first of our annual meetings to life at our Bangalore campus, and eventually created the events team that puts them on today.

I already loved this place, and had so much respect for the remarkable work the team does. But making a permanent move was challenging, exciting and a little scary. Having our family straddle the globe would be complicated—my husband, Dan, would be running his brewery in Minnesota, and my kids, Ryan and Hannah, were both in school in the U.S. But this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the four of us decided, and we wanted to make the most of it.Tammy, her husband and two adult children stand together wearing traditional costumesIn order to get comfortable in my new home, I knew I’d need to get out of my comfort zone, make new friends, travel and explore. And I made a commitment that first week to never say no to an opportunity to engage with my new team, or learn about what matters to them. From our regular coffee and doughnuts team meetups to working in cross-functional groups, this has quickly become one of my favorite parts of the role.

My job as a leader is to always be thinking about the important role our team here in India plays in Target’s strategy—in its growth and in its future. That comes through in how we communicate, both among our teams and with our partners across the global industry. It’s in the way we stay connected with our U.S. teams to help solve problems, and the impact we have on Target’s brand positioning, technology, marketing, store presentation, data and analytics, supply chain and much more.

The Target in India team is 3,000 people strong, and fully integrated into every area of Target’s business. I feel so proud watching them apply their skills, strengths and expertise to do industry-leading work. There’s a phrase I like to use: ‘Unlocking the Magic.’ It happens when our team members have the courage to be their true selves at work, and share diverse personal experiences that add depth and relevance to the final products and experiences Target delivers for our guests. Watching that magic happen is ridiculously cool.Tammy and a large group of teammates pose together in front of a giant display reading Joy Is UsThe best part of this whole experience is, I’m still learning. I’ve been to dance performances, weddings and family dinners. I’ve learned about the history of India, and its languages, religions, people and cultures. I’ve sat in cafés listening to Sufi music. I’ve taken trips to Mumbai, Goa and Ladakh. And I still have a lot more to learn as I head into year two of this big adventure.

I’m invested in my team, and this place, and I want to do what I can to make a difference while I’m here. But I’ll never be able to give back to India, what India—and my team—have given to me.

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