Talking to our WDS team in Reykjavik

Last month we had the pleasure of catching up with Sumit Sharma Funyal, our deputy demo service manager in Reykjavik, Iceland.  Similar to many of the WDS team in Reykjavik, Sumit moved to Iceland with his family to start a new adventure and explore the opportunities Iceland had to offer.

Since 2017 he has been a loyal member of our team and very highly regarded amongst his colleagues and Costco. In November it was with a very heavy heart Sumit decided to leave WDS to challenge himself in a new role. In this interview, he tells us about his fond memories with WDS and shares some valuable advice for vendors on how to run demos effectively in Costco, Iceland.

Sumit Sharma Funyal, WDS DDSM

Interview with DDSM Sumit Sharma Funyal

Hello Sumit! First off, I’d love to know where it all started. When did you join WDS and why?

I moved from Nepal to Iceland in 2017. WDS was the first job I took when I came to Reykjavik and I started as a brand ambassador. When I lived in Nepal I completed an MBA in sales and marketing and worked in my family’s business. When I was job searching and came across WDS I got excited as I felt it was a great fit based on my experience and skills.

What did you love about being a Brand Ambassador?

I just loved talking to people all day!  Offering members free food was always a perfect conversation starter and it was fun chatting with members about the products. Seeing someone smile from your interaction always made me so happy!

What do you think makes a great brand ambassador?

Having a big smile on your face and really knowing the product you are sampling. I think it’s important to take the time to learn the product brief you are given that day and think about the different ways you could sell it depending on who you are talking to! 

What was your favourite type of product to demonstrate?

Cooking demos, I loved doing food!

How do you think Costco is received by Icelandic residents?

It was new and exciting when it first opened, as there was nothing else like it in Iceland. Since its opening, it is still considered a very fun place to visit. The weather here means it can be very dark in winter- Costco is a great place for families to come and escape from the bad weather and it always cheers people up!

How would you describe the WDS team in Reykjavik?

Well, they are fantastic, obviously! I’m not sure if it’s the same everywhere- but we are truly like a family. I’ve worked here for five years and we have other members of staff which have been with WDS since the warehouse opened.  We all look out for one another, it’s a great team to be a part of. 

What advice could you give our vendors when planning demos?

Depends on the product- but it’s helpful to our brand ambassador team to always give advice on the product brief about serving sizes and suggestions. The more detail we have from the brand about their product, the better! When a brief contains information about how the product can be stored, served and consumed it enables us to come up with so many ideas on how to engage with members!

If you could sum up your job in three words what would they be?

WOW. Challenging and fun.

Are there any consumer trends you have noticed in Iceland?

For some reason (and I have no idea why) Iceland goes crazy for pizza!! Chicken demos are always received well. We always seem to sell out.

When you are not at work, what do you like to do?

I really enjoy cooking, spending time with my family, watching TV, chilling out and having a beer! 

What are the must-see sights of Iceland? 

Drive anywhere- when the weather is great, every place is incredible. I personally recommend the south of Iceland. You can see a lot of nature and wildlife in one place. 

Meet Team Iceland