Doctoral Student of the month - February 2012

Hamid Jafari

Marketing & Logistics

Who are you and where are you from?

I am a Doctoral Candidate in Business Administration at the Department of Marketing and Logistics. I was born in Tehran, Iran and did my undergraduate studies there.

How did you decide to become a doctoral student? And why did you decide to do it at JIBS?

I come from a family that values academia. My sister is also currently finalizing her PhD at LMU in Germany. I always had a passion for research. I remember how excited I was when my first paper got accepted back when doing my bachelor´s. For that I worked closely with a friend who had just started up an online media store to analyze consumer shopping behavior and increase loyalty.

Later, after finishing my master´s in Industrial Engineering at Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, I was on the verge of starting my PhD at ENSAM in France that Jens Hultman, my current co-supervisor and mentor, contacted me and explained about the research opportunities in retailing at the Center of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS) here at JIBS. That is how ended up here!

What are your main research interests?

My research circulates around the overlap of marketing and supply chain issues in retailing. Specifically, I am drawing on a well-established classical principle in marketing — postponement — that deals with delaying value adding activities until better information is realized about the demand. The concept has been widely studied in manufacturing but I am expanding it to way further down in the supply chain to focus on retailers. Retailing is extremely blended. What makes retailers unique is their extreme involvement with consumers. Therefore, consumers are also involved in various value-adding activities, such as design, assembly, etc. At the same time many retailers have gained more power in supply chains and have, for instance, introduced private labels which assimilates them to the other actors further upstream. My interest is to figure out how postponement could be applied to increase flexibility.

What is the best thing with working at JIBS?

What I appreciate here is that it is really international and I get to interact with colleagues and students from all over the world. Also, JIBS provides great opportunities for trying out new ideas and achieving your goals. For instance, recently, I was awarded the annual pedagogical prize, which is a great honor especially if you are a PhD Candidate at the age of 28! I truly experienced the support of my colleagues both in teaching and doing research.