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Today is Employee Appreciation Day! Last month, we blogged about ways to show your employees that you’re grateful today and every day with promotional items.

In honor of this special holiday, we’re reinstating our “Five Questions With” Series, every so often featuring PK employees on our blog.

This week, we’re featuring Umang Patel – a new addition to the PK team who is going to have a big impact on our future plans! Here’s what he has to say.

 1. How long have you been working with ParsonsKellogg, what is your role here, and what is your background?
I met Tom in August of 2016, and it was immediately clear that we had the same ideas for ParsonsKellogg’s growth. I started with the company straight away, acting as Director of Technology, and began working on incorporating technology into the PK business model. My role (and my team’s role) is to bring PK to the leading edge of technology in the promotional products industry. We are going to take the premium promotional apparel industry by storm.

I come from India, and my family is there, but I spend much of my time here in the US helping businesses like ParsonsKellogg thrive in the technology space. I have degrees in what seem to be 6 unrelated fields and an MBA from Bentley University’s McCallum School of Business. I’m a man of many hats, and these degrees in hospitality, advanced accounting, marketing, and business administration seem to be unrelated – but I think they help me bring a holistic view of a business to my work. My experience in recent years has included high level positions in app, software, and game development companies as well as web design roles.

2. How do you think technology can bring ParsonsKellogg’s business to the next level?
The promotional products industry and really shopping on the whole is trending towards technology — whether it’s shopping online or through mobile apps. ParsonsKellogg already offers a selection of promotional products that stands out when set alongside their competitors. We are going to bring that premium product selection to the next level by incorporating technology into the PK world and streamlining business processes so that we can best serve our clients both on the web and in person.

3. What are your goals for PK through the projects that you’re working on?
One of PK’s goals for 2017 is to bring technology to the core of their business. My goal is to make it easier for customers to browse promotional products and visualize their logos on the premium brand items PK has to offer. We all want PK to be at the forefront of the promotional wearables industry and strategically growing in a way that will allow us to best serve our clients, and that’s what I’m here to help accomplish.

4. What project are you most excited about?
Shop PK is going to revolutionize the promotional products shopping experience for PK clients. The shop, which will be an online catalog of the items from PK’s exclusive family of premium brands, is going to allow the company to provide promotional items to more and more different types of clients in a more streamlined fashion.

PK has great relationships with their vendors and is able to offer a selection of promotional apparel and accessories that companies won’t be able to find anywhere else on the web. When this project launches (soon!), clients will be able to view items from brands they may have never seen in corporate catalogs before and put together a cart – a traditional online shopping experience that will give customers greater access to promotional product options, at the tips of their fingers. My team and I, and really all of ParsonsKellogg’s employees, are excited for the launch.

5. If you had to choose 1 item from our premium brand selection, what item would you choose, and what would you put on it?
Patagonia’s selection of travel bags is unbeatable. With all off my traveling, I need durable luggage to bring along with me. I’d probably pick one of their Black Hole bags. If I had to pick an everyday item, this would be it.

However – PK’s Marketing Director made a great t-shirt for me, and I think that’s the number one item I would choose hands down. It’s a t-shirt with my face on it that says “Make India Great Again” – my team thinks it’s hilarious!

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