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Chewy CEO on innovating for pets and pet parents

The List 2022 honoree Sumit Singh answers “20 Questions”
By Lottie Watts
Published Oct 6, 2021

Chewy, Inc. CEO Sumit Singh is one of the dynamic leaders on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2022 who will be celebrated at the NRF Foundation Honors. He shares how the company innovates – including why they launched a telehealth service for pets – along with what experience has shaped his career, why he picked retail and more.

The List 2022 honoree Sumit Singh answers “20 Questions” from the NRF Foundation.

Here are a few questions, along with Singh’s answers (watch the video above for all “20 Questions”):

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with people, thinking big with teams, and seeing our innovations and our thinking come to life in service of our customers.

What innovations are you most proud of?

When we launched “Connect with a Vet” last year, during the period of lockdown, when veterinarian capacity was constrained and our pet parent customers were looking for veterinarians to be able to speak with, for their pets. Chewy, at that time, came together and we launched what was a telehealth service, which has since connected millions of customers, across thousands and thousands of sessions, with veterinarians across the United States.

How does your company impact people in every community?

We have the unique honor of not only serving customers, but also partners and communities that service pets. Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to raise a pet.

There's the shelter, the rescue, the breeder community, the veterinarians, the dog park friend, the boarders, the groomers. And we are honored to be able to work in service of not only our end customers – 20 million of them – but also to develop inspiring products and services that are and will help these communities that service pets in a much more efficient manner.

What experience helped you the most in retail?

The experience that helped me most in retail was when I volunteered to go to China to help Dell scale its retail operations in China.

The reason it was particularly helpful was because it provided me a really expansive view of working with people in a completely different culture, understanding nuances of that culture, solving real problems – along with people, process and technology – to be able to develop something that was credible and could scale even when I was not present there. So that was really helpful in shaping my mentality.

Why is retail the industry you picked for your career?

Retail has many expansive experiences to offer. So, if you are a person who leads with curiosity and are wanting to connect the dots, from the flow of goods, to the flow of material, to the flow of information and connecting people, and how customers are ultimately served in the best way possible, I think retail is a really rich industry to do it in.

The NRF Foundation connects people to an industry that’s a great place to start and a great place to grow. Since 2015, the NRF Foundation Honors has raised the funds to continue to provide programs and resources to help people build better lives and stronger communities. Join us in New York City and be a part of the story of how retail builds extraordinary careers.

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