RETAIL was not a career option Mr Vijayan Devakaran, now 34, considered when he first started looking for a job.

Eight years ago, the newly minted mass communications diploma holder was busying himself with job applications for positions at public relations and advertising companies.

But on a whim, he applied to Atlas Sound and Vision for a retail position after learning about the company's branding efforts.

When he went for an interview with Atlas, he was offered a sales job on the spot, which he readily accepted.

"(In terms of career goals) I didn't think very far. For me, at that point, it was quite glamorous to be a showroom manager and that was what I wanted to be when I first joined," he said.

But in his second year there, he developed an itch to try another career option.

"I had a conversation with my then marketing manager about how communications in the company could be better and how I wanted to try something else.

"He told me that, instead of moving from the organisation, I should stay on and be the change that I wanted to see."

That proved to be a defining moment for him and it later led Mr Devakaran to take on a team leadership role before moving on to become the store manager of an outlet at Millenia Walk.

The career progression within Atlas has included training sessions in countries such as Germany, Monaco, South Korea and Scotland, as well as internal and external workshops to build up leadership and technical skills.

Mr Devakaran is also pursuing a bachelor's degree in business analytics at the SIM University under a management development scholarship co-funded by Spring Singapore and Atlas Sound and Vision.

The scholarship is aimed at helping young executives who work in small and medium enterprises to develop their leadership potential by pursuing graduate business programmes at local universities.

"There was never a moment for (the job) to get dull. Things just kept being interesting and progressing...

"Before you knew it, I'd been with Atlas for eight years," said Mr Devakaran.

He has come full circle and is now Atlas' manager for retail and training, playing his part in grooming the company's next batch of talent.