Retail, Liberty Shoes Ltd
Privilege Clubs (India Retail Forum) (India Fashion Forum)
Anupam Bansal is an Economics graduate from Delhi’s Shriram College of Commerce with a background in footwear designing from Ars Sutoria of Italy. After occupying various positions of responsibility in the marketing division he is currently heading Liberty Shoes Ltd as its Executive Director – Retail. His association with the Liberty brand is in his own words ‘a journey of personal discovery and professional evolution’.
To him goes the credit for taking the initiative to create a retail team for Liberty footwear. He foresaw that the retailers needed to take a quantum leap forward if footwear shopping was to be turned into a rewarding experience. The way ahead was to change dealer mindsets about the art of selling. So after re-christening them as Channel Partners, he worked towards establishing an interactive relationship through periodic Channel Partners Meet that gave a big boost to the sales and greatly benefited the partners.
Bansal regularly conducts motivational exercises to provide the Partners regular updates on innovative sales strategies that they could adopt to build the most effective rapport with buyers. With an annual turnover exceeding Rs 500 crores, Liberty Group in the second largest shoe manufacturing company in India and has been a prominent player for the last 50 years.
It is amongst the top five manufacturers of leather footwear of the world, producing more than 50,000 pairs a day and supported by a robust worldwide distribution network of 150 distributors, 400 exclusive showrooms and more than 6,000 multi-brand outlets.
One of Bansal’s biggest professional challenges has been attuning his sales force to be in sync with the emerging new trends in the market place. He has countered this scenario by ensuring that Liberty has been able to hire the right kind of sales talent for the company-owned stores.
He has also redefined the brand-consumer interface by revamping the visual merchandising at all Liberty outlets. He added a new proposition to Liberty which had always been perceived as a family footwear brand that offered the best value for money. Today it is also perceived as a lifestyle brand for those who see themselves as inseparable from the latest trends and tasteful appreciation of beauty. This association was underlined by the inspiration the brand drew from the works of some of the foremost fashion designers in the country.
Another key move of Bansal has been to expand Liberty’s presence in South India, thereby making it a truly national brand.
“Retail is no longer about what we want to sell. It’s about what the consumer wants to buy, ” he notes. “It’s about understanding consumer perceptions, attitudes, tastes and desires. In a nutshell it’s about understanding consumer psyche. And those who understand it best succeed the most,” he adds.