Member:Privilege Clubs (India Retail Forum) (India Fashion Forum)
Gopalakrishnan Sankar is currently Chief Executive Officer at Reliance Footprint, a position he has held for the past nine years. His prior stints include being a Managing Director – Lifestyle International Private Ltd (Landmark group company) from Jan 2005 to May 2006, Managing Director – Tesco India Sourcing (South Asia) and Director – Tesco Stores Hong Kong from May 2000 to Dec 2004, Regional Director – Arvind Worldwide Inc, U.K and Managing Director – Lauffenmuhle, Germany (a subsidiary of Arvind Mills Ltd) from May 1997 to Feb 2000 and Vice-President – European Operations of Coats Viyella, Manchester from May 1993 to April 1997.
Reliance Footprint offers 50 national & international brands through 200 outlets in 22 states and 95 cities across India . The specialty store offers a range of over 20,000 products catering to the entire family’s needs. Apart from footwear, the stores also retail foot care, shoe care items, accessories like wallets, bags, belts and socks.
Prior to 1993, Sankar held various positions in Madura Coats in India after joining the company in 1987 straight from the campus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India’s premier management institute since inception.
Sankar holds a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering with distinction from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Kakinada, and a PG Diploma in Management with significant electives in Marketing and Finance from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.
Sankar’s 25-plus years of business experience include expertise in strategising and driving business expansions, implementing various operating models and initiating start-ups. His current role — overseeing the operations at Reliance Footprint’s 200-plus stores across India — reflects his key professional accomplishments, including leadership, developing human talent and leading-by-example ways of solving problems, all of which will hold him in good stead to achieve Reliance Footprint’s ambition of capturing 15 per cent market share of the footwear category in India by 2017.
“I enjoy being in retail because it is challenging and keeps you on your toes 24/7,” he says, while acknowledging that his biggest professional challenge is combining growth and profitability constantly.
“To achieve full potential, Indian retailers must have a cost-focus at all times,” he states.