Member: Privilege Clubs (India Retail Forum)
A Chartered Accountant with more than 25 years of experience in retailing and distribution, Anil Jhawar oversees the operations of India’s largest retail chain of personalised gifts and appreciation products.
Jhawar co-promoted Presto Personalised Wonders along with Anurag Poddar in 2002, with the objective of setting up a unique personalised gifting format. The partners’ establishment of Mohan Impressions Pvt. Ltd (MIPL) in 1995 to manufacture premium rubber stamps in technical collaboration with a US company under the ‘Presto’ brand name led to the retail format’s inception. MIPL today represents premium rubber stamp industry leaders such as Shiny, Chemence, Prolon in India.
Presto Personalised Wonders today has 165 retail stores across India, and also exports its products to countries like UAE, Bahrain, South Africa, Kenya, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, among others. “We offer a range of more than 700 personalised products — by far the largest by any single brand — across the world,” Jhawar says.
Presto offers unique products and customised gifting solutions for personal souvenirs, corporate gifting, awards and appreciation products, and home décor, among many other uses.
Jhawar believes his retail format appeals particularly to customers’ emotions and that is what feeds his commitment to the business. “I enjoy being in retail because I am trying to create a positive experience in our customers’ lives. To see a smile on a customer’s face is very satisfying, because we deal with emotions,” he states.
Despite the long gestation period it took for the Presto Personalised Wonders concept to take off convincingly, Jhawar believes the chain’s remarkable success has been worth the effort.
Along with courage of conviction, Indian retailers must change their attitude to customers, Jhawar says. “Customer is not just King. Customer is also Queen,” he asserts.