Second-generation entrepreneur Siddharth Jalan, CEO of Guwahati, Assam-based retail giant Sohum Shoppe Ltd, has followed in the footsteps of his father and elder sibling Sandeep Jalan to continue Sohum Shoppe’s remarkable growth story.
Putting his MBA degree to good use, Siddharth is currently enhancing the operational flow of the organisation, using his deep awareness of global retail best practices. As CEO of north-east India’s largest and most-recognised fashion and lifestyle retail chain, Siddharth has his work cut out for him: to innovate constantly on merchandise and experience, even as customers gravitate towards convenience-driven online retail.
Siddharth was earlier engaged in the store operations of then-opened Sohum Shoppe outlet at Christian Basti, as a Store Manager. His responsibilities at the store included functions related to HR, Marketing, Merchandising, and Accounts. A strong team leader and motivator, Siddharth is particularly able at connecting with people on many levels; his interpersonal skills have been driving the front end staff and the superior customer service that the chain continues to excel at.
“I think my key professional accomplishments are the bond I share with the floor staff and the one-to-one interactions I often have with my customers. Spending time in the front end is what I enjoy very much,” he says.
Currently focussed on merchandising, he is responsible for the range planning and assortment mix for multiple categories — from Apparel to Footwear to Toys and Games.
“I enjoy being in retail because it gives me pleasure to know that I am creating a wonderful experience in someone’s life,” he says, while admitting that the biggest professional challenges he faces are in the area of supply chain and logistics insufficiencies.
A strong believer in the power of joint effort, Siddharth asserts that to achieve full potential, Indian retailers must unite and work together to develop market efficiencies. “Competition will only strengthen us further,” he says.