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 the organization as the 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 a very interactive relationship through periodic Channel Partners Meet that gave a big boost to the sales and greatly benefited the partners.
He also ensured that the relationship with the Partners extended beyond conventional business dealings. He achieved this by making them all feel like members of a close-knit family working together, evolving together and prospering together.
Ushering in change is a challenging task. For him the challenges were all about attuning his sales force to be in sync with the emerging new trends in the market place. And for that he needed to create a strong talent base. So he made sure the company was able to hire the right kind of sales talent for the company- owned stores. He encouraged and challenged the top performers to better the best. Thereby, he succeeded in ushering in a drive for excellence that percolated down to the level of salespersons.
He also conducted regular motivational exercises to provide the Partners regular updates on innovative sales strategies that they could adopt to build the most effective rapport with buyers.
He actually redefined brand -consumer interface by revamping the visual merchandising at all the outlets in the form of the following manner:
1. Displaying products in a creative way.
2. Using imaginative methods to highlight products.
3. Changing displays frequently.
4. Visually designing store with colorful focal points to draw shoppers to those key areas.
5. Using theme merchandising to send a powerful message that will get customers hooked.
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, global class 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 in a very big way. Thereby making India’s trusted footwear brand a truly national brand.
When asked to give his take on the retail business Bansal aptly sums it up in the following words: ‘It’s no longer about what we want to sell. It’s about what the consumer wants to buy. 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 most.’