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IFF 2023: Emergence of fashion retail experience lies in the heart of ‘Bharat’

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At the 22nd edition of India Fashion Forum, industry experts predicted that the growth of fashion retail would be steered by Tier 2 and 3 cities and the rural hubs of India

Bengaluru: The 22nd edition of India Fashion Forum (IFF), India’s biggest fashion intelligence event, opened to a packed house in Bengaluru today with leaders, key stakeholders, experts and delegates, from across the fashion ecosystem, having gathered to discuss emerging trends like AI, seamless shopping experiences and the prospects of as many as 100 Indian cities in generating new business opportunities in the post-pandemic fashion landscape. Shailesh Chaturvedi, 22nd IFF Chairman, Industry Thought Leader, MD & CEO, Arvind Fashions welcomed the attendees along with outgoing IFF Chairman Akhilesh Prasad, President and CEO, Fashion & Lifestyle Business, Reliance Retail. 

In line with this year’s theme ‘Decoding the DNA of Profitability: Growth defined by Value Creation’, the inaugural session of the two-day event, witnessed speakers forecasting the way forward for fashion retail and Tier 2 and 3 cities as the focal points of growth. In her presentation, Saloni Nangia, President, Technopak, indicated that 25 cities beyond the 8 metros would drive a lot of consumption, while Vineet Gautam, CEO-South Asia, Bestseller India, lent this segment a new name – Bharat. The latter expects the next 100 cities to drive consumption in the country. 

Though ‘Bharat’ is still largely unexplored, Shailesh took a leaf from his career graph and added that it cannot be ignored anymore by the industry. “There is a lot to learn and plentiful value to create when we make a shift from known to unknown territories.”

Emphasizing the importance of building capability for brands, in his keynote address, Shailesh said, “The industry must lessen its focus on growth opportunities and build their unique competitive strengths. It is their fundamental capabilities that will help businesses steer through short or medium term headwinds. The future lies in concepts like Total Shareholders Reward wherein a company is evaluated on its wealth creation which, in turn, is based on capital efficiency, margin profile and scale of business.”

Dilip Kapur, Founder & President, Hidesign, spoke about his brand’s journey in creating an identity and the relevance of building a brand’s capabilities to achieve profitability. 

The highlight of the inaugural session was ‘A story a minute’ , a rapid 60-second presentation by brand custodians on their profitability strategies. Bijou Kurien, Chairman, Retailers Association of India, led the session. Upcoming startups like Shobhitam and women-centric brands like Ayesha Fashion and Nykaa also presented their success stories in this session. With over 50+ conferences and 200+ speakers sharing their insights over the two days, IFF 2023 also welcomed UK delegates on their first-of-its-kind fashion and beauty trade mission to India. Brands like Lush, Benny Hancock, Jennifer Young and Lilly and Sid to name a few will showcase their offerings and innovation to potential distributors here. 

Some of the sessions over the two days include unified commerce as the future of retail, omnichannel in fashion, social media, personalization, sustainability, profitability, mall strategy, global green initiatives in fashion and artificial intelligence. 

Among the speakers at the 22nd IFF are: Shailesh Chaturvedi, MD & CEO, Arvind Fashions Limited; Akhilesh Prasad, President and CEO, Fashion Lifestyle Business, Reliance Retail; Amisha Jain, MD & SVP, South Asia, Middle East, Africa, Non-EU, Levi Strauss & Co; Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign; Rajesh Jain, MD & CEO, Lacoste India; Dr. Naresh Tyagi, Chief Sustainability Officer, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail and Revathi Kant, Senior VP and CDO, Titan Company among others.

About India Fashion Forum

Launched in 2000, India Fashion Forum (IFF) is India’s largest fashion retail intelligence event. Every year, a powerful blend of conference sessions, workshops and master classes, zoned exhibitions and industry awards mark IFF’s confluence of the biggest consumer trends, market intelligence and retail innovation in the business of fashion in India.

The 22nd edition of India Fashion Forum will provide the latest insights from international and Indian industry experts, academics, global fashion research majors and analysts by way of keynote addresses, panel discussions, CEOs Roundtables, presentations, knowledge series sessions and workshops.

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