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We do not believe in short-term associations: Sanjeev Rao of Being Human

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Sanjeev Rao, chief executive officer of Being Human speaks about the role of the brand’s partners in its success

The recently concluded Images Group’s India Fashion Forum 2023 recognized and felicitated excellence across the fashion retail ecosystem. One of the key parts of the event was the Being Human Icons Awards through which Salman Khan’s brand honoured its retail partners. 

At IFF 2023, Modi Kurta fame fashion retailer Jade Blue won the key business partner award; multi-brand retail chain Chunmun Store was honoured as multi-brand store partner; departmental retail fashion chain Lifestyle stores was lauded for large format store partner category; textile company GRC Garments won under the distribution partner category; fashion e-commerce company Myntra for e-commerce partner and retail real estate platform Nexus Malls for mall partner.

IndiaRetailing spoke to Sanjeev Rao, chief executive officer, Being Human about the brand’s current partner ecosystem and how it manages to keep its partners content. Rao also shared insights about the brand’s growth over the years along with its expansion plans. 


What role do partners play in your success?

One man, one team cannot accomplish everything. For example in a family in which both husband and wife are working, the cook who makes food or the security person who ensures the child reaches home safely from the school bus gives the parents peace of mind. The help are the ecosystem. So if the couple is successful in life, the cook or the security has a hand in it. It’s the same for us at Being Human. We may put up the best of the business plans and resources in place but to achieve the last mile we need that guy on the scooter who makes sure that it whether it’s raining or not the goods are delivered to the consumer. That’s the success mantra. It’s never us alone; it’s our entire partner network whether it is Myntra, Jade Blue, Nexus malls and every one else. 

Tell us about your partner ecosystem. 

We have many partners. At present, we have more than 500 multiband brand outlet (MBO) partners across India and this number is growing. Every season, we add about 100 partners. We are there with all the e-commerce partners, whether it’s Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra or Tata Cliq. And now we are going to start with Nykaa. So these are all our partner networks. We have Green Honchos, who manages our website and performance. We have Genesis as our ERP (enterprise resource planning) partner. All of these people have a role to play and that’s a huge partner network. 

Our partner network is also the housekeeping agency, which ensures that the tea, coffee, food, everything is given on time to the team. It’s like the body. Your soul is your brand. But then what about your hands, legs, mind, eyes? Your heart beats but it does so because of certain motor signals coming from the brain that tell your body to pump the blood to the heart. Some organ is cleaning the blood, some other is pumping it blood, some organ is helping you see things. That’s how a brand runs. It’s exactly like a human body, every single neuron, every single nerve ending, every piece of the whole thing is important… one thing goes wrong and it will impact the entire system.

What were the criteria when selecting partners to felicitate?

We run every partner through several parameters. For example, when it comes to a mall, how are we doing in that mall? Then there are standalone stores. When we do that analysis, it is per square feet throughput and the support that we get from that mall.

Today, it’s not about opening maximum number of stores. I can open 500 stores in the next six months, if I’m ready to pay that kind of money but is that of any meaning? No. So quality, delivery, profitability, relationship, cross-functional marketing, all of that plays a large part when it comes to deciding. So this time it is Nexus Malls. Next time, it could be any other. We evaluate on different parameters. 

Similarly for e-commerce. E-commerce is not about just selling on a platform but it is about what the company is doing to push that person to buy the product she put in that cart. So the relationship is when they put equal efforts to make sure that the merchandise successfully reaches the consumer. So these are some of the parameters on which we evaluate. And we have an internal jury that helps us evaluate.

What we did this time was purely based on sales, relationship, per square feet throughput… all of those things. What is the sell through? How much stock has been sent back to us? How was the payment… whether they paid us on time for the goods, all of that plays a big role in terms of deciding. For example, our per square foot Jade Blue per day is way better than a large format store. 

What is your criteria when selecting partners?

It varies. The commercials, trade terms are different in every case whether it is e-commerce, MBO or others. We also look at the background, what kind of support we can exchange in terms of growing our business. 

So what is your company’s mantra for keeping the partners happy?

Business cannot be a one-way street. The partner has to make money and you also as a company have to make money for them. Being Human does not believe in short-term associations. If we associate, we do so for the long-term because then the ability to hedge risks and win profits are equally understood over a period of time. So we have to do long-term relationships with our customers, vendors and partners. And that is when everything stacks up. 

So most of the companies that are surviving today have all got a long-term perspective on business. It’s not that one year I do Rs 1000 crore, and then I’m out. Short term visioning does not work. People only stand to win if they play the long-term

Nexus Malls honoured with Mall Partner Award
Nexus Malls was honoured with mall partner award
Lifestyle Stores was honoured with large format store partner award
Lifestyle Stores was honoured with large format store partner award 
Myntra was honoured with e-commerce partner award
Myntra was honoured with e-commerce partner award







Chunmun Store was honoured with multi brand store partner award
Chunmun Store was honoured with multi brand store partner award
Jade Blue was honoured with Key business partner award
Jade Blue was honoured with Key business partner award
GRC Garments was honoured with distribution partner award
GRC Garments was honoured with distribution partner award
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