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Fashion brand icons: Ayushi Gudwani of FableStreet

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IndiaRetailing brings you a series in which we highlight the brand icons in India’s thriving fashion and lifestyle industry. This week, the spotlight is on Ayushi Gudwani

Mumbai: No business can survive for long without a vision; even if it does, it would be susceptible to every disruption and upheaval that generally comes in its business cycle. It needs a leader who has the capacity to translate, create that vision, or make it clearer and turn it into reality. The very essence of leadership is having a vision in the first place. Moreover, as you can’t blow an uncertain trumpet, it should be clearly articulated so that they can manage and lead people. A team led by a visionary leader with a clear direction knows what it can achieve and how far it can go.

In this special feature, IndiaRetailing highlights the brand icons in India’s thriving fashion and lifestyle industry. This week, the spotlight is on…

Ayushi Gudwani

Founder and CEO, FS Life – FableStreet, Mikoto, Pink Fort

Education 

  • Engineering- NSIT, Delhi | 2002 – 2006
  • MBA – IIM Calcutta, Silver Medalist | 2006 – 2008

Career history and experience 

  • Consultant – McKinsey & Company | 2008 – 2015 
  • Founder & CEO – FS Life | 2016 onwards

Role and responsibilities 

Leading the whole business.

Strengths & weakness 

Strengths 

  • Structural thinking 
  • Empathy 
  • Ability of balance between grand thinking and microexecution 

Weakness 

While I’m a strong and logical thinker, I tend to act from heart at times.

Aspirations you want to fulfil 

Churn out multiple thousand-crore brands from FS Life.

Game changing retail technologies according to you 

  • Contactless stores 
  • Virtual trial of clothes 
  • 100% track-able supply chain

Skills that helped you succeed in this industry 

  • Ability to go deep into things allowed me to understand the AtoZ of the fashion industry without any past experience of this space.
  • Ability to balance between design thinking and customer ȱ rst approach allows us to keep growing fas

Lessons learned over the years 

  • Hire in advance. 
  • Trust people, give them a second chance, but not on ethics. 
  • Be ready to take tough decisions fast.

Your take on the future of industry 

  • Retail fashion will keep growing 
  • Branded play is going to grow bigger as per capita income rises. 
  • As internet penetration grows and people’s trust in e-commerce grows, per cent share of online retail will grow. 
  • Tier 2 and tier 3 cities are going to see a big wave of growth.

Any role model in the industry 

I admire different people for different things and don’t have a particular role model.

If you had to pen down your top 3 learnings from your career 

  • Work with good people i.e. those you can relate with in terms of values. 
  • Always think long-term. 
  • Don’t burn bridges.

Life mantra 

Life is a lot more than the work you do.

This article first appeared in Images Group’s Business of Fashion Magazine March 2023 Issue

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