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Fashion brand icons- Bobby Arora of Status Quo

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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 Bobby Arora

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…

Bobby Arora 

Director and Co-Founder, Status Quo

Education 

Bachelors of Commerce (B.Com) from Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai 

Career history and experience 

From owning and managing a multi-brand apparel retail store at the age of 20 to leading a successful fashion clothing brand in India 25 years later, the journey has been challenging, and yet fulfilling. 

Role and responsibilities 

Being the creative mind behind the brand, I play a critical role in the decision-making, ranging from design, sales, and marketing to overall business development.

Strengths & weaknesses 

Strengths: 

Inclusivity and teamwork: I regularly seek out various opinions and ideas from my team and believe that having them along in the growth journey is extremely critical. 

Innovative: Our innovative thinking helps us convert international trends into viable concepts that suit the Indian consumer needs. We are innovative not only in terms of aesthetically rich designs, but also in terms of modern retail. 

Knowledge Seeker: One is never too old to learn. 

Weaknesses: 

Delegation: I sometimes find it difficult to let go of certain tasks and hand them over to my team. 

Time Management: Playing an active role in various departments of the organisation, time management becomes critical.

Aspirations 

To become a global Indian fashion apparel brand.

Game changing retail technologies according to you 

Major trends signify that e-commerce and omnichannel are here to stay for long. The emergence of D2C Fashion has not only escalated growth but also competition in digitally driven retail. Gen Z and millennials are more driven towards the online channels. With AI-driven technologies(Geo-Fencing, Smart Shopping Mirrors and Visual Searches), brands have better access to customer data, can engage with their customers and improve brand loyalty.

Skills that helped you succeed in this industry 

Consistency is the key: It might not yield immediate results, but it does go a long way when accompanied by patience and discipline. 

Adaptability: Trends in fashion change every now and then and it is extremely important to adapt to these changing trends to remain successful in the industry. 

Ethical Business Approach: I strongly believe that success in true terms is when both parties are benefiting from each other and are not in a zero-sum game.

Lessons learned over the years 

Be a good listener and be open to feedback. Keep yourself updated with the dynamics and changing trends. Never stop learning. Keep expanding your knowledge. Capitalize on any opportunity that comes your way.

Your take on the future of industry 

The demand for fashion clothing is changing from what customers ‘need’ to what they ‘want’. With several new entrants in the market and the ever-changing needs of consumers, the industry is set to keep growing. Online commerce is here to stay, due to increased smart phone penetration and a large bucket of brands to choose from. However, the pure online model seems unsustainable in the long run, given the nature of business and selling at extremely high markdowns. For brands with the traditional models of offline retailing, omnichannel retailing becomes a must.

Any role model in the industry 

Amancio Ortega, the founder of Inditex group. 

Life mantra 

Keep pushing yourself and never look back. Being disciplined and committed leads to long-term success. Be the real you, be honest with your people, to your business, and mostly importantly to yourself.

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