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Fashion brand icons: Chenduran Sundararajan of Angel & Rocket

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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 Chenduran Sundararajan

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…

Chenduran Sundararajan

Managing Director, Angel & Rocket

Education 

BE Mechanical Engineering, Mac. Business Management 

Career history and experience 

12 years in retail industry, heading the brand Crocodile in India. 

Role and responsibilities 

  • Heading the entire business unit responsible for the P&L. 
  • Financial ratios and managing the entire team of 550 people in the organisation. 
  • Also responsible for global operations of the brand Angel & Rocket with the support from KMP’s based in the UK

Strengths & weaknesses 

Strengths: 

  • Strategic and analytical skills 
  • People management 
  • Learning and development along with dynamism Weaknesses: 
  • Not very organised 
  • Pessimist 
  • Lack of exposure with other organisations and industries

Aspirations you want to fulfil 

  • Establish Angel & Rocket as a recognised global premium kidswear brand. 
  • Achieve consistent growth and profitability. 
  • Contribute positively to all stakeholders involved.

Game-changing retail technologies according to you 

  • AI-based customer analysis 
  • Omnichannel retail 
  • Metaverse

Skills that helped you succeed in this industry 

  • Adaptability to technology 
  • Learning and development 
  • Analytical skills to derive inferences and make strategic decisions

Lessons learned over the years 

Although delegation and trust are the best practices, it’s always good to keep eyes wide open in terms of what’s going on both internally and externally, especially with the retail industry. We need to be cautious and find a balance between growth, fashion, newness and inventory/ WC management for an organic and healthy retail business. 

Your take on the future of industry 

The consumer industry, especially the apparel and footwear industry will be huge, considering a lot of transition between unorganised to organised retail. Also, as we all know, because of the rising disposable incomes for a younger Indian generation, the retail industry is poised for many decades of great future.

Any role model in the industry

Jockey (Page industries) in the way that they have built a licensed brand that was barely known in India and created a near monopoly in the segment for more than a decade. A lesson about sustainability and long term brand building. 

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

  • Always remain optimistic about the brand and the circumstances externally (Post-COVID19 is an example). 
  • Plan for something that we are capable of executing. 
  • Patience is key for building a brand. 

Life mantra 

Live and let live.

This article first appeared in IMAGES Group’s Business of Fashion Magazine March 2023 issue

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