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Fashion brand icon: Sanjeev Rao of Being Human Clothing

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IndiaRetailing brings you a series in which we highlight the brand icons of India’s thriving fashion and lifestyle industry. Today, the spotlight is on Sanjeev Rao

New Delhi: 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 of India’s thriving fashion and lifestyle industry. Today, the spotlight is on…

Sanjeev Rao
chief executive officer

• Alumnus of Wharton Business School UPENN
• MBA in Retail & Marketing

Career history and experience
• Multidisciplinary business leader with over 27 years of management experience leading strategic growth in the retail arena (apparel, hypermarkets, departmental stores, supermarkets, convenience stores and entertainment)
• Worked at leadership levels with retail giants like Raymond, Landmark group, Aditya Birla Retail, Jubilant Retail, RPG Group and Times Retail across strategy, operations and P&L management.

Role and responsibilities
• Create a high performance team/ leaders to achieve company’s goals.

• People development
• Team management
• Communication

• Low tolerance for mediocrity

Aspirations you want to fufill
Create an organization which amalgamates business priorities with social cause and creates an all-inclusive socially responsible global business.

Game changing retail technologies
• Sustainable sourcing and manufacturing technologies
• AI/ML to provide customized recommendations
• Augmented reality / virtual reality-based retail experiences

Skills that helped you succeed in this industry
• Communication skills to appropriately convey the message and build relationships/equations
• Ability to dream big / create vision
• Keen focus on consumer
• Execution

Lessons and learning over the years
• Build relationships
• Develop people
• Create and communicate vision
• Walk the talk

Your take on the future of industry
Retail is a dynamic industry and it will continue to be one of the leading contributors to economy. Going forward, I see lot of digitization taking over, and the industry moving into a hybrid model, wherein the lines will be blurred between online and online retail. Being “Digital First” is the way to survive in the new retail world. I believe that the next phase
of digital transformation would be led by virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Technologies like virtual store in the Metaverse will give customers a chance to have
a complete shopping experience, anytime and anywhere. However, the physicality of retail will still remain with store becoming more experiential.

Any role model in the industry
Late Mr. Raghu Pillai

If you had to pen down your top 3 learnings from your career
• Build relationships with all the stakeholders, based on transparency and integrity.
• Learn to delegate and give a chance to your team to develop themselves
• Constant communication with team members is the key to success

Life mantra
Ability to dream, and the will to do.

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