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Fashion brand icons: Vineet Gautam of Bestseller India

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

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. Today, the spotlight is on…

Vineet Gautam
CEO, South Asia, Bestseller India

Education
A Hotel Management Graduate from IHM-Delhi 

Career history and experience
He has over 20 years of experience in the retail sector. Prior to assuming his current role, he led the team at United Colors of Benetton and handled retail and business development for all brands under UCB. He also headed the retail vertical for Idea Cellular where he had implemented the complete retail strategy for the telecom giant. He has also worked for Wills Lifestyle, Café Coffee Day, Domino’s Pizza and Nirula’s.

Role and responsibilities
Overseeing the complete business of all seven Bestseller brands in India, namely, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, Only, Selected Homme, Jack & Jones Junior, Kids Only and Indifusion.

Strengths & weaknesses 

Strengths: 

  • People first approach 
  • Adaptability 
  • Passion and empathy 

Weaknesses: 

  • A risk-taker, sometimes decisions don’t work out as intended. 
  • Empathy, when not balanced correctly can be misused 
  • Sometimes, can be impulsive.

Aspirations you want to fulfill
Make Bestseller India the largest, most proȱ table and the fastest growing fashion retailer in India.

Game changing retail technologies according to you 

  • Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): They are revolutionizing the way that customers interact with fashion products. 
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI is being used in various areas of fashion retail, including inventory management, supply chain management, and customer service. 
  • 3D Printing: With 3D printing, designers can create custom clothing and accessories without the need for traditional manufacturing processes. This can reduce waste, increase efficiency, and enable more sustainable practices.

Skills that helped you succeed in this industry 

  • Believing in people and valuing young talent and passion 
  • Trusting your instincts: this can be a real asset in tricky situations 
  • Adaptability: The fashion retail industry is always evolving, and as a leader, one needs to be able to adapt quickly to new trends, technologies, and customer demands. 
  • Customer Focus: The fashion retail industry is all about the customer. 

Lessons learned over the years 

  • Adapting to consumer demand and offering the right product at right price at the right time is crucial for any business to succeed. 
  • Learn to say ‘no’ to things. 
  • Think on your feet and act quick.

Your take on the future of industry
The future of the fashion retail industry is likely to be shaped by sustainable practices, digital transformation, personalization, new business models, and inclusivity and diversity. Retailers that can adapt to these trends and embrace innovation are likely to thrive in the years to come.

Any role model in the industry
I think what Bernard Arnault has done for LVMH is admirable.

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

  • Focus on the customer: The customer should always be at the centre of your business strategy. 
  • Be adaptable: The retail industry is constantly evolving, and one needs to be able to adapt to new trends, technologies, and customer demands. 
  • Build a strong team: A strong team is critical to the success of any retail business. You need to hire and develop a team that shares your vision, values, and work ethic. Most importantly, be thoroughly committed to continuous learning and development.

Life mantra
Less is more, in all aspects of one’s life. Always has been, always will be. 

 

This article first appeared in Business of Fashion Magazine March 2023 issue 

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