Clovia has appointed Nikhil Gulati as Head of Brand Marketing, while Ace Turtle has hired Amit Kriplani as CTO and Punit Aggarwal as CFO. GOAT Brand Labs has appointed Mukesh Lodha as Chief of Finance and Groyyo has brought Abhishek Srivastava onboard as CTO. Additionally, Citykart has appointed Ritesh Rathi as President and COO. Overseas brands like Wacoal India and Celio are also reinforcing their leadership positions in India by appointing Hirokuni Nagamori as CEO and Stanton Ambrose as Head of Marketing and PR respectively. This hiring trend in the Indian apparel retail industry indicates a potential growth trajectory and marks a significant change in recent months. The reasons behind this surge in hiring at the leadership level and whether the trend will continue remain essential questions to explore for the industry’s future outlook.
Growth of the companies
The growth of the above companies mentioned is one of the major reason for hiring, for example the parent firm of Clovia, Purple Panda Fashion, reportedly ended up selling 89 per cent of its stock to Isha Ambani’s Reliance Retail. Reliance Retail acquired Clovia in a deal worth a staggering Rs. 950 crore. Currently having 65 stores, it eyes national retail presence by the end of 2023 and 250-300 exclusive stores by March 2024. Ace turtle is continuously adding overseas brands in its portfolio. Tiger global-backed GOAT Brand Labs registered Rs. 15 crore revenue during FY ’22 (its first fiscal year of operations). So far it has raised over US $ 80 million. Wacoal India and Celio are also on growth path by adding more stores.
It is the need of the hour
For a long time, a major portion of the industry has been managed by the founders and their family members. Now that the industry has more growth opportunities and challenges, more diverse professional expertise at top levels is very much required so it is good that the Indian apparel retail industry has seen reasonably good hiring at the leadership level and strengthened leadership teams.
Such developments have already taken place in other sectors, and compared to them, the apparel retail industry is still behind. Looking at the growth and complexities of the Indian economy and India’s apparel sector, having good talent is essential. Whenever global companies enter India, they look at hiring the best talent and Indian companies will also have to ensure that they are not left behind.
|Few of the brands and retailers have good funding backup and are not lacking behind when it comes to resources. So they can afford the CXOs, especially those who have naturally high salaries. Hiring experts are of the opinion that this trend is going to sustain for long as CXOs are being hired to streamline operations and strategic thinking.|
Growth- major push behind hiring
The Indian retail industry is growing rapidly and companies across segments are looking to strengthen their leadership teams to achieve business goals and build sustainable organisations. Strengthening leadership teams in the retail industry will help bring deep domain expertise and process orientation and provide greater bandwidth to plan and execute business strategies. The availability of highly experienced talent and the need for building more robust systems and processes to improve profitability and sustainability will give the much-needed push for growth.
The growth factor is also attracting professionals towards the industry as the retail sector has shown tremendous resilience and nimbleness to grow rapidly despite the pandemic and has set higher goals in the coming years. The companies’ innovative approach to transforming the business of fashion and lifestyle brands through technology has the potential to transform the industry and top professionals want to become a part of this journey.
Skill set requirements at leadership levels changing
The skill set requirements at leadership levels have also changed for companies. Ace turtle, the Bengaluru-based technology-driven retail company, having brand portfolios of the likes of Lee, Wrangler, Toys“R”Us and Babies“R”Us, has been hiring leaders from new-age high-growth companies as they bring in a strong growth mindset apart from deep domain expertise. In addition to CTO and CFO, it has recently hired senior leaders at VP and SVP levels.
|The availability of highly experienced talent and the need for building more robust systems and processes to improve profitability and sustainability will give the much-needed push for growth. The growth factor is also attracting professionals towards the industry as the retail sector has shown tremendous resilience and nimbleness to grow rapidly despite the pandemic and has set higher goals in the coming years.|
The trend will continue or not
Industry experts believe that these are not just routine hiring but they rather indicate that the retail industry is now more focused to strengthen leadership teams and become more organised and process-oriented. And these developments are also due to growing opportunities in the market.
All these endeavours are targeting to ensure a better customer experience as nearly all the brands within their respective categories and target audience are doing their best in terms of products, quality, price etc. What makes it different is the customer experience and it is also totally a team game, so good talent at the top level is required.
Few of the brands and retailers have good funding backup and are not lacking behind when it comes to resources. So they can afford the CXOs, especially those who have naturally high salaries. Hiring experts are of the opinion that this trend is going to sustain for long as CXOs are being hired to streamline operations and strategic thinking. But at the core, things that matter are product, price, brand and approach to the customers. The market is highly unpredictable also and as usual some of the brands may be doing reasonably well today but will fizzle out in the long run.
There is a different view also as some believe that this trend is going to continue with the growth of the market, companies and growing expectation of customers. Increasing competition is also something that will force Indian retail companies to have good talent. Overall massive opportunities in the Indian retail sector are a big push for hiring CXOs, especially for those companies which do not have such professionals.