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SPARK OF THE CORPORATE

Govind Shrikhande, the Managing Director of the largest departmental store chain in India, with his rich experience of 27 years in the textile, apparel and retail industry, has played a key role in the growth of Shoppers Stop ever since he became a part of it. With sheer passion and strong commitment, he continues to place Shoppers Stop in the limelight steering the company to heights, motivating staff and delivering beyond shareholder expectations.

Early career...

It was the biggest textile strike when he graduated as a textile technologist in 1982 and the industry had come to a complete hault. Opportunities were dull and the future didn't look bright. Though he was offered a small job at Mafatlal, he chose to do higher studies. After his masters in 1984, he was again offered a job at Mafatlal. It was then that it all started; as a management trainee in marketing at Mafatlal Industries. From thereon, he gathered deep knowledge and expertise in the industry by associating with leading textile and apparel companies and excelling in each of the roles he had handled.

In 1986, he moved to the fabric division of Johnson & Johnson. The next year, he moved to Arvind Mills and spent seven years there. One of the notable roles there was that of being a member of marketing team that created Denim Revolution in India. In 1992, he moved to Bangalore, within the group, as a key resource of the Arrow launch team. He returned to Mumbai after 18 months to be with his family, who didn't want to move out of Mumbai. He worked for Mafatlal Stanrose for a while before joining Bombay Dyeing in 1996. He turned around Vivaldi brand and headed the Retail division there. He worked with Bombay Dyeing till Shoppers Stop scooped him in 2001.

Close to two decades with the retail giant...

This textile technologist and management graduate started his journey with Shoppers Stop in April 2001 as Vice President of Buying & Merchandising. In 2004 he became the COO and then, the CEO in April 2006. He became the Managing Director of the Company in 2009. He has been instrumental in the growth of the Shoppers Stop. It has doubled the number of stores in the last three years. A quick look at the statistics says that the company has increased its stores from seven in 2001 to 55 in 2012 and its turnover from Rs.200 Crores in 2001 to Rs.2400 Crores in 2012. Under his leadership, the company has launched multiple formats such as Home Stop, Mac, Estee Lauder, Clinique etc. Shoppers Stop along with subsidiaries Crossword Bookstores and Hypercity Retail; and joint venture companies Timezone Entertainment and Nuance Group—operates more than 60.42 lakh square feet in the country today. The numbers says it all!

Shoppers Stop under his leadership...

Shoppers Stop had just declared a major loss of ₹ 24 crores when Govind joined the company. He trusted his gut feelings about the future of retailing in India and hopped in. On the day he joined, a front-page story titled ‘Has India’s biggest retailer failed?’ appeared in The Economic Times. Business Today ran a cover story on similar lines the following week. He and his team worked closely and turned it around in a year. In no time, the company was made profitable and kept opening new stores in batches year after year. Though it went through another loss due to economic slowdown, it quickly aligned itself to the changing needs of the economy and continued to prosper.

In 2005, the company's Initial Public Offering (IPO) was oversubscribed overall by 17.25 times. Next year, the company received Gold Shield Award for excellence in Financial reporting in the category of "Manufacturing & trading Enterprises" by ICAI and acquired 19% stake in Hypercity Retail (India) Ltd. Two years later, in 2008, Shoppers Stop undertook a major Logo and Positioning Evolution initiative which strengthened the brand market positioning, product and service offerings. Since then, there was no looking back. It rose as the undisputed leader in The Bridge To Luxury Category of Department Stores in India. It was during his leadership, Fortune named Shoppers Stop as the No 1 Social Net-worth Brand from India in 2011 and 2012 and also received the “Dun & Bradstreet -Rolta Corporate Awards 2011” and "Leadership Governance Award", in the Service Category at the QIMPRO BEST PRAX CONCLAVE 2012. He has added several feathers to Shoppers Stop since then by winning various prestigious awards such as Most Admired Retail Company by Business World , Emerging Market Retailer by the World Retail Congress, etc.

Over the years under his leadership, the Raheja Corp, the hospitality and real estate players, had its retail chain stores all over the country. What started as a small store in Andheri selling only mens wear in 1992 has become an international shopping destination today with an assortment of the leading international and national brands in clothing for men, women, and kids; accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, footwear; home furnishing and decor products and what not. By 2016, Shoppers Stop operates 83 stores in 38 cities and is still counting. It has come a really long way since 2001 – be it in terms of the number of stores or the multiple formats or the number of loyalty card members.

Being a Customer Care Associate...

It is quite interesting to note how Govind is building a culture for great customer service. He himself carries his designation as Customer Care Associate and Managing Director. It percolates down to the very bottom. The store manager is designated the Customer Care Associate and Store Head. The salesperson is again Customer Care Associate. He emphasizes on identifying the talents within the company and nurturing them by giving the right tools to grow better and serving the customer. They have also recently started e-learning services and mobile application services to train their staff at store. His aim is to equip all Customer Care Associates to give the same top level of care and service to all the customers. Infact, isn't service and positive shopping experience at the store the essence of retailing? He sure has his own ways to win the heart of his cutomers.

Seeds of retailing

Govind Shrikhande's first experience of retailing was way back in his school days. To tide over the ups and downs of his father's business, his sister and he sold educational textbooks and notebooks from home at the start of every academic year. Little did he know then that retailing is going to be a part of his blood forever and the world will look up to him as an inspiring retailer.

Personally...

Govind Shrikhande is extremely passionate about developing innovative products and services for the customers. He is also a firm believer in the power of teamwork and is committed to making the workplace into an enjoyable experience.

In his busy life, he finds time for his family by reserving Sunday for family and by taking one holiday every year without fail. Lover of old film songs, a movie buff, an avid reader and a cricket fan, Govind is a well regarded speaker & jury at many national and international events. He resides in Mumbai now with his wife and kids.

Education...

Govind Shrikhande is a textile technology graduate from VTJI, Mumbai. He did his masters in business management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.

Memberships...

Managing Committee member of The Clothing Manufacturers Association of India

Awards...

Clothing Manufacturers of India, Retail Professional of The Year Award in 2009
Most Admired Fashion Retail Professional of the Year Award in 2010

Quotes

A good retailer must understand that shopping is not just a routine activity but a way of de-stressing and catching up.
The whole idea is at 11 o’clock when the store opens the doors for the customers, can we all be in sync with only one thought of serving the customer- Hadh Se Aage. - On the practice of playing Shoppers Stop anthem at 10.45 everyday across the entire store.
We definitely see the industry moving toward shorter fashion cycles and mirroring global fashion trends more quickly.
We definitely look at the online medium as an opportunity to provide a new dimension to our brand and a new way to connect with our customers.
The moment you get into your mindset that it is a job that you are doing to earn a livelihood, the enjoyment would go out.

Hope viewers caught up the spark …

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