Neerav Dalal: Leveraging The Global Brands In The Indian Market

Neerav Dalal: Leveraging The Global Brands In The Indian Market

Known in the industry as a tenacious and pragmatic leader, Neerav Dalal is acknowledged by his peers as someone who is a major influencer and trendsetter in the contemporary Indian fashion and retail industry - an enormously profitable sector with near limitless potential.

His impeccable professionalism, reflecting in his focused approach of developing and implementing strategies to enhance brand recognition and revenue generation is something that makes him a valuable asset.

Engaged in a special interaction with CEO Insights, Neerav talks about his personal and professional journey in becoming one of the top-notch COOs in the country re-imagining the fashion and retail domains.

Tell us about the facets and achievements of your professional journey?
A 20 year career in the retail industry shaped by my skills of being able to collaborate, lead and strategize launches combined with my ability to put people at ease from the outset is something I’ve worked diligently to achieve. I’ve been a risk-taker and have always believed that nothing ventured equals nothing gained. The retail industry always beckoned due to its ever dynamic challenges and the nature of it being so very people-centric.

After my MBA, I joined Pepe Jeans where I began my career as a Key Account Executive and was soon promoted to Senior Manager in recognition of my earnest efforts in taking the business to the next level. Later in my career, I was re-approached by Pepe Jeans to help with the distribution, where I launched Pepe Kids, accounting for 40 percent of their total turnover. My next role was at Provogue as the Business Head of Accessories leading to an 18% contribution to revenue generation within two years via the introduction of new accessories.

The next waypoint in my journey was when I joined hands with Raymond’s for their joint venture with GAS in India which provided me with a platform to launch an international brand for the first time in India, taking care of the retail and the distribution business completely. It was a great
experience because for the first time a premium International Brand was getting into the distribution network, appointing distributors across the country and placing products in the neighbourhood stores apart from EBOs (Exclusive Brand Outlets). The success of GAS compelled many other international premium brands to explore this model and enter premium regional stores.

After GAS, I was recruited by Major Brands and became synonymous with the brand to industry stakeholders as the head of business development. I was instrumental in enhancing store presence from the existing 17 – 20 stores when I joined to 130+ stores, helping the company to expand their business pan-India. I played a crucial role in identifying, negotiating and signing more than 6 varying international brands and launching them in India. To my mind, I believe that this was one of the most exciting and memorable phases of my career which not only gave me insight into expansions but also gave me immense international exposure.

Our commitment to retail excellence begins and ends with our customers’ satisfaction and experience

It wasn’t long after, that DOIT Retail contacted me as they wanted to enter into a retail venture by launching the French luxury brand Longchamp. I joined them as COO and launched 5 stores for them in India exclusively in Delhi, Mumbai and in the respective city Airports, and deployed marketing campaigns to support the brand. Towards the end of 2018, I became a part of Saffron Lifestyle with the prime objective of taking our business to the next level and introducing even more international brands for the thriving and boundless Indian market.

Enlighten us about your journey so far with Saffron Lifestyle.
We’re not merely a brand - we’re a lifestyle focused entity catering to various demographics and niches by thoroughly understanding our customers’ needs and wants and
ensuring their satisfaction throughout. Saffron Lifestyle is bold and we have an appetite for risk-takers and high flyers who concur with what we believe in about the success story of India’s economic growth especially in the retail industry. I’ve always welcomed new ideas while also taking into account the experience and wisdom of others who have honed their skills like me through years of hard work, learning from one’s mistakes and adapting to newer challenges.

The thirsty goes in search of water, not the other way round – that’s the way the old proverb goes. However, with the onset of the pandemic, we have taken a different initiative for our operational management to adapt to these strangest of times by adding a modern channel in the form of Home Shopping with contactless delivery bearing in mind the health and safety of our customers. Currently, we are experiencing a higher than expected footfalls within our stores, but to witness maximization in sales and getting 8 percent of the turnover from home shopping alone is a fantastic achievement. I have no doubt, that this can be attributed in no small part, to the innovation and dedication displayed by my team in bringing our ideas to fruition.

Being able to leverage my negotiation skills and two decades of experience with partners, vendors and colleagues has aided in my ability to develop and enhance Saffron Lifestyle. I firmly believe that there’s a lot more to achieve and there’s way more to come from our organization. Brands know about India’s potential and want to take advantage of India’s growth story and Saffron Lifestyle is at the forefront of ensuring that the Indian consumer has greater choice in the market.

Neerav Dalal, COO, Saffron Lifestyle Traders
A strong professional with an MBA in Marketing from Mumbai University and Master of Commerce, focused in Accounting and Finance, Neerav is an experienced Chief Operating Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. He has in-depth understanding of Trend Analysis, Business Operations, Budgeting, Business Planning, Analytical Skills, Business Development, Projects, Store Building and Relationship Building.

Current Magazine

Trending Stories