Soar­ing High!

Bindu Gopal Rao en­gages in a con­ver­sa­tion with Rishabh Oswal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Monte Carlo and Founder, Rock.It, who has taken the fam­ily brand a notch higher with his fore­sight and in­no­va­tion.

Apparel - - Contents -

A pro­file of Rishabh Oswal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor, Monte Carlo and Founder, Rock.It

The Oswal brand has an in­stant re­call value in the ap­parel in­dus­try, cour­tesy of the fact that it has been around for sev­eral gen­er­a­tions. Now a third-gen­er­a­tion mem­ber of the Oswal fam­ily who has been suc­cess­fully manag­ing Monte Carlo since many years and has led it to be­come a highly renowned and es­tab­lished brand, Rishabh Oswal has made some new changes, giv­ing the brand a new-age fill-up. The suc­cess story of the Oswal brand is be­ing spear­headed by Rishabh, who has in­no­vated and also launched his own sports­wear line called ‘Rock.It’. A new ven­ture in the In­dian ath­leisure fash­ion mar­ket, Rishabh is all set to make Rock.It a game changer in the ap­parel sec­tor.

Rishabh is the Di­rec­tor of Cot­ton County Re­tail Ltd and Oswal Woollen Mills Ltd, the par­ent com­pany of the group and a top pro­ducer of woollen and acrylic yarns in In­dia. In­no­va­tion and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion are Rishabh’s fo­cus ar­eas that has helped Monte Carlo ce­ment its rep­u­ta­tion in the ap­parel in­dus­try. Among one of the few fash­ion wear brands listed on the Bom­bay Stock Ex­change and the Na­tional Stock Ex­change, this com­pany is mak­ing waves, thanks to its many in­no­va­tions. Rishabh opines that peo­ple should look fash­ion­able at all times, in­clud­ing when they are work­ing out. This is why the Rock.It range ad­dresses the dual needs of sports­wear and fash­ion wear. What had been a dream has come to fruition with the launch of his ath­leisure brand and nat­u­rally, he is ex­cited to see how the brand pans out in the fu­ture. He tells us more in this ex­clu­sive con­ver­sa­tion.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR EARLY DAYS AND ED­U­CA­TION.

After com­plet­ing my BA (Hons) in Man­age­ment Stud­ies from the Uni­ver­sity of Not­ting­ham in the UK in the year of 2013, I pur­sued an Ex­ec­u­tive MBA from the pres­ti­gious In­dian School of Busi­ness, Hyderabad.

BE­ING FROM A FAM­ILY OF EN­TREPRENEURS, WAS THE AP­PAREL IN­DUS­TRY AL­WAYS YOUR CALL­ING?

Ap­parel came late in the pic­ture, but busi­ness was un­doubt­edly my first call­ing. My en­trepreneurial in­stincts were strong from my col­lege days, which led to my cam­pus ven­ture that was started in 2012 (a frozen yo­gurt and gelato com­pany) and has five out­lets in Pun­jab to­day. After fin­ish­ing my stud­ies and manag­ing my frozen yo­gurt com­pany, join­ing the fam­ily busi­ness was a dream come true to me and the po­si­tion I was of­fered de­manded hard work. Then, my young mind was not afraid to do what it takes to be suc­cess­ful and to­day, I am han­dling sev­eral com­pa­nies through my chair.

IN­NO­VA­TION AND CUS­TOMER SAT­IS­FAC­TION ARE RISHABH’S FO­CUS AR­EAS THAT HAS HELPED MONTE CARLO CE­MENT ITS REP­U­TA­TION IN THE AP­PAREL IN­DUS­TRY.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOUR­NEY TO­DAY WITH SOME KEY HIGH­LIGHTS.

Monte Carlo is a pre­mium qual­ity fash­ion ap­parel brand and it is a legacy passed on to me. I am a third-gen­er­a­tion mem­ber of the fam­ily and have helped re­ju­ve­nate the brand’s po­si­tion. My jour­ney started as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Monte Carlo and to­day, I have launched my own fit­ness cloth­ing line, Rock.It. The jour­ney was not smooth, but I tack­led ev­ery dif­fi­culty us­ing creativ­ity. I can humbly say that my proac­tive­ness has in­jected the com­pany with the power to over­come any is­sues.

WHAT ARE THE KINDS OF IN­NO­VA­TIONS YOU BROUGHT INTO THE COM­PANY AFTER YOU JOINED?

Monte Carlo is an es­tab­lished brand and our prod­ucts keep trend­ing among fash­ion lovers. How­ever, with rapidly chang­ing con­sumerism, the brand needed a unique and youth­ful po­si­tion­ing in the mar­ket. With a re­vamped logo and new cloth­ing lines, I have given a new look to Monte Carlo.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR DENIM LINE. ALSO TELL US ABOUT YOUR SPORTS­WEAR/ATH­LEISURE BRAND, ROCK.IT.

The Monte Carlo denim line is es­pe­cially crafted to give you a fash­ion­ably com­fort­able ex­pe­ri­ence. Pre­mium qual­ity fab­ric, ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy and the new­est cuts and pat­terns for both men and women make the Monte Carlo denim line pop­u­lar among all age groups.

Rock.It ap­parel is de­signed keep­ing the re­quire­ments of sports­wear and fash­ion wear in mind. A lot of at­ten­tion is given to fash­ion trends, colour scheme, de­sign and the right qual­ity of fab­rics so as to suit the needs of ath­letes and peo­ple ac­tive in sports. The fab­rics used are of the high­est qual­ity, which make the clothes sweat-friendly, com­fort­able, airy, stylish, and easy to carry off at all times. Rock.It ap­parel is made of 100 per cent polyester, terry and fleece fab­rics, es­pe­cially im­ported from Korea, Tai­wan and other Asian coun­tries. The gar­ments are sweat ab­sorbent, su­per-flex­i­ble, breath­able, anti-static, anti-mi­cro­bial and ab­so­lutely easy to dry. In­spired from the most trend­ing cou­ture de­signs across

the world, the cloth­ing range is elite, unique and gives a stylish edge to one’s look. A lim­ited num­ber of 300 pieces of a de­sign makes each piece from the line ex­clu­sive and sim­ply worth the in­vest­ment.

WHAT ARE THE NEW-AGE TRENDS IN THE AP­PAREL SEC­TOR?

Geo­met­ric neck­lines, dif­fer­ent prints and quirky cuts on sleeves are trend­ing. Breezy white dresses, strappy san­dals, silky midi skirts, smocked tops, checked pants and asym­met­ric neck­lines are in fash­ion. Polka dots and feath­ers are mak­ing a come­back. Lilac is the new mil­len­nial pink for this sea­son and red and pink is the com­bi­na­tion to fol­low. The vin­tage puff shoul­der has made a come­back this sea­son. An­kle-length boots, white tank, metal­lic, rain­bow prints are all op­tions for women to fol­low this sea­son. For men, coats, jack­ets, sweat­shirts and quirky T-shirts, and jeans and trousers in light fab­rics are in fash­ion. Wingtip boots, suede sneak­ers, and glasses can be used to ac­ces­sorise the look.

WHAT ARE SOME CHAL­LENGES YOU SEE IN THE AP­PAREL SEC­TOR?

A skilled work­force has al­ways been the big­gest chal­lenge in the ap­parel sec­tor. De­spite the abun­dance of hu­man re­sources, lack of skilled work­ers in­flu­ences the pro­duc­tiv­ity ad­versely. Lack of fi­bre neu­tral­ity, lim­ited FTAs, duty draw­back rates, lower ef­fi­ciency, high costs of cap­i­tal, in­fras­truc­ture, a buyer-driven com­mod­ity chain are hold­ing back the In­dian ap­parel in­dus­try till date. With the ex­pan­sion of a more or­gan­ised in­dus­try, In­dia can se­cure a sig­nif­i­cant po­si­tion on the ap­parel at­las.

HOW HAS GST IM­PACTED BUSI­NESS? ALSO HOW ARE THE GOV­ERN­MENT POLI­CIES TO­WARDS THE TEX­TILE IN­DUS­TRY AF­FECT­ING BUSI­NESS?

The dust of the GST storm has set­tled, and the ease of do­ing busi­ness seems to be turn­ing into a re­al­ity soon. E-way bills and the GSTN por­tal have made lo­gis­tics much eas­ier, and this will pos­i­tively boost the busi­ness.

WHAT ARE YOUR FU­TURE PLANS FOR YOUR BRAND?

I will strengthen the brand value fur­ther, make our re­tail pres­ence even stronger pan In­dia and add more va­ri­ety to our ap­parel range.

TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME.

Horse rid­ing, trekking, and ad­ven­ture sports keep me busy dur­ing my free time. I spend my Sun­days with my nieces and neph­ews in the house or with my friends. I love play­ing video games too.

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