In its constant attempts to align its students to emerging industries, Jaipuria Noida recently brought in one of the most widely experienced professionals of the Retail industry, Mr. Anurag Sharma, to interact with its students. Mr. Sharma, who is currently Deputy General Manager with Reebok India, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the $4 billion Reebok International – has more than 13 years of experience in the Retail industry. With a series of case studies based on his experiences, Mr. Anurag Sharma elaborated on what innovations mean in the retail industry.
“I’ve been with Reebok for nearly 11 years now, starting out as an Assistant Product Manager for Greg Norman (Golfing Brand), moving onto Product Manager for Rockport, and finally ending up with my current profile. I can assure you that with the kind of competition that we’ve seen in these times, we would not have survived had we not innovated. Even merging into the Adidas Group was a sort of commercial innovation, in keeping with the times.”
A product of National Institute of Fashion Technology, New Delhi, Mr. Sharma emphasised that the current era of uncertainty is basically an opportunity for management graduates, like his audience at Jaipuria Noida, to look deep within themselves and follow their hearts.
“After passing out of NIFT in 1998, I started out with ITC, shifting within a year to Arvind Brands, handling Operations for the denim brand, Lee. Right through school in Lucknow and college as well, I’ve always been an athlete. This is why I was looking out for an opportunity to work with a fitness brand, which happened in 2001 in the form of Reebok.”
Given his fit and toned physique, nobody at Jaipuria Noida was surprised when he told them that he was a regular at the Reebok gym, and has run the Delhi Half Marathon fives times in a row.
“It is nice to see budding young retailers at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Noida, full of enthusiasm and inquisitive about the nuances of retail. With the FDI in single brand retail opening up, new players will very quickly be entering the Indian space. The laws are not very strict or defined in this sector as yet, so you will have to choose your best bet after a lot of study. Stay focused and keep the big picture in mind while you work towards your dream. And please read retail journals regularly; because if you miss, somebody else will hit! You always need to be on your toes to constantly deliver.”
Having travelled extensively across the U.S., Europe and the Far East, Mr. Anurag Sharma brought a much-needed global perspective on the Retail industry to his address to the students of Jaipuria Noida.
“Retail was at a nascent stage in India in the late nineties, but those of us who were well clued in on the Indian and global fronts, knew very well that it had a long positive road ahead. As management students, you should be able to read the opportunities that markets provide you, especially the ones that are yet to boom. ‘Get in early, and grow quickly’ – that should be your mantra.”
The interaction with Mr. Anurag Sharma, DGM, Reebok (India), is part of the sustained industry immersion programme that management students of Jaipuria Noida are exposed to round the year.