New Delhi based Enviably Me India [P] Ltd, handles exclusive India marketing & distribution for Melissa shoes.Ruchi Sally, Managing Director, Enviably Me India leads Melissa India Business and is a renowned leader in the Indian fashion retail industry. She weighs in on her thoughts about brand building in the Indian landscape and the requisites of an effective business leader.

Over the past few years, organized fashion retail has emerged as one of the fastest growing markets globally and in the India market as well. Although the pandemic did negatively impact the industry to some extent yet it has bounced back strongly and is experiencing accelerated growth. According to Technavio Research ReportsIndia’s online fashion retail market is expected to grow by $22.97 billion from 2021 to 2026, at a CAGR of 18.83 percent.

A contributor to these positive numbers is the rise of several new age retail players and entrepreneurs who are redefining the Indian fashion retail sector. Having understood the pulse of the Indian consumer, these entrepreneurs and business leaders are crafting brand strategies that work in today’s digital world. However, it is easier said than done.

Brand Building in the Indian Landscape

In today’s highly competitive business world it is essential for brands to market their products effectively. Given the constantly increasing number of brands, it is key that companies adopt effective marketing strategies to gain an edge over their contemporaries in the industry. “The Indian retail environment is still developing and largely unorganized in India. I follow a conservative approach for a new brand go-to-market strategy and believe in testing the waters as far as the Indian retail environment is concerned,” says Ruchi Sally, Managing Director of New Delhi based company Enviably Me India.

Armed with over 16 years of experience in brand building in the Indian retails sector weights on what works in the industry.“We follow a 360-degree marketing approach across digital and print media. Content marketing is extremely relevant and interesting for our target audience,” explains Ruchi. “Ongoing store activations for collections and design collaborations launch, regular social media engagement, influencer marketing, and digital marketing are some of the other important strategies we follow continuously,” she further adds. 

Since the Indian regulatory environment and consumer preference keeps changing thus Ruchi believes that the approach to be taken for Indian brands differs greatly from international brands. “The brand-building approach for a home-grown brand is very different from the international brand development. Assuming economic factors are favourable, I believe three things are a must for the initial stage of brand building- Unique product, strong content and compelling marketing.” 

The Building Blocks of a Good Leader

A strong business leader is often an amalgamation of a subject matter expert who can also double up as someone who can lead a team effectively. The journey of a business leader is no cake walk and requires sound decision making skills along with exceptional people skills. However, each leader is unique. Speaking about her strengthens as a business leader Ruchi says, “I feel the most important skill that has helped me in leading the business is maintaining the balance of relationships with my people and giving them direction with a task-oriented approach. I believe people and processes are significantly important to work effectively, especially in retail and we improve on them continuously.”

A self-confessed people’s person Ruchi enjoys spending time interacting with her colleagues and believes in have a balanced culture of fun and work and giving mutual respect cutting across profiles. “I do not know any leadership style but for me I lead by simplifying things, connecting with my colleagues, having fun with them, working effectively with no shortcuts and continuously trying to build a culture of responsibility and responsiveness,” she adds.

Ruchi further speaks about a few tenets that she follows as a business leader, “I practice building, simplifying and prioritising the goals even for small projects or processes with implementation plans. Staying connected with people, reinforcing teamwork, practicing mutual respect, empowering & developing my colleagues to take ownership and practicing empathy are other values that are extremely important to me and have become a lifestyle now.”

Multi-faceted Personality

Apart from being a business leader Ruchi is also a committed animal rights activist and member of the Peta India Foundation. She believes in living a cruelty-free lifestyle without depriving herself of the good things. “I love animals and I consciously practice living a cruelty-free lifestyle and for that reason, I started with not having animals on my plate. I am a vegan and trust me it’s the best thing I did in my life. I check the labels of the products before buying and buy things that don't involve animal killings. I think every small step counts and would recommend everyone to live a cruelty-free lifestyle once, it changes you.”

Ruchi also believes in finding the right balance between life and work. “We are living a 5G life and for me, there’s nothing outside work. I enjoy and I work, finding balance this way.I enjoy the ocean a lot and hence water activities like paddling are my favourite.”

She signs off with a few words of wisdom for aspiring business leaders, “Dream big, be who you are and own it. Never forget that here is always a way."