April was special for us. It marked the return of India Fashion Forum (IFF) after a two-year hiatus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In its 21st edition, IFF got the who’s who of the industry together to map out the future of fashion business in India which is being shaped and re-shaped as I write this. Disruptions to business have been plentiful. The future is certainly uncertain, and if the past two years have taught us anything, it’s that we must prepare for the worst and even when that does not work out, keep our options open and minds agile.
It is clear that to serve and inspire the new-age shoppers, retailers and brands need to re-think their conventional business models. Convenience is the name of the game, a feat that can be best achieved by getting the technology right. But, in creating a digital space that is more responsive to the consumer’s demands, retailers and brands must not forget that brick & mortar stores will not lose ground. Hence, while the online channels cater to the new-age consumer, the offline channels, too, have to be seamlessly integrated into the very design of a comprehensive business model.
Businesses must be cognizant of the fact that the pandemic has changed the consumption patterns and shopping behaviours. Consumer preferences have been fluctuating over the past two years and this year, demand could again be fuelled from a very different direction. Thus, brands and retailers need to brace themselves and not put all their eggs in one basket. Keeping the portfolio broad and nimble, brands would be able to scale any and all disruptions in the fashion market and simply sail through. As always, I hope you find this issue insightful and beneficial.