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Interview with Akash Sehgal

Akash Sehgal
Akash Sehgal
Senior Vice President, Footwear / Travel & Accessories
Lifestyle International Pvt Limited
Lifestyle International Pvt Limited

Focus on online sales will be a bigger initiative for most players

Part of retail and hospitality conglomerate Landmark Group in Dubai, Bengaluru-based Lifestyle International Pvt Limited is a fashion destination offering products in multiple categories, including apparel for men, women and kids, footwear, handbags, fashion accessories and beauty, under a single roof. It offers leading national and international brands along with an omni-channel experience. Akash Sehgal, Lifestyle’s senior vice president for footwear and travel & accessories, speaks to Fibre2Fashion about the problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In which specific areas are you facing major issues?

We are facing problems in cash flow as all the stores and warehouses are shut.

What steps are you taking or have taken to face the challenge cited above?

Our steps include deferring future orders and reducing open-to-buy (OTB) plans to avoid excess stock, and deferring store refurbishments and new openings.

How critical would be the anticipated loss or reduction of trained manpower on fronts like manufacturing, warehousing, supply chain, etc. for your business? Will such functions be handled in house or outsourced?

It is outsourced in the present scenario.

Have you quantified your projected losses basis anticipated work loss etc?

Yes, each week of store/mall closure is 1.93 per cent of annual business loss.

Are there any thoughts within individual members or trade associations to come together and work cohesively so that losses can be minimised?

We are closely working with our business partners to jointly overcome the current crisis and ensure mutual sustainability.

By when are you expecting the beginning of the revival process to commence?

The revival process, if the virus is contained soon, will commence partially by mid-May and by 90-100 per cent by the third quarter of 2020.

Is your business entity expecting any specific measure from the government or its nodal departments?

We expect reduction of import duties for footwear components and rationalisation and simplification of the goods and services tax for components and footwear in line with apparel.

There is a lot of talk about rewiring businesses to arrive at the new normal. Are you thinking about this at the company level or collectively as an industry?

Focus on and strengthening online sales will be a bigger initiative for most of the players in the industry.
Published on: 24/04/2020

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.

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