Retail Reimagined
Yours, Digitally!
| Episode
27 Mins

How "Desi" Brands are Changing the US Market


Learn how technology and customer-centricity can play a crucial role in creating retention and loyalty for any retail brand in this episode of Retail Reimagined with Aparna Thyagarajan, Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer, Shobitam as she talks in detail about the AI/ML, Customization & Personalization trends that will boost retail industry in coming years. This 30-minute conversation is nothing but the epitome of finding the "gap" in the market & building a successful D2C brand from scratch.


00:00-1:38 - Introduction
1:38 - 3:32 - How technology drove the beginning of the Brand "Shobitam"
3:32 - 6:13 - Aparna's Journey of Passion For Fashion - From IT to Entrepreneurship
6:13 - 8:38 - What made Aparna realize there's a Market Potential for Indian Ethnic Wear outside India
8:38 - 10:29 - How Shobitam is democratizing Indian Sarees across the Globe with Personalization
10:29 - 16:23 - How the brand is winning Customer Experience with Non-Localization & Custom Shopping Options
16:23 - 22:58 - Major factors to achieve 39% Customer Retention: Lessons From Shobitam's Technology, Community & Loyalty Program
22:59 - 27:45 - The Roadmap for Going Omnichannel for Digital First Brands: 2 Trends to Keep in Mind


Aparna Thyagarajan

Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, Shobitam

Aparna Thyagarajan is the Co-founder & Chief Product Officer at Shobitam, one of the fastest growing D2C ethnic fashion brands, with a big bold vision to "Democratize Ethnicity Globally" and a mission-led approach to make people "Look Good, Do Good & Feel Good" Prior to founding Shobitam, she enjoyed a 7+ years career at Microsoft in both Seattle and Silicon Valley, where she developed a good understanding of E-commerce, Global Brand Building, Digital Marketing with Technology and Social Media Solutions. Building Shobitam has been a wonderful learning experience in itself, for it has taught her the importance of customer obsession, staying grounded in one’s roots, and giving back to the community.


Jitendranath Patri

Consulting Partner

Jitendranath Patri is a seasoned business professional with over 25 years of experience in the retail industry. He has deep knowledge in retail management, marketing, CRM, and customer loyalty. He works with Xeno as a consulting partner, driving innovation in CRM and loyalty strategies for retailers. Jitendranath also hosts a podcast called Retail Reimagined where he engages experienced retail professionals in insightful discussions.

[00:00:00] Jiten: Welcome to Retail Reimagined and I'm your host, Jitendranath Patri, principal consultant at Xeno. This podcast brings you insightful conversations with CXOs as we embark on an exhilarating exploration of the retail industry.

[00:00:14] Join us as we uncover strategic insights and innovative ideas that are reshaping the way CXOs navigate the evolving retail landscape from traditional stores to digital platforms, and from emerging trends to cutting edge technologies, we dive deep into realm of strategy, customer experience, and visionary leadership.

[00:00:35] Get ready for thought-provoking discussion after everything, stories and actionable takeaways that expower CXOs to reimagine the future of retail. So once again, welcome to Retail Reimagined, where the Future of Retail begins.


[00:00:49] Hi folks, this is Jitendranath Patri and you're listening to episode eleven of Retail Reimagined. In today's episode, we have a very special guest who's revolutionizing the Indian ethnic fashion industry. She's the co-founder of Shobitam a D2C brand that is making Indian ethnic fashion affordable, elegant, and available globally.

[00:01:09] Join me in welcoming Aparna Thyagarajan to the show. 

[00:01:13] Aparna, it's a pleasure to have you with us today. I'm sure along with the audiences, more than them, I think I'm really excited to learn more about your journey in how you're transforming the Indian ethnic fashion industry. Right. And over the next 34, 40 minutes, I think I'm, I'm trying to get you, I will try and get you to, unravel the entire mystery.

[00:01:31] And I'm sure the audience is gonna love it. Yeah. So welcome on board. 

[00:01:35] Aparna: Thank you so much, Jitendra. It's the, it's a pleasure to be here. 

[00:01:39] Jiten: So, let me start off, and I was going through your LinkedIn profile, right? And, I saw, and I was very surprised cause microsoft, US, lucrative IT career and leaving all of this to come and start Shobitam, right? There must have been something that triggered this whole leap of faith. 

[00:01:58] Aparna: Yeah. So Shobitam was started on March 8th, which is actually International Women's Day, for you. So just the launch date tells you something, right? 

[00:02:11] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:02:11] Aparna: So there were three things that really led to it. One was our passion for fashion.

[00:02:18] So since a very young age, I would do a lot of those DIY projects, make my own clothes, do a lot of artisan work, interact with artists. So I think that was, the passion part of it. The second thing is, you're right, I was working for Microsoft. I had a corporate payroll. But working with artists, artists simply hand to arts and craft space, which is actually the second largest industry in India after agriculture.

[00:02:44] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:02:44] Aparna: Right? So most people here in the sector startled around the poverty line. Right? 

[00:02:48] Jiten: Right. 

[00:02:48] Aparna: So when they make something, when they weave a saree it takes a week or two weeks to weave a saree on an average, and there's a whole bunch of other people. So it's an ecosystem of people who are actually working behind to produce one saree.

[00:03:05] And interestingly these people cannot afford their own art, but when other people appreciate them, they feel so happy. So I thought that feeling was always very, very gratifying to get these, to source these products from them. And the inner calling was, I can be this drop in the ocean and Microsoft or do something for the community, for the handloom arts and crafts space.

[00:03:28] So I think that's what really triggered us. 

[00:03:31] Jiten: Interesting. 

[00:03:31] Aparna: Yeah, to build Shobitam. 

[00:03:33] Jiten: So was this that drove your motivation? 

[00:03:36] Aparna: Yes. So it was a coming together of a lot of things, right?

[00:03:39] Yes, technology was my forte, but fashion was a thing we would really excel at what we did. Right. And it so happened that we had a casual family conversation and our mom was there, my sister was there, and I was there and we were like, Hey, you know there's only so much we can hold for ourselves, right?

[00:03:57] How much do we actually keep to our ownselves? So we said, hey, why not try this as a business model? See how it goes. And nobody in our family actually came with a business background, right? So it was something very new, very exciting. And they said, Hey, let's start this on a marketplace platform.

[00:04:14] See how it goes and don't work out, you know, there's not much to lose. And so we started Shobitam. We had a very modest offering of about 50 products initially. And within three days of launching our store, we received our first order. 

[00:04:29] Jiten: Wow. 

[00:04:30] Aparna: Right. Yeah. And so I think that kept us going and really the intent was because we came from a tech background, we wanted to disrupt this particular space. 

[00:04:40] So age old systems still in use, looms that were maybe decades old, sometimes even as old as 80, 90 years old, right? And, no technology, no real use of efficiency in the backend process. So what we did, what we wanted to do really was to disrupt this particular space, having this technology background.

[00:05:01] So basically bringing the best of both, right? Technology and the hand of the rich heritage that we have in terms of handlooms in terms of hearts and textile heritage. 

[00:05:13] Jiten: Right? And then what do you do to, what are your thought process to actually bring out the disruption? What kind of technologies do you think about? How did you actually go about implementing all of that?

[00:05:23] Aparna: Good question. 

[00:05:24] So the space, that's one where, which is like heavily are too many middle people involved, right? Too many people involved. And with that, what really happens is the weavers don't really get much. Right. So the way we are actually disrupting with technology is we are completely vertically integrated, so there are no middle people involved.

[00:05:46] And when that happens, it's a win-win for not just our weavers, but for our customers as well, because one, we have complete control on the designs. Second, we have built this mode, this rich supplier mode where we know that we have complete control. And third, Prices because there are no middle people involved. We offer the best prices to the customers. So with our model, with the Shobitam, with the model, everybody's a winner. 

[00:06:14] Jiten: So in, in doing this right, you said, okay, one is the technology bit disruption, the obviously working with the handlooms, the, the artisans directly. Right. And in doing so, you are, you're trying to kind of democratize Indian ethnic fashion and not just, available to India, but also across the world. Right. So did you see a gap that you were trying to fill? 

[00:06:37] Aparna: Yes. 

[00:06:37] Jiten: Was there a gap that you kind of noticed and then said, Hey, no, we need try and fill this? 

[00:06:42] Aparna: Yes. So the global Indian diaspora is very huge. Right? 

[00:06:47] Jiten: Right. 

[00:06:47] Aparna: 18 million people. Right. So there is a very, very huge, TAM to address. And coming from my own experience, so I grew up in India. I brought, married, moved to the United States. 

[00:06:59] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:06:59] Aparna: And what happened there was, once you move out of your country, you have the strong sense of being connected to your roots. Right? So there are many ways to do it, but the most popular ways are food, cricket, Bollywood, and of course clothing.

[00:07:13] Right? Clothing. Big part of a cultural identity. So, and for us women especially. I think, that need for wearing Indian clothes, it gives a sense of pride. It gives us a sense of joy. And when I moved to the US I realized that Indian clothing, especially unique, differentiated high quality clothing was not as accessible, right?

[00:07:36] So this is the gap that we were truly trying to address and, yes, and how we did that is, one, our designs. Our designs are very, very unique, very, very differentiated. So what you get from Shobitam is not something that you would easily find anywhere else, right? So we have complete control over the quality over the designs.

[00:07:54] Second, authenticity of the products, right? A lot of people sell silks sarees, but they're not real silks, right? So what we offer is silk mark certified quality. So we have a very, very high quality bar. Third, we provide the complete end-to-end solution, right? So think of it this way. So you have someone who's actually in India, right?

[00:08:17] So it's very easy for them to get their blouse tailored, or get their saree, the fall s and the edging, the trails done. But think of someone in the US, you have nobody to get that done. So what we offer through Shobitam is exactly that. We offer the complete end-to-end solution. And essentially those are the big areas that I saw as gaps and which we've addressed.

[00:08:38] Okay. 

[00:08:39] Jiten: A gap of what we call personalization. 

[00:08:42] Aparna: Correct? Correct. A lot of it is personalization. So the global woman is very different from her Indian counterpart. The reason is for people in India, they get a lot more opportunities, right, to wear ethnic clothes. So they probably don't, or take it so, so seriously.

[00:09:01] But when it comes to the global human, it's a big joyous occasion. Wearing Indian clothing is, especially for, like a big event, right? There's a lot of, it's a big gathering when a lot of people come together and you wanna showcase your best selves. And when that is the case, they want something that is very stand, that's a standout product, not something that's available elsewhere.

[00:09:22] Right? And personalization. So customized products is part of it, and a lot of personalization. And one example of personalization is the blouse offering that we have. So a saree obviously is incomplete without the blouse, right? But getting a blouse stitched to a perfectly sized measured blouse is not so easy, right?

[00:09:43] So even in India it's not so easy. You can get it tailored, but you always hear of women going back for alterations and all that. So what we offer is a very, very personalized solution where customers get exactly the saree that they want with the kind of customizations they want. The blouses they want, what measurements they want. We have a proprietary award-winning solution 

[00:10:06] Jiten: mm-hmm. 

[00:10:07] Aparna: For patent. And then the designs are also something very unique and differentiated. So it's not just a standard round neck, front, round, neck back. You can actually choose whatever patterns that you want. So yes, you're right. Personalization is a growing trend.

[00:10:22] Jiten: Super. And you, you rightly pointed out, Indian fashion is steeped in heritage, legacy, tradition. Yeah. 

[00:10:29] Aparna: Mm-hmm. 

[00:10:29] Jiten: And here you come and you're trying to promote a new trend in India and across, across the seas. Right. Did customers accept it quickly or was there some kind of hesitation? There was this little, oh, did somebody say, Hey, this is brilliant, man. This is what we were looking for. 

[00:10:48] Aparna: Good question. So interestingly, our very, very first order was from France, and it was not from an Indian. It was not from an Indian. So what we realized is that there is strong acceptance of Indian ethnic products across the world.

[00:11:05] Especially the, saree, the, saree is such a universal garment, right? There is no size to it. Its passed on from one generation to the other. So it's very, very universal that way. There's also another trend, a global trend that people are going back to their roots. Right, whether it's Ayurveda or even finding your own family history, your ancestry.

[00:11:28] So I think people, there is a strong need among people where they wanna be connected to their roots. They really wanna go back to their heritage to find out, where they came from. So that way I think the, is gaining a lot of popularity, 

[00:11:41] Jiten: Right. And today, of course, you, you are four or five years old, the brand is four or five years old. How many. If I may ask, what's the kind of percentage that you have customers say India and outside of India? 

[00:11:53] Aparna: Okay, so we are very, very different that way. Most D2Companies, Indian companies, you would see they start off in India and then think of expanding, globally, right?

[00:12:04] We are very different that way. So we are headquartered in the US. We started off in the US. We have a very, very strong foothold outside in the US. We've shipped to 41 countries and accounting, we've deliberately not entered India yet. 

[00:12:20] Jiten: Okay. Interesting. 

[00:12:21] Aparna: Yeah. Deliberately not entered India yet because we are on the premium segment.

[00:12:26] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:12:27] Aparna: But one of the big plans is to do so this year, now that we have a big brand ambassador, Vidya Balan, I'm not sure if you heard of her. 

[00:12:34] Jiten: No, I'm not. Interestingly, 

[00:12:37] Aparna: Yeah, so Vidya Balan, so there's been a lot of shared synergies between us, right? She loves handlooms, she loves sarees. She works for the cause of women, she works for the cause of handlooms.

[00:12:48] So we thought she would be the perfect brand ambassador for us. So with having her on board, we launched this just a couple weeks ago. The plan is to open up india. 

[00:12:58] Jiten: Lovely, and congratulations on getting Vidya Balan on board, and I'm sure it should chart a new story in a, success story for you in the Indian market.

[00:13:07] Right. Which comes to my next question, right? 

[00:13:09] Aparna: Uhhuh.

[00:13:09] Jiten: In India, saree, especially 

[00:13:13] Aparna: Yes. 

[00:13:13] Jiten: Are sold in those large stores. 

[00:13:15] Aparna: Correct. 

[00:13:16] Jiten: At the moment you walk those stores, you see hundreds of salespeople, of course, hundreds is an exaggeration, but you see tons of salespeople and for, for you to buy one Saree, you have 50, 60 options, right?

[00:13:31] How you, how will you change this trend? How are you gonna, address this kind of, challenge, if I may say so? 

[00:13:36] Aparna: Yeah. That's where the technology disruption comes in. So every continent that's being perennially inhabited by humans, Shobitam with them, has delivered products there. Right. So we've shipped to all the major continents.

[00:13:50] We've shipped to 41 plus countries that are counting. And our, target audience is not just Indians, Indians, but it's also people around the Indian sub subcontinent and the growing number of the non-desi population, who are slowly learning about Indian culture or getting married to someone, within an Indian family.

[00:14:09] Right? So, we would not have done that had we been a brick and mortar store. 

[00:14:14] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:14:15] Aparna: Right. So by being localized, we would not have had the kinda reach that we have today. Right. So, 95% of our customers are global. We've shipped to tens of thousands of customers and 95%. So that's a big number. Right.

[00:14:29] But yes, you are right. There are challenges. A lot of people do prefer touch and feel. Right. They want to see what a silk is like, is it really silk? 

[00:14:39] Jiten: Correct. 

[00:14:40] Aparna: Right. A lot of people may not be tech savvy and there are ways where we've been working around it. So one thing that we do is make sure that our pictures are as close to the real thing as possible.

[00:14:53] Right. We offer video shopping, so, customers can reach out to us if they have a video request. They want to see the saree make, see a video of the sari before they make a purchase. We do that, right? We also have live shows where we see this. We showcase all our major products so people can see that they get a better perspective over video than still products, right?

[00:15:14] So we do all of that and, we are really, really obsessed on quality. So once a customer has that initial hump and once they get past it, they keep coming back to us. So, yeah, so that's how we've solved for that. 

[00:15:29] Jiten: Interesting, interesting. I mean, course one has obviously been to one of those large sturdy shops that are there in the market right to, along with the family and have seen that experience the way the entire thing is done.

[00:15:40] Right. So, I don't know, I'm, I'm trying to visualize, but I'm sure, once you launch it in India, I guess the whole mystery will unravel the whole thing of the entire choice. This, that a customer has got to pick from, from the colors and the shades and, all of that. Right. 

[00:15:57] Aparna: And, we make it very easy for the customers.

[00:15:59] So the entire customer journey is very easy. So even for people who are not very tech savvy, we make sure that the UX is very, very easy for them to navigate and find what they want. Color, you're right, so we have filters for color. You can, they can choose, they can target a particular price range.

[00:16:15] They can shop for a particular category. So we have all those filters in place so we make sure the customer journey is very, very easy. 

[00:16:24] Jiten: Super. And in all of this, I'm sure acquisition, I don't know how much, customer acquisition obviously is a great, is one key area for you to work on.

[00:16:33] But more than that, I think the customer understanding and retention. Right. Which is very key to any retail business. Right. Any challenges that you faced in that or that you, that you're addressing? Or is retention very easy for you? 

[00:16:47] Aparna: Yeah, so, you're right. Customer acquisition is easier than customer retention, right?

[00:16:53] So the tension is the bigger part, right? And, the way we win customers is by obsessing over there. So customers, customer obsession is key to what we do, right? And that's very, very evident. So if you go to our website, we'll, we'll see that we have more than 7,000 plus five star reviews. So when a customer has a very easy, a very satisfactory, a pleasurable experience with Shobitam, with and very, very fast, literally, we know that they're gonna come back for more, right?

[00:17:24] And I think, it's no surprise that, we have a very high repeat rate. So our a repeat, our customer repeat rate is currently 39%, which is interesting, a very, very high in the industry and also the return. Fashion industry, the return is like 10% to 12%. What we have at Shobitam is less than 2%. So I think so few things, right?

[00:17:48] One, they are very, very obsessed on quality. We make sure that the right thing is shipped. We make the customer journey very easy, and even if there are issues, we make sure that they're resolved, right? So they, nobody's left unsatisfied. So when you keep customer at the center, I think naturally things fall in place.

[00:18:05] Jiten: Absolutely. Absolutely. No customer absolutely has to be at the center. Right. But if you wanna make 39%, 50% Hmm. What, what do you think you would do still have to do to, to get there that might, that number? 

[00:18:18] Aparna: Yeah. So one thing that we continuously do is the voice of the customer feedback.

[00:18:24] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:18:24] Aparna: So every twice a year actually, we, have a survey where we listen to our customers and, we listen to them, right? So two years back they told us they're looking for categories for their kids. And then initially we were just sarees. We launched kids wear. Then they said, hey, they want it to be a one stop shopping place, right?

[00:18:45] So we launched jewelry, we launched accessories, we launched handbags, we launched footwear. So when you go to Shobitam, they get this entire look in one place. Another thing we did, they said, Hey, I have everything for myself, but I need something for my spouse. And then we launched menswear.

[00:19:00] Ethnic Menswear. So we are evolving and the way to do this is working very closely with our customers. And another thing, if you go to our Facebook page, you'll see that we have a very strong community built. 

[00:19:12] Jiten: Mm-hmm. 

[00:19:12] Aparna: So really it's a lot of engagement. Right. A lot of engagement, a lot of listening to them and responding to them.

[00:19:20] Jiten: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's what's key. Right. And is there any technology at play to do this? Or is it just use of so what's the, what kind of technology are you using because you, you seem to be every, every piece of the business seems to be connected, with, with technology, correct?

[00:19:35] Aparna: Correct. So we have a very rich technology stack, right? So having a tech background, that had to be it, right? That was a key differentiator. So, there are two things. One, the backend side. Now we connect, weavers and artisans from the length and breadth of India. So more than 500 weavers. And if you go to a website, you'll see we have more than 2000 products.

[00:19:59] And many of those products are one of a kind. So if products get sold out that day, they have to be replenished with new products the same day, right? So to keep that, so we have a very, very big churn and such a big churn is possible only through the use of technology, right? So you're right. We do leverage technology on the backend side, both using our own proprietary solutions.

[00:20:24] As well as off the shelf once, and on the front end side, the UX we think is very, very important to us. So that's a key area where we've invested. And of course, as we go along, AI, ML, that's the way to go. Right, right. Both in terms of content, in terms of recommendations. We see as that, as the path to go.

[00:20:45] Yeah. 

[00:20:45] Jiten: And I'll come to the AI, ML part of it in a, in a second. But do you think, for a category like category like yours and with a repeat of 39%, introducing some kind of a rewards program or a loyalty program would drive that even further? 

[00:21:00] Aparna: Yes. So, we do have a referral program where, refer a friend. Both people, both parties are, are incentivized. Rewards program that's been, one of the things that we had in our mind. But the thing about, Shobitam as compared to most D2C brands in India is most people you'll see a huge markup and then there is heavy discounting.

[00:21:22] Shobitam is very, very different that way. The most discount that we ever offer is 5%. Right. So the, even if, we do a sale, for example, we have a Mother's Day sale going on. We have a 10% off the second product, which means it's less than a 5%. So we wanna make sure that we are offering the best rates and not compromising.

[00:21:43] So for us, quality is more important and I think a lot of people are actually used to our model and they respect that. 

[00:21:50] Jiten: Right. So you, you, you're, you kind of getting the product and your, the technology experience to kind of work in your favor to drive that, to drive that stickiness, with the customer.

[00:22:00] Aparna: Correct. Correct. And one example of where we drive stickiness is the blouse solution, right? Yeah. It's patent pending and we just won an award for that. So if you think women are complex, getting the right blouse with the right measurements is even more complex, right? And that's where we made a difference by having a unique blouse stitching option.

[00:22:22] So once women store, so we have a very easy way where women can upload their measurements to get the perfectly stitched blouse, and it's very, very sticky because once they do it, they don't have to do it again and again. Right? So the second time they buy a, saree, the third, and they buy a, saree.

[00:22:39] All they have to do is. We just use whatever they had on file, right? So, that's an example of driving stickiness and that's worked very well for us. Yeah. 

[00:22:47] Jiten: So I think the whole concept of personalization, working at scale with a very complex category like this, right? Yeah. Very intimate category. If I could, if I could add that word. Yeah. 

[00:22:58] Aparna: Mm-hmm. 

[00:22:59] Jiten: Yeah. And, you're in the D2C business, right? Do you, do you see, setting up of Shobitam experience centers? In the near future as retail goes omnichannel? 

[00:23:09] Aparna: Yeah. Although we are digital first, I strongly believe in an omnichannel model, but, it has to be very unique and differentiated. It cannot be just another retail store, so it has to be again, use technology and integrate the online and offline model in one. So we offer the best of both worlds to our customers. 

[00:23:32] Jiten: And yeah, so now comes back to the AI ML part, right? 

[00:23:36] Aparna: Mm-hmm. 

[00:23:38] Jiten: Now one is of course, if you do go ahead with the omnichannel experience, what is it?

[00:23:45] How would you use technology there? Right? And the second part is from a digital perspective to would you, would you actually create a virtual store that consumers, that customer can actually access and then have a walkthrough?

[00:24:01] Aparna: Right, exactly. Exactly. So have your own closet, a virtual closet, see how a particular product looks on you.

[00:24:08] Jiten: Absolutely. 

[00:24:08] Aparna: Yeah. So, we are going in the direction. So we recently acquired this company House Blouse. And one of the things, that, is what they have is this proprietary solution of building your own blouse so you can create your virtual blouse. You can choose what, for example, you can say, I want a collared blouse, I want threefold sleeves.

[00:24:30] And you can even choose the fabrics and decide where they go. So you can place them. Look how it, you can see how it actually looks, how the final product looks. So obviously our, our roadmap is along that direction. Right. And it's all about digital transformation, right? So using AI and ML as much as possible, give our users, because ultimately I think what our customers wanna know when they're spending so much is how is this gonna look at me. 

[00:24:54] Jiten: True.

[00:24:54] Aparna: Right? So to give them that experience. Yes, you're right. 

[00:24:58] Jiten: Absolutely. And I'm looking forward to a Shobitam experience center coming up hopefully soon, in India and, and Bangalore specifically, right. 

[00:25:06] Aparna: Yes. That's what we have in mind. That's the way, best way we thought we could leverage online and offline.

[00:25:11] Jiten: Right. So again, and, and as CXO it's operating the D2C space and, and a digital first brand. What is it that you'd like to tell other CXOs about what should come in the future? Right? What trends should they be aware of? How can they stay ahead of competition? 

[00:25:27] Aparna: Yes. I think digital transformation, right? There's a huge digital transformation that's happening in the retail industry, and I think digital is the way to go, right? There is a huge opportunity here. And second, what we discussed a lot of it. A lot of the differentiation also happens through personalization and customization, right?

[00:25:49] And I think those are two big things. But how to do it at scale, right? It's very easy to do it at a very small scale. But how do you actually leverage technology to, for customization and personalization at scale is really key. So I think, those are the areas to watch for.

[00:26:08] Jiten: Right. Interesting. And then, and then obviously, the AI ML bit, that is obviously gonna play a big, big role in, in the way things are, going to get executed for retail right. 

[00:26:19] Aparna: Yes, you're right. So using cloud, using AI, using ML both on the backend to improve efficiency and in the front end for improving customer experience 

[00:26:30] Jiten: experiences, right? Absolutely. Super. And omnichannel, I know while it is still a buzzword, But how soon do you think omnichannel will really become a reality in its true sense? 

[00:26:41] Aparna: 18 months. 

[00:26:42] Jiten: How many months? 

[00:26:45] Aparna: 18 months. 

[00:26:45] Jiten: 18 months? 

[00:26:47] Aparna: Yes. 

[00:26:47] Jiten: Oh, okay. So look forward, I think, thank you so much for giving us this insights and, and, and walking us through what you've done. Just to so quickly summarize, I think how you used, how you brought a live tradition that's so steeped in heritage and legacy and using technology, right? They started the whole customer experience and the journey bit and how personalization and customization is playing such a important role in retail today.

[00:27:17] Thank you Aparna for taking the time. Absolute pleasure speaking to you. I think it's interesting. I love this story. Yeah. And, and, and I do wish you great success. Hopefully look forward to meeting you soon. 

[00:27:29] Aparna: Thank you, Jitendra. Likewise. It's been a pleasure talking to you and I look forward to meeting you in person.

[00:27:34] Thank, thank, 

[00:27:36] Jiten: bye-Bye. 

Retail Reimagined is a podcast series that features CXOs from the retail industry who are at the forefront of digital transformation and customer-centricity.

Yours, Digitally! is a digital personalisation podcast dedicated to leadership & marketing teams of retail brands who are looking to shift from conventional marketing to digital personalized marketing like Amazon, Spotify & Netflix have already done.




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