Point of view

Retail fashion

Several international chains have entered Indian market in the past few years, and some of them believe in creating tailor-made products for this market to attract consumers.

But Janne Einola, country manager for H&M Hennes & Mauritz Retail, India, feels Indian consumers appreciate global fashion trends and they have no plans to introduce local elements. “Young population in India goes for global fashion. They are looking for something new and fresh,” Einola tells Metrolife.

 A Finnish, Einola moved to India in August, 2015 to start Indian operations. The diversity and vibrancy of Indian culture has charmed him, and he too has taken a liking to India’s culinary treasures. “I come from Finland… a small country, with less population. But here, having so many warm people around you is fantastic,” he says.

“When I say that I love this country, it is not because I live and work here, but because you have everything… from mountains to beaches and different seasons. I have been travelling extensively and taking vacations. But the biggest discovery for me has been food. I simply love biryani,” he adds.

On the professional front, Einola is having an equally fruitful time. The Swedish international retailer opened its first store in India in October and in April they launched their fifth and the biggest Indian store in Noida. The company, according to Einola, sees a lot of potential in Indian market and hence wouldn't be restricting its expansion to tier-I cities.

“We are opening a store in Mohali this spring and after that two stores in Mumbai,”
he says.

H&M was the first fashion company to launch a global garment collection initiative where people could hand in clothes they no longer wanted. They have a recycle wing and the firm strongly believes 95 percent of the clothes could be recycled. Einola feels the strength of the brand lies in its commitment towards sustainable fashion and that is
what Indian consumer is looking for.

“Sustainability is a natural part of our business.  Whatever we are doing, we follow clear sustainability practices. Starting from the raw material till the time we produce material.

Customers can use them and bring them back to us for recycling. This way we feel and take responsibility which comes with the brand,” he says.

“Fashion, quality and best price in a sustainable way is what Indian customers are looking for,” he adds.

Einola isn't worried about stiff competition because he feels that ‘we ourselves are our biggest competitors’. “We don’t look at what competitors are doing. We look both at the global and local players to understand the market. We are learning every day, he says.

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