Brand Leaders: Harkirat Singh, Managing Director, Woodland

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Hailing from a family of industrialists, Harkirat Singh has earned a name for himself in Woodland with his competency and calculative methods. A bachelor of commerce from Hindu College, Singh pursued Philology from Moscow University, went to Harvard Business School and Stanford University to study Design Innovation.

Career
After completing his education, Singh joined the family business where he was involved in exports to Europe and US.

Singh was appointed the Director of Woodland in 1989, and since then he has made a significant contribution towards the leading brand which is famed as ‘the maker of tough shoes’. He ventured into the unorganised Indian shoe market and introduced the adventure footwear category.

Strengths
Singh’s thorough understanding of the Indian market and its trends has been instrumental in his effort to sustain the volume of business even during recession. His diligent planning and vision has helped Woodland cement its position in the market and stay ahead of all
competition.

On the Future of Retail
One thing that every company should learn in the retail category is to understand their customers. One needs to spend time in understanding the Indian customer. India is not one single market, and in case of shoes and apparels, it differs widely. Nuances in tastes, colors and habits have to be understood over the years. No brand can understand the market and
develop products in a short term; it needs to have patience and perseverance.

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