Brand Leaders : Himanshu Wardhan, Founder and CEO, Thevasa

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Career history
Before this, I was the Managing Director for Etsy in India for the last 5 years where I was responsible for establishing and growing Etsy’s presence in India. I started my career as an analyst with McKinsey in India and went to the US to earn my MBA from Darden School of Business. After Darden, I rejoined McKinsey as a consultant in the Stamford Office. After McKinsey, I founded a peer-to-peer mentorship ed-tech platform based in California. I returned back to India in late 2015 to lead businesses at the intersection of consumer internet and fashion/craft. In addition to my MBA, I earned my undergraduate degree
in BBS from Delhi University and have a CFA Charter from the International CFA Institute.

Role & responsibilities
I founded Thevasa and am responsible for growing the brand’s online and oȸ ine presence. In a short span of 18 months, we have 10 offline stores across Delhi, Bengaluru, Chandigarh and Gurgaon and we are expanding aggressively, both online (thevasa.in) and offline through our exclusive EBO’s cum experience centres.

Strengths and weaknesses
Strengths:
• Leadership
• Resilience
• Scaling institutions from scratch
Weaknesses:
• Over committed to my work
• Direct with feedback
• Impatient with growth and execution

Aspiration
To make Thevasa the largest brand in the fashion and handicrafts space in India, and take it public in next 5-7 years.

Game-changing retail technologies
• Virtual try-on
• Made to order fashion delivered in 24 hours
• Seamless online and oȸ ine shopping experience

Skills that helped you succeed
• Knack for merchandising
• Building experiences rather than selling a product
• Storytelling
• Picking right retail locations/channels

Lessons learned
There is absolutely no substitute for hard work, dedication and passion. Knowledge and intelligence is overrated and soft skills like empathy, leadership, negotiation, etc are under-rated.

On the future of industry
Retail is moving towards a seamless oȸ ine and online experience, where the customer wants to experience and buy from both channels at different points of time and brands and retailers will have to make sure that customer has the same experience, irrespective of the channel of choice. Traditional retail is on decline and will be dead in a few years, while modern retail experience (even offline) is on rise and retail leaders will have to focus on in-store experience rather than just thinking of store front as a transactional experience.

Role model
Lululemon (brand)

Learning from your career
• Whatever you do, do it with passion. Do something that you love than just to make a living.
• Teamwork is extremely important for individual growth. You grow and people around you grow.
• If you want to grow, take risks in your career. Never get too comfortable in your career.

Life mantra
Don’t become a tech slave. Use it to ease life and stay connected with people. Avoid toxicity on social media platforms, you don’t have to be part of or have an opinion on everything on social media. Use it to stay connected and don’t allow it to get any negativity in your mind in any way

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