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Fashion Brand Icons: Chenduran Sundararajan, Managing Director, Angel & Rocket

These leaders, the driving forces behind India’s flourishing fashion and lifestyle sector, are not mythical figures but individuals who have honed their skills, overcome challenges and left an indelible mark on the industry. Join us as we unveil the stories of these trailblazers, their journeys from self-growth to guiding others, and the profound impact of their decisions on the pulse of the fashion realm. Welcome to a series that goes beyond the surface, uncovering the narratives of those who have weathered storms and emerged as true icons in the business of fashion.

This week, IMAGES Business of Fashion delves into the extraordinary life and achievements of Chenduran Sundararajan, Managing Director, Angel & Rocket.

Chenduran Sundararajan holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, showcasing expertise in mechanical systems. Complementing this, he earned a Master’s in Business Management, highlighting a commitment to a holistic understanding of engineering and business. This dual background positions him as a versatile professional with both technical and managerial acumen.

Career History and Experience
Sundararajan boasts an impressive career spanning 12 years in the retail industry, where he held a leadership role as the head of the renowned brand Crocodile in India.

Role and Responsibilities
Sundararajan led the entire business unit for Crocodile in India, overseeing P&L responsibilities and managing a team of 550 individuals. Additionally, he played a key role in the global operations of the brand Angel & Rocket, collaborating with UK-based KMPs. His multifaceted leadership demonstrated strategic financial acumen and successful international coordination.


  • Strategic & Analytical:  Sundararajan excels in strategic thinking and analytical decision-making.
  • People Management: Demonstrates strong leadership, successfully overseeing large teams.
  • Learning & Development: Committed to continuous growth, showcasing adaptability.


  • Organization: Acknowledges a need for improvement in organizational skills.
  • Pessimism: Aware of occasional pessimistic tendencies and actively works on fostering a more optimistic outlook.
  • Limited Exposure: Recognizes a need to broaden exposure to other organizations and industries for a more comprehensive professional perspective.

Aspirations in Life
Sundararajan envisions several key aspirations for his professional journey:

  1. Global Recognition for Angel & Rocket: Aiming to establish Angel & Rocket as a globally recognized premium kidswear brand, showcasing a commitment to elevating the brand’s presence on the international stage.
  2. Consistent Growth and Profitability: Aspires to achieve sustained growth and profitability, indicating a focus on long-term success and stability in business operations.
  3. Positive Contribution to Stakeholders: Expresses a commitment to contribute positively to all stakeholders involved, demonstrating a holistic approach to business that considers the welfare and benefit of all parties engaged in the enterprise.

Game-Changing Retail Technologies
Sundararajan highlights these game-changing retail technologies:

  1. AI-Based Customer Analysis: Leveraging artificial intelligence for personalized experiences and data-driven retail strategies.
  2. Omnichannel Retail: Seamless integration of online and offline experiences for a cohesive shopping journey.
  3. Metaverse: Exploring virtual realms for innovative and immersive shopping experiences.

Skills That Helped Him Succeed
Sundararajan’s success in the industry is attributed to:

  1. Tech Adaptability: Demonstrates agility in adapting to evolving technologies.
  2. Learning Drive: Commits to continuous learning, embracing challenges for personal development.
  3. Analytical Prowess: Strong analytical skills for informed and strategic decision-making in the dynamic retail sector.

Lessons Learned Over the Years
Sundararajan emphasizes the importance of balancing delegation and trust while maintaining vigilance in the dynamic retail industry. He underscores the need for caution in managing the interplay between growth, fashion trends, newness, efficient inventory, and working capital management. These lessons highlight the delicate equilibrium required for fostering organic and sustainable growth in the retail business.

Future of the Industry
Sundararajan offers insights into the future of the consumer industry, particularly in the apparel and footwear sector. He anticipates significant growth, attributing it to the ongoing transition from unorganized to organized retail. Furthermore, with the rising disposable incomes among the younger Indian generation, he envisions a prosperous and enduring future for the retail industry, foreseeing decades of sustained growth.

Role Model in the Industry
Sundararajan looks up to Jockey (Page Industries) as a role model in the industry. He admires their remarkable journey in transforming a relatively unknown licensed brand into a near monopoly in the Indian market for over a decade. Their success serves as a valuable lesson in sustainability and long-term brand building, inspiring Chenduran in his professional endeavors.

Learnings From Career
Sundararajan’s career learnings:

  1. Optimism in Challenges: Emphasizes maintaining optimism in brand management, even amidst external challenges like post-COVID-19 scenarios.
  2. Strategic Planning: Advocates for realistic planning, focusing on executable strategies aligned with capabilities.
  3. Patience in Brand Building: Recognizes the crucial role of patience in the gradual and strategic process of brand development for long-term success.

Life Mantra
Sundararajan’s life mantra is succinctly captured in “Live and let live,” embodying a philosophy of respect for individual autonomy and a commitment to harmony and diversity.

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