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Women Leaders in Fashion Retail: Amisha Jain, Senior VP & MD (SAMEA), Levi Strauss

There is no denying that women are breaking the glass ceiling in every field today, the driving forces behind any business they make their own. The Indian fashion retail industry is no exception. India today is emerging as one of the fastest growing fashion markets in the world, where homegrown brands are competing with global brands in terms of quality and customer experience. This market is expected to become more organised and is likely to touch $106 billion by 2026.

In a category which mostly caters to women, women business owners are still in the minority. Hurdles faced by women entrepreneurs are vast and often very different from
those experienced by their male counterparts. Most women always have to wear more than just one hat. But there are many women who wear multiple hats with aplomb, translating their visions of entrepreneurship into reality, leading the way for more women to join the fashion retail industry.

IMAGES Business of Fashion takes a deeper look into the dynamic lives of women who are the driving forces behind the fashion retail industry in India. These women are accomplished, influential businesswomen and we bring you the impact of their actions and decisions.

Here’s deep diving into the professional lives of women leaders who defied odds to reach the top of their field, looking at how they started their journey, what it took for them to succeed, the learning and changes they introduced to create and scale business.

This week, the focus is on Amisha Jain, Senior VP & MD (SAMEA), Levi Strauss & Co.

ABOUT AMISHA JAIN

A senior business leader with over 20+ years of experience across diverse industries, Amisha is passionate about building sustainable and profitable businesses, supported by strong teams. She has a proven track record of leading growth and transformation initiatives across multi-national and domestic brands.

A Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas, Arlington and MBA from INSEAD, Amisha was CEO at Zivame before she joined Levi Strauss & Co. At Zivame, she led the turnaround and put the brand on a hyper-growth path.

Prior to that, she led the incubation and scale of Arvind Sports Lifestyle business where along with her team, she built 4 footwear brands and at the same time built the Digital Centre of Excellence for the Arvind Group.

While she was Head of Sales at Nike, she was selected for the prestigious ‘Under 40: India’s Hottest Business Leaders’ and ‘India Inc’s rising Women Business Leaders’ awards.

Current Role & Responsibilities

At Levi’s, Amisha is responsible for leading the company’s growth strategy, business and operations in SAMEA and ensuring that the geography continues to drive expansion and growth, contributing to the company’s success in Asia and around the globe.

“Since joining Levi’s, I’ve led the team with a motto of One Team, One Voice. Unifying the cluster has given significant transition of markets. Driving a culture of agility and bias for action, we have made significant gains across channels. Our local product engine continues to deliver significant growth. We have made significant strides in using data,” says Amisha.

Her 3 Game Changing Retail Technologies

  • E-commerce and Mobile Shopping
  • Data Analytics and Personalisation
  • Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Skills That Helped Her Succeed

> Lead with integrity / strong values

> Business acumen

> Taking calculated risks and being data-led

Strengths & Weaknesses

“My mother, she has inspired me as she pivoted from a home-maker into a business women running a real estate development business as my father passed away,” Amisha says. “I am a go-getter. I like to set a goal and give it my personal best. As an operator, I like speed. I believe in agile decision-making, failing fast and adapting to changes. My approach is to be both courageous and cautious. I like to listen where I don’t know, and hit harder when I know I can make an impact.”

Leadership Style

“My leadership style varies from situation to situation, but most often it is that of a coach. I like to take my team along, and am always pushing them to raise the bar,” says Amisha.

She adds that one lesson she has learnt over the years is that people are unable to succeed on their own and great success is often achieved through a tremendous amount of teamwork and resilience, while having the courage to take risks and embrace change.

“I would like to build and contribute towards an ecosystem that empowers women and helps them become financially independent,” she states.

Future of Fashion Retail

On the future of the fashion retail industry, she says, “With the rise of conscious consumerism, retailers will need to promote transparency and contribute to a greener future. Also, personalisation through the aid of data will play a significant role. Retailers will need to leverage data analytics, AI and machine learning.”

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