Monday, September 25, 2023
Monday, September 25, 2023


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Women Leaders in Fashion Retail: Apeksha Gupta, CEO, John Jacobs Eyewear

Once considered primarily as a utilitarian tool to correct vision, eyewear has undergone a remarkable transformation over the years, evolving into a bona fide fashion accessory. In this ever-evolving world of eyewear, one brand has managed to rise above the competition and establish itself as a leader in the market – John Jacobs Eyewear. And breaking the glass ceiling is its fearless female CEO, Apeksha Gupta.

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 – Apeksha being a perfect example.

IMAGES Business of Fashion tells you all there is to know about Apeksha Gupta!

Education Profile

  • Apeksha went to Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (SSCBS); a premier institution of the University of Delhi, for her BBS degree
  • Later she attended the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) for a Masters degree in Fashion Management
  • She has also done an Executive MBA from INSEAD; one of the top business schools in the world

Career History and Experience

About her career graph and experiences Apeksha said, “As an early mover in the international fashion and retail segment, I have had the chance to be the tastemaker for International brands like DieselSuper Dry and M&S in India. I got the opportunity to be in global fashion cities, where the future of retail was being shaped and major trends were being born.

I had a front-row view of emerging ideas such as omnichannel retail, blockchain applications, and virtual reality tools in fashion. This experience has been instrumental in my strategy for John Jacobs as CEO. 

Focused on approaching fashion with a technology-driven mindset, I started my journey with John Jacobs in its founding team 5 years ago and was promoted to CEO in 2021. My priorities for John Jacobs are simple – to be technology-driven, innovative in our approach, inclusive on all fronts, and create a brand universe that is fit for the brand’s discerning, fashion-conscious target audience.”

Current Roles and Responsibilities

Currently the CEO of John Jacobs Eyewear, Apeksha said, “As CEO, I lead all aspects of the brand and business,” She also spoke to us about her aspirations in business and added, “I want to make John Jacobs a global powerhouse and a top name in the eyewear business.”

Apeksha’s 3 Game-Changing Retail Technologies

  • Virtual reality tools that facilitate 3D mapping, identifying the right sizes and making omnichannel a reality, without burdening stores to carry full collections
  • Fitting room technology – lighting, recommendation features, sizing tools, swipe to try and such features all in a modular touch screen is a marvelous experience
  • AI for product life cycle management and using data to understand and identify buying behaviour to help businesses stock their store better

Skills that Helped Her Succeed

To this, she said, “Being enterprising, and resourceful have been key skills I have practiced and honed in my repertoire. In today’s VUCA landscape, the retail and fashion industry is evolving rapidly, and customers continue to demand more from businesses. Having gumption as a woman leader is especially valuable.”

Her Take on the Future of the Industry

Sharing key insights on this she said, “Brands with a strong core proposition will flourish, there is still space in many customer segments and niches. Conscious consumption will be key, but customers will shun inauthenticity. I hope to see growth in new formats of consumption in the form of digital products. I also hope that there will be an ancillary industry to help fashion solve its end-of-life cycle problems.”

Changes Brought by Her in the Business

She said, “By singularly focusing on product strategy and our customers, we have managed to become the largest D2C eyewear company in the country. We value what our customers value – quality, innovation, style, and authenticity. We aim to be the default eyewear option for our customers, seamlessly blending into their lifestyle.”

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