A forced hiatus sometimes offers the downtime to reflect and re-energise. And that is what I feel about the 2022 edition of India Fashion Forum, India’s only fashion-centric business intelligence event, which will be hosting a powerful 21st edition from March 23-25 in New Delhi.Coming out of the many learnings and transformations of the past two years, we’ve all had to relearn the basics of what makes a fashion business relevant and timeless. The theme for IFF 2022 will resonate with all of us — Building Future-proof Fashion Retail Models. Being Purposeful, Pioneering, and ultimately, Profitable. Because, without being profitable enterprises, we will have no wings to fly on further.
IFF 2022 is underlining Purpose, Innovation, Experience and Engagement as the four tenets of future-proof, profitable fashion retail.
Consumers worldwide are are reacting strongly to how brands respond to relevant social events, and how they act upon them. In India, I believe fashion purchases may become increasingly influenced by what brands stand for; going forward, fashion brands and companies will be expected to play much more meaningful roles than being just commercial entities.
Second, the product itself must be outstanding. Consumers are increasingly looking to fashion brands to help them express their individuality. Just fresh products are no longer exciting, unless they have compelling innovation in design and appeal.
But fashion newness in the digital economy is as much about the product as it is about the content and experience. Storytelling is vital. The Discovery-to-Desire-to-Possession journey of the modern consumer is defined by their experiences. Be it in a physical store or an online format, experience must be the top factor today in not just customer acquisition, but more importantly, retention.
Given the integrated consumption frameworks of today, digital and physical experiences are no longer segregated. Fashion retail of the New World must embrace an integrated reality — with interlaced digital moments that boost physical experiences, and vice versa. Those innovations are something that our concurrent event — CX Forum 2022 — will explore and showcase.
India needs a highly integrated and collaborative fashion retail ecosystem, with all key stakeholders of the value chain — from sourcing to technology, from market intelligence to retail real estate — driven by a common vision: To reimagine India as a future-proof, global fashion retail innovation leader.
It is my privilege to be chairing this powerful congregation of India’s fashion and allied businesses, and I invite all with a stake in India’s fashion evolution story to experience and benefit from this mega business event.
Chairman | IFF 2022
President & CEO, Fashion & Lifestyle Business, Reliance Retail