Aditya birla fashion and retail ltd (formerly known as pantaloons fashion and retail ltd.)

Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL) emerged after the consolidation of the branded apparel businesses of Aditya Birla Group comprising ABNL’s Madura Fashion division and ABNL’s subsidiaries Pantaloons Fashion and Retail (PFRL) and Madura Fashion & Lifestyle (MFL) in May 2015. Post the consolidation, PFRL was renamed Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd

ABFRL has been founded on the belief that the first sign of success of a modern nation lies in the ability of its citizens to celebrate. India’s young working population and robust economic performance has led to rising incomes which, combined with increasing global exposure, are empowering many latent wants to morph into demands.

With retail expanding independently through brick and mortar as well as e-commerce, the Indian fashion consumer now deserves futuristic and comprehensive omni-channel options. The time for ABFRL to arrive was ripe.

The custodian of several icons, including the top four fashion brands of India – Louis Philippe , Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Peter England — each of which clocked MRP sales in the vicinity of INR 1,000 crore. It also includes India’s first fast-fashion youth brand, People; India’s largest fully integrated fashion multi-brand outlet chain, Planet Fashion; India’s largest premium international brand retailer, The Collective and the British fashion icon, Hackett London’s mono-brand retail in India.

To expand its international portfolio, ABFRL entered into exclusive partnerships with two of UK’s most successful fashion brands, ‘Simon Carter’ and `Ted Baker’. In August 2017, ABFRL entered into a multi‐store retail and e‐commerce license agreement with American Eagle Outfitters Inc. In 2018, ABFRL entered into a Store License and Distribution Agreement with Ralph Lauren Asia Pacific Limited ("RLAPL"), which offers apparel and accessories for both men and women under the brand name "Polo Ralph Lauren" and "Ralph Lauren"

Mr. Sushil Agarwal is a Qualified Chartered Accountant and holds a Master’s degree in Commerce. He is currently the Group Chief Financial Officer for the Aditya Birla Group and also the Whole Time Director & CFO of Grasim Industries Limited and a member of the Business Review Council, which is an institutionalized mechanism for bringing in wider managerial perspectives and leadership experiences, into reviewing the development, growth and operations of the Group’s businesses.

He has been with the Aditya Birla Group since the beginning of his career in 1989 and has a distinction of working closely with the former Chairman Late Mr. Aditya Vikram Birla and current Chairman Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla. He has worked with several businesses of the Aditya Birla Group and has richly contributed in many Restructurings, Mergers and Acquisitions initiatives of the Aditya Birla Group with his widely acknowledged financial acumen and analytical skills.

He is on the board of several companies and is widely networked. He is familiar with operations in most states in India and several countries abroad through his experience of more than 25 years. In recognition of his stellar contribution, he was awarded as “Business Leader Corporate CFO” at the 11th ICAI Awards 2017. He was also awarded as the “Asia’s Best CFO” in the category “Best CFO (Mergers and Acquisition)” at the Golden Globe Tigers Award held in Kuala Lumpur in April 2018. He was honoured with the “Exceptional Contribution Award” in 2000 and “Outstanding Leadership Award” in 2014 by the Chairman of Aditya Birla Group.

Mission Happiness is ABFRL’s in-store feedback system that was deployed in 2014 with the simple objective of listening to consumer feedback and acting on the same. Based on the ‘Listen, Learn and Act’ philosophy, the system encompasses gathering consumer insights present in the store or in the online space. Based on these insights we build platforms coupled with analytics to cater to the needs of our customers. Thereafter, we act on the suggestions through strategic changes and facilitate a proactive solution which is in line with customer satisfaction

In May 2017, we took a leap and added a new touch point for consumer experience and initiated Mission Happiness – Post Purchase. This initiative was activated to gauge the customer experience from the product point of view. It gives an opportunity to our customers to share their post usage experience of the product, and that cements our endeavour to create a long-term relationship with our customers. From a business point of view, post purchase feedback enables us to strengthen our policy of continuously and consistently improving our product offerings.

Mission Happiness at Pantaloons was piloted in 14 stores and by the end of August 2017, it spread across the entire store network. Today Mission Happiness is present in 285 Pantaloons stores, receives about 1million feedbacks and over 10,000 detailed voice recorded feedbacks per month, in over 13 languages from customers spread across the length and breadth of India

In 2016, Pantaloons initiated a customer support desk, equipped with dedicated representatives to address customer queries via email as well as over phone. This facility acts as the support system for the post sales experience and for providing on the spot solutions to customer queries. With approximately 3,000 queries per month on this system, we have proactively closed more than 90% of the queries within a Turnaround Time (TAT) of 48 hours. To benchmark our service experience, we have also started collecting the customer satisfaction score on solutions offered by us from May 2018.

All the information gathered from the customers is accessible over a centralised CRM utility to the frontline as well as the teams at HO and zones. This information is used to identify areas of improvement by a dedicated analytics team, both at a customer as well as at a structural level and is shared with the relevant stakeholders to be actioned upon.

From the business point of view, Mission Happiness has been instrumental in making several significant recommendations to the category, marketing and operation teams which has resulted in revenue growth as well as improved customer satisfaction along with an increase in HI (Happiness Index) — from 6% in 2016 to 56% currently. The culture of including customer perspective while taking important decisions testifies to our constant efforts at improvement.

"A career at ABFRL is a quest to be the best." – ABFRL has created its business with a passion for excellence and innovation and integrating employees with the whole business process. The journey begins with a rigorous selection process. New employees love ABFRL’s buddy system, where each new recruit is assigned to an experienced person who makes the newcomer comfortable in the organisation. ABFRL offers a structured career path laying down the different ways one could reach one’s career goals. All developmental initiatives and exposures are suitably aligned.

Values are a critical facet to the organisation. The orientation programme introduces the employee to the company’s core values. To ensure continuous learning at the workplace, we have strong internal training programmes along with state of the art learning facilities like Gyanodaya and Aditya Birla Centre for Retail Excellence (ABCRE). The organisation also promotes movement across functions to the deserving. The Balance Scorecard approach helps align deliverables to the organisation’s goals.

ABFRL is a conscious equal opportunity employer and is proud of employing people of diverse race, gender, ethnicity, personality, age, education and economic backgrounds. ABFRL works towards making the workplace a relaxed atmospherewhere employees create teams and bond together. ABFRL also believe in infusing bursts of continual enthusiasm and energy by day-to-day engagement, team building and competition-based activities, wellness tips, fashion competitions, and in-house festivities. These infuse short doses of fun at work which keeps the office energetic, excited and stimulated. The weekend begins on a musical note with Sunshine Fridays, wherein the employees get to request their favorite soundtracks.

The annual Olympics hosts numerous indoor and outdoor sporting events. ABFRL also believes that in a five-work-day week it is essential to balance personal and professional lives. To encourage a healthy work-life balance, initiatives like crèches and personal errand concierge services ease pressure on employees. To nurture the physical and mental health and wellness of its staff, ABFRL has employed a variety of wellness initiatives. The ABG Code Red drive and regular health check-ups, nutrition counselling, eat right workshops, yoga and participation in outdoor events such as Stepathons, are held round the year.