I joined Landmark Group with no prior experience in retail: Renuka Jagtiani

March 30, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

I joined Landmark Group with no prior experience in retail: Renuka Jagtiani

This year is a significant milestone for regional retail conglomerate Landmark Group as it marks 50 years of being part of this region and its communities. Of these five decades, Landmark Group’s Chairwoman Renuka Jagtiani has been in the business for over three decades. “At the age of 38 I joined Landmark Group with no prior experience in retail,” Jagtiani said during an exclusive interview with RetailME.

“My journey at Landmark Group has taken me through various parts of the business world,” she shared when asked about her incredible journey with the Group over the decades.

Veteran and astute businessman Micky Jagtiani founded the business in 1973 setting up Mothercare (in Bahrain) – Babyshop as we know it today.

“He has been a remarkable mentor and suggested I venture into the young fashion segment. Who knew back then how deeply I’d get involved!” Jagtiani recollected fondly.

“I founded Splash in 1993 and spent the first 12 years of my career building the brand from the ground up. I loved every part of the process, from buying and merchandising to building stores, and that passion remains with me today. Raza Beig took over the Splash business in 2004.”

“I started the franchise business and in 1999 we took on the challenge of setting up the India business, an entirely different challenge compared to the Middle East market. I spent 20 years nurturing and growing the India business, and it is a fulfilling part of my journey teaching me how to work long distance in a very different and challenging environment.”

As the business grew, Jagtiani took on the Group responsibility of Vice Chairperson in 2011 and later as Chairwoman and CEO. The dual role of overseeing such a diverse business portfolio had its many challenges, particularly during the pandemic. Last year, she transitioned into the role of Chairwoman of Landmark Group.

“In my role as Chairwoman my focus is to further enhance the strategic vision for the company and take the business to new heights. I also believe that the time is right to hand over the business to the next generation, including my three children, each of whom have their strengths and experience. I’m also fortunate to have Kabir Lumba, a long-time colleague, as the CEO of Landmark Retail and a great team of leaders across business lines,” she shared.

The past three decades have been an incredibly fulfilling journey, she added. “While I have had immense learning and experiences over the years, and unlearned many things as well, my key takeaway has been to always focus on what one does well,” Jagtiani observed.

Over the years, the Group has established businesses across various categories, including food, kids, apparel, home and electronics that cater to a wide population. “In the past few years, we introduced and grew new businesses too such as VIVA (UAE’s first food discounter launched in 2018) and Styli (our first online-only fashion offering that was started in KSA in 2019).”

“Our business has always been heavily focused on delivering value to our customers, and we’ve developed deep connections with the diverse nationalities living in this region, growing with them and becoming a part of every home. As we move forward, I’m confident that we’ll continue to build on our legacy, providing value to our customers, and making a positive impact in the communities we serve. I’m incredibly proud of the people in our organisation. Our focus on identifying and nurturing the potential of individuals has helped us build a strong leadership pipeline and capable teams. Witnessing the growth and development of our team members is extremely gratifying and having the opportunity to contribute to it has been an honour,” Jagtiani stated.

Asked about three major focus areas to strengthen the business in 2023 and beyond, Jagtiani stressed that as an organisation Landmark Group will remain committed to growth and expansion (in the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia). Operating sustainably and meeting the evolving needs of customers will remain key focus areas too.

“At the core of our business is entrepreneurship, which is Micky Jagtiani’s legacy, and we are committed to carrying it forward,” she concluded.



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