Lisa Mukhedkar On Building India’s Top Retail Design Firm
Lisa Mukhedkar is the Co-founder and Director of Restore Design, one of India’s top retail design firms. She and her team have created Myntra’s first offline store in Bangalore, for its brand Roadster Life Co. It is the first experience of its kind, since shoppers can seamlessly shift between the offline and the online world while shopping in the store. While browsing through apparel in store, customers can also avail of technology that will provide them with pairing suggestions, recommended looks and trending designs.
Lisa’s clients represent the best of the retail world — from Arvind, to Pantaloons, Titan, Lee, Van Heusen, Zivame, Ed Hardy and many many more.
We speak to her about what goes into building an excellent retail experience, and the challenges of being a leader.
What led you to start Restore?
There seemed to be a big gap in the retail market. Retail stores were being designed by architects, who are great at what they do. They understand materials, spaces, etc. But they do not understand brands and they don’t understand how customers interact with brands. So, we decided that with the branding expertise we had, if we built a team of passionate space designers/product designers and visual merchandisers, we would be able to design retail stores that brought the brand alive.
Can you speak more about what goes into designing a successful store? What does the customer want?
Successful stores have largely three components –
- They are rooted in the Brand. And there is a strong idea in the space that is rooted in the brand. And the storytelling is based on the brand and product.
- The customer’s experience is centered around the consumer’s insight – in terms of their relationship with the brand, shopping for the category, their barriers,etc
- They are geared for business. Operationally, with a clear focus on returns, display and density of merchandise, etc.
How do you manage work and life?
It’s always a fine balancing act. There are tough moments but equally, there is satisfaction of knowing you can manage both.
As a woman leader, what are the biggest challenges you have faced at work?
The same challenges that any man would face. Competitions, ups and downs of the business, getting the right team together.
What was it like integrating technology into a real life store experience for Roadster? What is the future of in-person shopping, according to you?
It was a clear focus from the beginning. Myntra is a tech-based brand. We will always continue to be an online driven brand. Genuine Omni-Channel was a given.
What advice would you have for other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Would like to share – that always take risks and stay focused!
What is a typical day like at work? What is the most interesting project you have worked on?
I start my day at 4:30 am and then head to the gym around 5:30 am. I work at office from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. Then I dedicate my every evening to Yoga, and then complete my work till whatever time. Long days, but as long as there is a challenge, it is exciting and keeps me going.
Lots of projects I have found interesting and challenging for different reasons. A few I could mention are US Polo, Wrogn and Roadster.