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From a Business School Graduate to a CEO – Mapping the Journey

Having an illustrious career in fashion retail, Mr. Kavindra Mishra, Managing Director & CEO, House of Anita Dongre Limited shared his dynamic work experience in a fireside chat with Mr. Alessandro Guiliani, Managing Director of SDA Bocconi Asia Center, facilitated by the B-school’s Luxury Club.

Mapping his journey from being a business school graduate to a CEO, Mr. Mishra shared key insights on the retail and luxury sector in India and encouraged the students to imbibe important life skills as these are the foundation of a sound mind and balanced life. He shared different anecdotes to illustrate the benefits of incorporating spirituality and sports in everyday life, and how it develops a broader perspective and a healthier headspace.

Taking inspiration from Mr. Mishra, Rhea Raheja, student of IMB 2020-2022 says, “It was indeed a pleasure to hear Mr. Kavindra Mishra talk about his professional journey. My key take away from his session was that everything is not meant for you, but it is always worth a try despite the risks involved. I was also inspired to hear him talk about the correlation between living a healthy mental, physical and spiritual life to better delivery of tasks.”

Kick starting his retail career after graduating from Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in 1999, Mr. Mishra joined Madura Coats as Area Sales Manager and continued his career at Madura Garments as Brand Manager for Allen Solly. Mr. Mishra has previously held key positions in Pepe Jeans, United Colors of Benetton and Tommy Hilfiger. He is also a founding member of Zovi.com. During his stint at Pepe Jeans as the Managing Director, he discovered his passion for sports which added another layer to his well-rounded personality.

Emphasizing on the importance of spirituality and sports, Mr. Mishra says that spirituality has been an anchor in his life as it has kept him grounded and helped him focus on the right things even under pressure. He encouraged the students to participate in sports as it helps in adding layers to one’s personality. Running has been instrumental to keep him motivated and has helped him declutter his mind to fuel thought and innovation in his management decisions.

Inspiring the students on the path to his success, Mr Mishra said work ethics, career conviction, and moral compass has guided him to succeed in his career.

Ms. Nishtha Gupta of IMB 2020-2022 says, “Mr. Kavindra Mishra touched several essential points on luxury management and important life skills. He highlighted the importance of having a well-rounded personality. His career journey was refreshing and it motivated us to take risks and trust our instincts. These insights were extremely valuable to us”.

Advocating for practising consumer centricity, he believes in building sales and product strategies around consumer needs as it is key to excelling in any field. He added that sustainability is the future of the fashion industry and therefore the industry will slowly have to adapt to the shift. To become a successful leader, Mr. Mishra stressed on the importance of hands-on experience in sales which can be attained through fieldwork and customer interaction. To eliminate risks and to implement foolproof career growth strategies, the students were advised to seek mentorship from seasoned professionals,

The insightful session was followed by a Q&A round where students interacted with Mr. Mishra and asked him questions on topics that ranged from sustainability, Indian retail, fashion, handloom, spirituality, sales, marketing and body image. Mr. Mishra concluded the chat with the quote, “Always strive for more, and max it out. The best is yet to come” and motivated the students to keep moving ahead with a positive outlook.

On behalf of all the students, SDA Bocconi Asia Center would like to thank the guests for their valuable time and the insightful session.






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