“Legacy is not what I did for myself. It’s what I’m doing for the next generation.”
These words by Brazilian mixed Martial Artists Vitor Belfort stand true to Rao Sahib Jashanmal, who by founding Jashanmal Group in 1919, left a legacy behind, which has become a global name catering to clients and creating job opportunities across different countries.
Since its inception, Jashanmal Group has been a reliable partner in retail space for international fashion and footwear, travel gear, home appliances, and publishing companies seeking an opportunity to enter the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Today, the group’s retail operations span over 150 stores in the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, and India. Our distribution network extends to more than 1,000 outlets.
Furthermore, under the leadership of CEO Khaled Soliman and with the strong support of a proprietary logistics network that manages freight-forwarding, warehousing, regional, and international supply chains, Jashanmal Group has established itself as an equity partner in several regional joint ventures.
“At the heart of our new value creation strategy is our innovative philosophy of transforming relationships into partnerships,” says Khaled, “We are closely working with international business partners in the premium and luxury sectors to help build brands in the GCC region through our retail operations and extensive distribution and wholesale network.”
Read the following interview where Khaled Soliman shares the success saga of Jashanmal Group also how the company came out strong while facing the challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What products does the Jashanmal Group offer, and how are these making an impact on the industry and your customers?
We offer a wide selection of premium and high-quality goods from appliances and luggage to home, beauty, books, and fashion. There has been a shift in consumer behavior, customers are focusing more on self-care and are looking for products that create value in their lives. During the recent pandemic, our appliances were in demand, there is a strong emphasis on health and wellbeing.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on how the adaptation of modern technologies such as AI, Big Data, and Machine Learning has transformed the retail industry and what more could be expected in the future?
AI, Big Data, and ML adoption are reshaping the retail industry across inventory planning, supply chain management, and customer data management. We can now create better demand forecasting models using Big Data and AI to mine granular insights from trading patterns, consumer behavior, competitor activities, and make proactive changes to our marketing, merchandising, and pricing strategies.
AI and Big Data are also playing a significant part in our communications with customers whereby we can personalize CRM strategies and tailor offers and promotions based on customer demands.
With more maturity of these technologies in the future, we expect their adoption to be the norm rather than a choice. Retailers not integrating these technologies run the risk of losing market share.
We can expect more personalization in assortment, promotions, and experiences based on customer personas built on ML and Big Data in both stores and online. Interactive chat, guided discovery, and conversational support will play a bigger role in traditional customer-facing roles. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has already been a catalyst to this change due to physical distancing.
But I think in the short term, Supply Chain Management will be the biggest benefactor of these technologies, as we should see time and material spillovers reduce, with more accurate demand and delay forecasting.
Taking into consideration, the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your company to sustain operations and ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
For businesses, there have been many lessons to be learned. Just like every other company we had to control our cost structure especially when operating remotely which has become a new normal with various segments of the businesses being more virtually connected now than ever before.
The pandemic has accelerated the growth of e-commerce, contactless purchases, service, and digital payment platforms. We are now more agile and confident in contactless and virtual interaction across all areas of service and business.
The safety of our employees is our priority. We continue to provide an environment that respects the best and highest occupational health and safety standards as per the U.A.E guidelines. Regular disinfection of the office spaces, maintaining social distancing, and flexibility to work from home are some of the key measures that have been undertaken by the Jashanmal Group.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the retail space?
The retail space is dynamic. It is constantly evolving. It is important to know your business well and have a long-term vision. I would strongly recommend the young aspirants to test the market for their product portfolio through different options pre-committing to any retail space investment. Retail spaces are not easy to maintain and can be quite a drain on your expense account.
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in 2021?
Today Jashanmal Group stands at a cusp of expansion and innovation and we all have exciting times ahead of us. We live in a data-driven world that requires digital dexterity and customer-first innovation, changing the status quo and an entire culture to prioritize long-term digital transformation is like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube on a rollercoaster.
For us, digital will continue to spearhead. We are making our divisions lean, efficient, and technology-focused and are constantly revisiting our product portfolio and offerings.
About the leader
Since the day Khaled Soliman joined the Jashanmal Group his mandate was to turn around the organization and march along with the next century. His vision to work towards transforming the company to be compatible in an increasingly digital environment, all the while ensuring the best possible in-store and online shopping experience has led Jashanmal Group to new heights.
Khaled developed and implemented the necessary strategies required to innovate from the inside and roll out fully immersive technology-driven retail spaces. Jashanmal Group launched its e-commerce business during the pandemic and in less than a year it has contributed 3-4% of the turnover.