Pravesh Kaushik
Pravesh Kaushik

I live my life by the principle that life is a mystery, and one should just jump off the cliff and wait for the wings to appear to comprehend and explore its full flavour. However, one must first have the panoramic vision of an eagle and its prowess to soar across the firmament. That is precisely what inspires me to move ahead in life. On life’s odyssey, the barge of consciousness meanders, through turbulent times, balanced by oars of vision, piloted by guidance, following rivulets of knowledge towards envisioned goals. In my life, I seek to assuage the thirst for knowledge, guidance and vision so that I can reach what I seriously aspire to and come closer to my goals.

As an institute of excellence on par with the best in the world, the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the premier fashion institute of India, gave me a comprehensive understanding of the apparel industry. My professional attainments over a five-year period in which I developed a detailed understanding of apparel production and fashion retail gave me a realistic approach. For instance, I know that there is no such thing as a ‘perfect day’ in fashion retail, and thus intensive planning must include foresight, in-depth data analysis, technical know-how of fashion dynamics and both prompt and pre-emptive thinking. Multitasking, an analytical view point, ethical thinking, persuasiveness and negotiation skills were ingrained in me by the nature of my job.

After graduating from the National Institute, I joined Arvind Ltd in the Garment Export Division as a management trainee and worked to optimise resource consumption in the cutting and production department. My journey began with loving what I did and shifted to doing what I love. I moved into retail to work with the largest retailer in India (Pantaloon Retail) as an assistant buyer. This experience not only gave me insights into the dynamics of retail but also enriched my understanding of products, market behaviour, trend analysis and, most importantly, merchandising.

Following this domestic retail experience, I moved to Planet Retail as category manager for GUESS Apparel and watches. This experience exposed and sensitised me to working in a multicultural, multi-ethnic and multinational environment. In less than six months, my portfolio expanded to buying for all apparel product categories and accessories, and it later also encompassed new category launches. The brand is worth more than US$10 million in India today, and my portfolio at Planet Retail ranged from planning and selecting apparel and accessories suited to India to considering market dynamics, customer demand and budget constraints. An eye for detail, being continually up-to-date on global fashion and having a lucid comprehension of the Indian market were key to my role.

I have built the foundation for this career path brick by brick. The first brick was my Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Technology. In the work sphere, I have developed pragmatic prowess in buying and merchandising. I am now poised to take a quantum leap to the next level to join the decision-making cadre and to distinguish myself by optimising precious resources within given timelines and quality stipulations. I need to pursue an MBA to catalyse my learning process and to be able to manage key responsibilities at the next level effectively and efficiently. The HKU MBA, with its rigorous curriculum, will help me to hone my tangible and intangible skills and broaden my international exposure. The invaluable semester exchange programme with a partner school will give me a wider window of understanding and sensitise me to other cultures. Further momentum towards achieving this aim will be provided by the diversely experienced faculty and visiting faculty who represent an enormous body of research and experience. This programme will instil in me learning that stretches beyond books. It will broaden my horizons, help me to look at things in a different light and teach me the finer aspects of finance, human resources, project management and business prospecting.

As expected, the HKU MBA has been a roller coaster thus far. Going through umpteen case studies, course materials and group tasks is really exciting. HKU, thus far, has exceeded all of my expectations and continually pushes me to the next level. It is a wonderful feeling to explore both myself and business opportunities. As they say, ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy’. HKU is all about far exceeding commitments. Sports facilities and networking events in the heart of the business centre push and prepare one for life beyond the classroom. I should also mention the constant support of the office staff, which gives one another level of confidence that the people here will help you to realise your dreams. Everybody is so approachable and helpful that one does not even realise that he or she has only been here for a just a few days.

Current Status

Employer:  Tata CLiQ
Position:    Category Head – Men’s Apparel
Location:   Mumbai