x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Giordano revels in its winning formula

The Life: Ishwar Chugani, managing director of Giordano Middle East, speaks about what it means to win the Global RLI Awards' global emerging market retailer of 2013.

Ishwar Chugani is head of regional franchising for Giordano and has overseen the launch of a store in Karachi. Razan Alzayani / The National
Ishwar Chugani is head of regional franchising for Giordano and has overseen the launch of a store in Karachi. Razan Alzayani / The National

Giordano is now the global emerging market retailer of 2013, after a Global RLI Awards ceremony in London last month. Ishwar Chugani, the managing director of Giordano Middle East, speaks about what it means to win the award.

 

What's going on with the company at the moment?

I also sit as an executive director of Giordano International. My new role is to head Giordano's global expansion for franchising using the Middle East as a base, so all the markets outside Asia. Our focus now will be eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa, Latin America, the whole Middle East. We just recently opened our flagship store in Karachi. Then we have opened our 11th store in Tbilisi, Georgia and hopefully by this year we should make some inroads into some of the major African markets.

 

Tell me more about the award Giordano recently won?

RLI have been doing this for almost 10 years now. It is one of the world's largest publications for the retail and leisure industry. They encourage retailers and developers to send in their applications. Each of us have the opportunity to see what [category] would be most appropriate for us. We selected emerging markets because many people don't know that Giordano operates in 40 countries, markets where many retailers have not yet ventured as well, so we felt this was the right category to show the flexibility of the brand and how we are expanding globally.

 

Was this the first time you entered?

Yes.

 

What were you judged on?

The judges looked for a business that can demonstrate that they have a robust and growing retail format, while examining the part it plays in the establishment of the emerging economy. There were 10 [judges]. I didn't know any of them personally. The head of Esprit was there and there was someone from CapitaMalls Asia, the president of Hard Rock Cafe. You are talking about the who's who in the retail world talking about our brand.

 

What does it mean to win an award like this?

It's very prestigious because number one it brings more awareness to the brand. It creates a lot more awareness that Giordano is an international brand and we don't just operate in Asia and the Middle East. At the end of the day this is something that shows the world that we are ready and we are as good as everyone else. You are competing with some of the best in the world and you represent the brand in front of the best in the world.

 

Are you going to advertise your win in the shop to let your customers know?

We have won so many awards. Right now it is just on our Facebook and we made a press release.

 

Which other awards have you won?

We have won awards from the shopping malls in Dubai and we have won awards for the best retailer and customer service awards.

Plus a lot of others, we won the market of the year award from Giordano.

 

gduncan@thenational.ae