An Interview with Rishabh Oswal

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Executive Director, Monte Carlo and Founder, Rock It, Rishab Oswal has taken the family brand a notch higher with his foresight and innovation.

The Oswal brand has an instant recollect in the apparel industry courtesy the fact that it has been around for several generations. Now a third generation member of the Oswal family who has been successfully managing Monte Carlo since many years and has led it to become a highly renowned and successful brand, Rishabh Oswal  has made some new changes giving the brand a new age fillup. The success story of Oswal family is being spearheaded by Rishabh who has innovated and also launched his own sportswear brand called ‘Rock It’. A new venture in the Indian athleisure fashion market, Rishabh is all set to make Rock It a game changer in the apparel sector.

Cotton County Retail Ltd. and Oswal Woollen Mills Ltd., the parent company of the group, happen to be the top producers of woolen and acrylic yarns in the country. Innovation and customer satisfaction are Rishabh’s focus areas that has helped Monte Carlo cement its reputation in the apparel industry. Among one of the fashion wear brands listed in the Bombay Stock Exchange & National Stock Exchange, this company is making waves courtesy its many innovations.  Rishabh opines that people should look fashionable at all times including when they are working out. This is why the Rock It range addresses the dual needs of sportswear and fashion-wear. What has been a dream has come true with the launch of his athleisure brand and naturally he is excited to see how the brand pans out in the future. He tells us more in this exclusive conversation.

Rishabh Oswal
Rishabh Oswal

Tell us about your early days, schooling, and education?

After completing Bachelors in Management Studies from the University of Nottingham, UK in the year of 2013, I pursued an executive MBA from the prestigious Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

Being from a family of entrepreneurs was the apparel industry always your calling?

Apparel came late in the picture, but business was undoubtedly my first calling. My entrepreneurnial instincts were strong from college days which reflect my campus venture started in 2012 (a frozen yogurt and gelato company) that has five outlets in Punjab today. After finishing my studies and managing my frozen yogurt company, joining the family business came as a dream to me and the position I was offered demanded hard work. Then my young mind was not afraid to do what it takes to be successful and today O am handling several companies through my chair.

Tell us about your journey to day with some key highlights?

Monte Carlo is a premium quality fashion apparel brand and it is a legacy passed on to me and I am the third in the generation line. I have helped rejuvenate the brand’s position. My journey started as executive director of Monte Carlo and today I have launched his own fitness clothing line Rock.It. The journey was not smooth, but I tackled every difficulty with creativity. I can say that my pro-activeness has injected the company with power booster to overcome any issues.

What are the kinds of innovations you have brought into the company after you have joined?

Monte Carlo is an established brand and our products keep trending amongst fashion lovers. However, with rapidly changing consumerism the brand needed a unique and youthful positioning in the market. With a revamped logo and new clothing lines, I have given a new look to Monte Carlo.

Tell us about your denim line? Also tell us about your sportswear/athleisure brand, ‘Rock It’.

Monte Carlo denim line is specially crafted to give you a fashionably comfortable experience. Premium quality fabric, advanced technology and newest cuts and patterns for both men women make Monte Carlo denim line popular among all age group. ‘Rock It’ apparels are designed keeping the requirements of sportswear and fashion-wear in mind. A lot of attention is given to fashion trends, colour scheme, design and the right quality of fabrics so as to suit the needs of athletes and people active in sports. The fabrics used are of the highest quality which makes clothes sweat-friendly, comfortable, airy, stylish, and easy to carry off at all times. Rock It apparels are made of 100% polyester, terry and fleece fabrics, especially imported from Korea, Taiwan and other Asian countries. The garments are sweat absorbent, super-flexible, breathable, anti-static, anti-microbial and absolutely easy to dry. Inspired from the most trending couture designs across the world, the clothing range is elite, unique and gives an edge to the style statement. A limited number of 300 pieces of a design makes each piece from the line exclusive and worth an investment.

What are the new age trends in the apparel sector?

Geometric necklines, different prints and quirky cuts on sleeves are trending. Breezy white dress, strappy sandals, silky midi skirts, smoked tops, checked pants and asymmetric necklines are in fashion. Polka dots and feathers are making a comeback. Lilac is the new millennial pink for this season and red and pink is the combination to follow. The vintage puff shoulder has made a comeback this season. Ankle length boot, White Tank, Metallic, Rainbow prints all are options for women to follow this season. For men, coats, jackets, sweatshirts and quirky T-shirts, and jeans and trousers in light fabric are in fashion. Wingtip Boots, suede sneaker, glasses can be used to accessories the look.

Rishabh Oswal
Rishabh Oswal

What are some challenges you see in the apparel sector?

A skilled workforce has always been the biggest challenge in the apparel sector. Despite the abundance of human resources, lack of skilled workers influences the productivity adversely. Lack of fibre neutrality, limited FTAs, duty drawback rates, lower efficiency, high costs of capital, infrastructure, a buyer-driven Commodity Chain are holding back the Indian apparel industry till date. With the expansion of a more organized industry India can secure their significant position on the apparel atlas.

How has GST impacted business? Also how are Government policies towards the textile industry affecting business?

The dust of GST storm has settled, and ease of doing business seems to turn a living reality soon. E-way bills and GSTN portal has made logistics much easier and this will positively boost the business.

What are your future plans for your brand?

I would strengthen brand value further, make our retail presence even stronger pan India and add more variety to our apparel ranges.

Tell us about what you do in your free time?

Horse riding, trekking, and adventure sports keep me busy during free time. I spend my Sundays with the my nieces and nephews in the house or with my friends. I love playing video games too.

This story first appeared in Apparel Magazine’s September 2018 issue here: ENTREPRENEUR SPEAK

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