GOAL IN LIFE: To make Wildcraft an even greater success than it is and to take it to international markets. In the long term, to start something on her own.
BEST LEADERSHIP LESSON: Hire for talent, train for skills.
When Simeran Bhasin took charge of watch maker Titan's Fastrack brand in 2005, it had a turnover of Rs 25 crore. It sold only watches, but she expanded the division to include bags, belts, wallets and sunglasses as well. By 2013, Fastrack's turnover had surged to Rs 800 crore.
Yet she threw it all up that year to join Wildcraft, a Bangalore-based maker of outdoor gear - rucksacks, sleeping bags, etc - as its marketing head. Confined to South India for the first decade since it began in 1998, Wildcraft has lately acquired a national footprint and is even eyeing global markets.
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Still, with a turnover of Rs 250 crore, it is way smaller than Titan. Why did she make a move that appears as a career comedown? "I need fresh challenges or else I get bored," she says. "Fastrack was my baby as much as my daughter is. But when I met the founders of Wildcraft, something clicked. I identified with their values and ethics. I also wanted to see if I could grow something without the backing of the likes of Titan and Tatas," says Bhasin, who credits her parents for her adventurous spirit.
Bhasin joined Titan after completing her MBA from T.A. Pai Management Institute Manipal. "She has a sharp, uncluttered and incisive mind," says Ronnie Talati, Senior VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Watches and Accessories, Titan, whom Bhasin calls her mentor.
Wildcraft happened next. She has moved the company into two new segments - clothing and footwear for outdoor enthusiasts - and is considering more. "I'm focused on making Wildcraft the outdoor gear of choice from head to toe," she says.