Raza Beig heads Splash, Iconic, and LMI – the fashion concepts of the Landmark Group. Since the inception of Splash in 1993, Raza has been actively involved with the overall business development and retail buying for the brand. In 1998, he helped set up Lifestyle, the department chain in India. Raza’s bullish approach facilitated the initial days of the Group’s entry into a new market and before he knew it, he was made a board member, in charge of the fashion division for India. In 2000, he was appointed Managing Director of Splash and was invited to be part of the Board of Directors of Landmark Group, and in 2006 he was appointed the CEO of Splash.
Splash has gained new heights under Raza’s vigilant leadership and today the brand is taking ‘fashion’ forward to a new level. Raza heads the buying team, and oversees the creation of Splash’s season collections. He travels with Splash’s team of designers and buyers to major international fashion shows, to keep abreast with the changing trends in global fashion. He is personally involved in selecting and signing off all the garments and accessories which finally make it to a collection. A perpetual traveler, Raza was in Kuwait during April, and found time to allow us to catch up on what’s new.
You’re at the forefront of the Splash, Iconic, and LMI concepts for Landmark. Around 300 stores in 14 countries, and always full of energy for more. What is it about the business that keeps you so energised on a daily basis?
I want more. The business of fashion keeps me energised. It is ever-changing: trends change, fabrics change, customers change. Every day is different. This change excites me and it keeps me young!
What is the DNA that you’ve created for Splash? Why do you feel your customers remain to loyal and passionate about the brand?
People don’t expect from a value brand what we’re able to deliver. The difference is, we understand fashion: we do fashion well and we do it right. We just don’t go on to charge a premium for it!
Our customers are incredibly loyal because we remain true to those who don’t want to spend a fortune on fashion but still want to look good. At the end of the day, fashion is about how you put it together and how you style it.
What’s new with your brands in Kuwait?
Our Kuwait shoppers should take a look at Iconic – it is a little above our others brands in terms of content and pricing, and it’s now in Splash. Other brands that have proved so successful here – including Kappa – we’re increasing our focus on, with deeper stocks and a broader range.
Perhaps the most significant news comes from the launch of our four collaborations – each with established designers… but all at Centerpoint pricing.
Aiisha Ramadan is known for couture, and for us she’s created a bold, colourfully blocked collection. From Essa Walla we have unstructured kaftans using signature prints, perfect for Ramadan. Nina Zandnia, from Sweden, has delivered a collection of nautical classic pieces, and Ken Ferns rounds the four off with his fun and tribal holiday collection. All limited availability pieces and all at Splash prices.
Where is global fashion heading now?
Fashion across the world is under stress – it’s surrounded by a lot of negative energy. The consumer is changing – they want sustainable fashion, they want conscious fashion. Today’s generation of shopper is digitally savvy, and they don’t go into stores as often as we used to go. What they expect is an experience more than just a product. Digitally and socially, we need to be there, and we are there. It’s all work in progress.
What is your biggest management secret? What’s your top tip to keeping so many balls in the air at one time?
There’s no secret! It’s simple – any good manager needs a team who shares the same vision as they do. I’m a complete believer in my team – they’re young, but anyone with the right energy deserves to be empowered. I like to see risk-takers, and I like to disturb the norm.
What do you do when you manage to orchestrate some time off?
My work is my holiday, so I don’t take time off! My work doesn’t feel like, well, work. I’m not saying I don’t feel the pressure of work, but when you love what you do, you don’t need a holiday. I’m always travelling anyway, so I get to see many exciting places. When I travel with my family though, the running joke is that I can never pass a shopping mall without going in to see what’s new!
Up close and personal with Raza Beig
What are your best three qualities?
I listen, I forgive, I’m experimental
What characteristics you most deplore in others?
What catches your eye?
What inspires your curiosity?
Who do you most admire?
What thoughts keep you awake at night?
What is your most treasured possession?
My mother’s scarf – memento and constant reminder of her
What is your favourite travel destination?
Wherever the party is
What is your definition of happiness?
Finding eternal peace – when you’ve found it, the world looks better because you know you’re doing the right things
Your motto in life?
I have two! The sky is the limit, and the best is yet to come