Name: Bishwajit Roy
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Organisation: Dekko Legacy Lifestyle Ltd
With a diverse career that spans of 20+ years and industry experience of Advertising, FMCG, footwear and fashion retail in both large local conglomerates and globally reputed international companies, Bishwajit Roy is the man behind some of the most successful retail chains across south-east Asia and international retail industry like East Africa. Mr. Roy possesses strong leadership quality of launching new successful categories and companies and driving massive sustainable expansion. Roy’s expertises include nurturing strong teams by creating an environment that attracts talents from different sectors of the retail industry. With the proven record of accomplishment of handling large teams, Roy has the unique experience of working as the key individual in retail re-structuring international chains like Bata Shoe Co. in Srilanka and Kenya & Uganda. Also worked with Consumer brands Like ACI and Square and very recently revolutionized the retail giant “Yellow by Beximco” in South East Asia.
Roy is also a motivational speaker who often conducts workshops for the regional development of the retail industry and deeply holds passion for developing the youth to drive the dynamics of retail forward.
Mr. Roy was also led the 1st Retail Congress in Bangladesh as The Master of the Ceremony
And worth mentioning the achievements of many International Awards as recognition for the contribution to develop the retail industry as a whole.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
I hope Bishwajit's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?
Leadership, for me, unfolds like an exciting narrative. It's about discovering oneself, understanding others, and weaving a story where everyone finds a place and purpose. My two decades in retail have shown me that leadership isn't just about guiding; it's about painting a vision, inspiring others to join you on that journey, and ensuring everyone adds a chapter to the collective story. To me, the most challenging as a Leader is to Communicate the Strategic directions to the Team effectively and taking then in the same boat to drive it towards ultimate goals. If its done properly then job done for sure.
2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The corridors of Square Consumer Products echoed with anticipation as we launched the “RADHUNI” & “RUCHI” Brands back in 2000. It was here that my leadership foundation was built. However, the chapters that truly defined my leadership journey were opened at Bata. From overseeing a vast retail landscape in Bangladesh to steering the company’s vision in Uganda, leadership was not just a role; it became a narrative of cross-border collaborations, cultural nuances, and unparalleled team spirit. Leading teams with varied cultural backgrounds, I realized leadership is as much about listening as it is about directing. Each role was a story, a lesson, a steppingstone to who I am today - a Person forged by Experiences.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Each morning presents a blank canvas. I start my day in solitude, grounding my thoughts, aligning my spirit with silence and alone for some time. As the city awakens, I plunge into my tasks, from strategy delineations in the morning to mentoring my team in the afternoon, ensuring every voice is heard, every idea acknowledged. As the sun sets, I indulge in continuous learning, networking, and charting out the next day's journey, ensuring that every day adds a meaningful stroke to the canvas.
4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?
The onset of the recent pandemic felt like navigating a ship through a maelstrom. As markets fluctuated and the retail world wavered, a revelation dawned upon me: leadership isn’t just about calm seas but mastering the turbulent tides. I remember those initial days, the uncertainty looming large. Rather than letting despair take over, it became a period of introspection and innovation. We explored digital avenues, personalized customer experiences, and reimagined the retail journey. This was not just about business continuity but about assuring our teams and customers that we were in this together.
This phase underscored an essential leadership lesson: Optimism is not about ignoring the storm but about believing in your ability to navigate through it. It's about harnessing collective strength, being agile, and realizing that every challenge can be crossed with standing tall together as a Team.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
"Start with Why" by Simon Sinek has been instrumental in shaping my leadership philosophy. The book emphasizes the significance of understanding and communicating the 'Why' behind our actions. This has helped me anchor my decisions in core principles and values, ensuring that my teams are not just aligned in action but also in purpose.
6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?
Always stay 'curious'. Leadership is about the destination but it's about the journey of continuous learning. Whether you're navigating successes or challenges, approach every situation with an open mind and the eagerness to learn. This not only fuels personal growth but also fosters an environment of innovation and adaptability within your teams.
Embrace every challenge, every detour, learn from every fall, and always remember – it's the stories of trials, tribulations, and triumphs that create legendary leaders.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?
The Story of the Largest Fashion Retail Outlet launch: Amidst the hustle and bustle of Dhaka, as we prepared to launch the flagship store of 'YELLOW' by BEXIMCO, I witnessed something magical. Teams from diverse departments came together as one, breaking barriers, fusing their strengths, all driven by a shared vision. The day we opened our doors, the exhilaration in their eyes, the pride in their stride, it was more than just a store launch; it was a testament to collective ambition, to dreams realized.