The High Stepper

All industries are being disrupted and unless all the key stakeholders in an organization have an entrepreneurial mindset, it will be very difficult for them to last for very long: Alisha Malik

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Growing up in a business family of all daughters, Alisha Malik was encouraged to become independent and stand on her own two feet at a very early age. Malik joined the business in the year 2009 overseeing stores in Bangalore. From there she moved to social media, then ecommerce, then marketing, to now overseeing all the CRM touchpoints. "I have also been actively involved in product development since my start at the company. A key part of the family run business is to ensure that the core is not forgotten while adapting to newer world. The values and the legacy should be carried forward," states Malik.

Metro Brands
Alisha Malik, President Marketing and E-commerce, Metro Brands

As President Marketing and E-commerce, she is responsible for steering the company through its next level of growth balancing the digital mediums with the offline presence. As she shares, "Back in 2009 when e-commerce was not as big as it is today, we launched India's first footwear e-commerce website- Metro Shoes. Today Metro Brands has a strong presence on all off India's major e-commerce marketplaces. We also have our own digital platform for brands like Metro, Mochi and Walkway." The business now contributes to over 10% of our sales, while the overall company has grown at a 17% revenue CAGR over the last 10 years. During Covid, she completely reimagined the business and made drastic changes which she could not have been able to when in good times.

Talking about one of the most daring moves she made, Malik mentions, "Implementing a state-of-the-art order management system and investing in technology early on. We are constantly adapting our approach to ensure the team is motivated while learning the retail business in the journey. Financial discipline has always been rooted in Metro since its beginning and will continue to do so. My personal management style is more collaborative while having attention to detail and obviously a never give up attitude."

On the changing times of living in the startup, the cognizant Malik avers, "Today there is no such thing as an established business. All industries are being disrupted and unless all the key stakeholders in an organization have an entrepreneurial mindset, it will be very difficult for them to last for very long."

Metro Shoes works very closely with the karigars and artisans, all micro entrepreneurs in their own right, on the design and manufacturing aspect of the footwear business. Recently, Mochi Shoes also joined hands with India's top graffiti artists to leave a splash of their talent on its shop shutters across several cities.