Levi's Amisha Jain Leads With Purpose, Innovation & Inclusivity In Fashion Industry

The Levi’s brand has now increased nearly 50 per cent in revenue in India compared to pre-pandemic levels, making India our sixth-largest market and currently the largest in Asia, shares Amisha Jain, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of South Asia, Middle East and Africa at Levi Strauss & Co in an exclusive interview with BW Marketing World

Amisha Jain, Senior Vice President and Managing Director of South Asia, Middle East and Africa at Levi Strauss & Co epitomises leadership excellence with a focus on inclusivity, innovation and empowerment. She underscores the importance of fostering a unified team culture, promoting innovation and advocating for gender equality within the company. 

In an exclusive interview with BW Marketing World, Jain delves into her leadership philosophy, reflecting on her journey, challenges faced and the achievements at Levi Strauss & Co. 

Excerpts:

As a leader, what are the core values you strive to embody and instil in your team?

My team hears me say ‘One Team, One Voice, One Vision’ all the time. I am a firm believer that a high-performing team has one trait that makes them successful, which is working together (no silos) towards a unified goal and hence we live by this mantra. Along with my fellow leadership team members, I encourage inclusivity and collaboration among teams that are built on the foundation of purpose-driven leadership. It means creating an inclusive environment where diverse opinions and voices are celebrated, and a culture of growth and purpose is fostered.

How do you intend to foster innovation and creativity within your team at Levi Strauss & Co?

I believe it starts from the top, and leadership plays an important role in encouraging an environment where people are unafraid to voice diverse opinions and thoughts. Thankfully at Levi Strauss & Co, innovation is in our DNA so it makes it easier to foster a collaborative and experimental work culture.

Our success lies in fostering agility and a proactive mindset, enabling us to seize opportunities and maintain leadership in the casual lifestyle/denim market. Local product development, blending global strengths with local insights is pivotal. Integrating data analytics enhances operational efficiency and financial performance. Upholding inclusivity and meritocracy ensures equal opportunities for all team members to contribute innovative ideas, fostering a dynamic environment where creativity thrives.

Reflecting on your career, what challenges have you faced as a woman in leadership, and how have you overcome them?

In my position as a fashion leader, I've navigated various challenges with authenticity, resilience and an open mind. My focus on inclusivity and meritocracy drives my advocacy for equal opportunities.

At Levi’s, I've worked towards fostering an open dialogue and establishing a supportive network, essential in addressing gender-specific obstacles. Leveraging authenticity, I use my unique perspective to challenge stereotypes and reduce unconscious bias, aiming to contribute to a more inclusive work environment. Through initiatives promoting teamwork, diversity and equality, I aspire to be a catalyst for positive change, both within Levi Strauss & Co, as well as within the broader fashion industry.

What advice would you give to young women aspiring to leadership roles in their careers?

To every aspiring woman leader, I would encourage you to embrace your unique voice and lead with authenticity, believe in your creative power and fearlessly pursue your dreams. I would recommend that you build your support network at work and outside. Find your mentors and sponsors at work. Each of them plays a unique role and ensures you cultivate that relationship.

Could you share a significant achievement under your leadership at Levi Strauss & Co that you are particularly proud of?

I am particularly proud of the extremely talented team I lead at Levi Strauss & Co within South Asia, Middle East and Africa (SAMEA). Through their dedication and resilience, we have been able to leverage the market potential, and over the years, expand our Levi’s brand and build a strong presence online and offline. Today, we have a strong presence and are the leading denim lifestyle brand in the market.

The Levi’s brand has now increased nearly 50 per cent in revenue in India compared to pre-pandemic levels, making India our sixth-largest market and currently the largest in Asia. We have a strong presence across DTC, wholesale and ecommerce channels and the strong growth is largely a reflection of the strong partnerships in place and the conviction of our partners in the power of our brand.

Consumers see Levi’s not just as a denim brand but as a full lifestyle brand in India, and this will not be possible without the strong team we have here.

How does Levi Strauss & Co support gender equality and the empowerment of women within the organisation?

We’re committed to creating a workplace where people from all walks of life feel confident that their voices will be heard, and their contributions welcomed and celebrated. This is an ongoing process and one that will take tenacity, care and commitment.

The company recognises our responsibility to invest in our women employees and their careers, to use our platform to spark important conversations and to recognise the champions making a difference every day.

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