Ajay Kumar Dayal, VP/SVP, Rivoli Group, Dubai and CEO, Tridayle Consulf FZE, Dubai
The Rivoli Group is the premier Luxury Group in the Middle East, with a network of 400 stores offering the best names in watches, accessories and eyewear.
Ashutosh Garg engages in a thought-provoking tête-à-tête with Ajai Kumar Dayal, VP SVP- Rivoli group, and the CEO of Triadyle Consultancy. Ajai is an experienced senior executive with a history of working in the retail industry, who is skilled in business planning, sales, market research, business development, and marketing strategy.
“Will retail be that big a thing in the future such that it will justify the existence of so many big malls?”- Ajai Kumar Dayal.
The retail genius foresees the future of the retail business and discusses the changes in the shopping mall business.
From how he started his career from scratch in Dubai to how his plans helped Rivoli to overcome a dreadful business threat, the Ruble crash of 1997- Ajai reminisces about how his contributions ignited a retail revolution in Dubai.
Rivoli is a highly successful brand with 400+ stores today. Things weren’t the same 30 years ago. The man whose revolutionary ideas made Rivoli what it is today shares the secrets behind his success. Ajai’s story is an inspiration to the businessmen of generations to come.
The Rivoli Group is the premier Luxury Group in the Middle East, with a network of 400 stores offering the best names in watches, accessories and eyewear. The group is majority owned by the Swatch Group, which is the largest Swiss Company with some of the best brand names including Blancpain, Breguet, Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Hamilton and of course the iconic Swatch brand, among many others.
I joined the group in 2015 as Vice President, and managed with a team of brand managers, a large portfolio of brands. Later in 2016, I took over as Senior VP, the marketing for the group, and started the Ecommerce business, which was a completely new area of operation. The marketing function was rapidly developed, with a comprehensive Digital Marketing program both for individual brands as well as for the Group. We were one of the largest marketing partners of Facebook and Google in our category in the region. The new Ecommerce business required a complete mindshift for the Group which was then a respected, highly successful and well known brick and mortar retailer. So in addition to all the actions required to set up the new business, one of the challenges was to educate the group and management to Ecommerce and its subtleties. We set up two Webshops, one for watches and the second for eyewear, each of them requiring a different approach to purchase and marketing. Both the stores are well established now. The Watches Ecommerce business also included supplies to third party sellers such as Amazon, Namshi and Noon, which required a completely different approach. These relationships are now well established and the company became a major partner in the category of these websites.
Our marketing strategy became more and more digital, as we wound down our outdoor and print budgets. It was quite diverse, and we started a strong affiliate marketing program using established platforms. After working for a couple of years with the Hubspot marketing automation platform, we recently moved on to Salesforce, in order to manage our contact lists, and carry out automated marketing communications including emailers and other assets.
The group marketing included a wide array of other activities, such as the negotiation and signing up with the new Coca Cola Arena, Dubai, as a Founding partner with our own permanent lounge, arranging a new Omega Nations Golf Tournament, which was conducted every year for three years, with the winners qualifying to in the ProAm of the Omega Desert Classic that is held every year.