A Kanck for Growth

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As the General Manager of ID Design, United Colors of Benetton, Chattels & More and Kare, Adrian Shaw has been instrumental to the consistent sales growth experienced by the brands. Sharon Carvalho speaks to the enterprising leader about his plans for the next year

How would you describe your management style?

I believe completely in ‘actions = consequences’. My team knows that if they work hard and achieve targets, they will reap the rewards. On the flip side, anyone not giving their all will stand out very quickly. I have a great relationship with my team members and my door is always open to all, but when it comes to business I usually try to take an unemotional view on what is right versus what is wrong.

What is your secret to driving sales and profitability?

I hail from a ‘stack it high, sell it cheap’ background in the UK and I have to say, I still believe that great offers will still bring in the sales, even in the luxury market. Customers in the UAE are very retail savvy and are always on the lookout for a good deal. I see staff training as paramount, quite often our customers will be spending a lot of time and money with us to furnish a whole house or room, so, they will start seeing the guys on the floor as part of their family! We are very careful when interviewing potential employees to make sure that they will make a good fit with the rest of the team and with our company ethos. In terms of profitability, ruthlessness is the key with no grey areas. My ultimate secret, though, is my management team. I surround myself with the best at what they do; otherwise it is impossible for one person to effectively control every area of the business.

Of the brands that you look after, three are in interior design. What are the prevalent FW16 trends? Can you research this?

The market is getting more fashionable with every passing day. Unlike before, people have more choices and, hence, have become choosy about colours and love experimenting with new finishes. Earlier, the safe colors always used to be shades of gold, white and grey but now people love to experiment with taupe, blue, red etc.

UCB is a brand that holds multiculturalism at its core, which is a trait that holds true for this country. So, how has the country responded to the brand?

Dubai’s tourism is every expanding. UCB caters to almost all nationalities prevalent in this city. From Arabs to Westerners, and Asians to Russians, they are all come with different fashion sense and UCB, till date, for the past 30 years, have been able to cater to all.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

I have always tried to keep the weekends free to spend with my wife and two boys. Although, most weekends, we end up visiting at least one of the shops. Most of the shop floor teams know my family and visa versa so the two worlds are definitely intertwined. I give my all for my job but anyone in management working horrendously long hours is either not delegating effectively or is not working with the right people!

What are the 2017 goals for your brands?

Existing brands like IDdesign are currently going through a refurbishment and redesign process as per our recently refurbished flagship showroom in Mall of the Emirates. Our new brands, such as Chattels and More, will see us focus on the brand development and looking for prominent new locations to open more showrooms across the UAE. We have also added more international brands to our portfolio with Kare Design and SIA Flowers.