I recently got an opportunity to meet this guy. Ohh! Sorry! I met this person named Anuraag Singhal, who has been a leading and award winning Visual Merchandiser from Madura Group, India. He has been setting the foundation for Visual Merchandising, broadly speaking that of creativity in India since his teenage years.
I realized now why I used ‘guy’ for him at the first place. He would be around 40 years or so but his energy was immense and infectious. It did not come in my mind that he is really older than me for even once. He is vibrant and friendly.
I just wanted to meet him, discuss about Visual Merchandising and seek some guidance.
We met in Mumbai. After a normal chit-chat, I asked the question which was in my mind for long, ‘How did he start as a Visual Merchandiser?’ This answer stunned and inspired me at the same time. He told me, First, he got into advertising where he used to create artworks using the Powerpoint , no other software at all. Then he used to take Creativity sessions and Workshops at NIFT. After his Advertising stint, he moved to Jet Airways for financial stability. He was still continuing with his NIFT sessions. One day something noteworthy happened, Shoppers Stop was recently launched that time and they were looking for a creative person. This news went to NIFT soon and everybody recommended his name. He went on to meet the Shoppers Stop CEO, who told Anuraag, that they are looking for a Visual Merchandiser. Questions started rising in his mind. Now what is Visual Merchandising, the most prominent question of all. Since, that was the time when nobody would have heard about this term. Though he used to freelance for Raymonds, creating their window Displays, he never happened to stumble upon this term called Visual Merchandising. After knowing all, he accepted the offer. That’s how he started into VM.
The best part is he can do anything which involves creativity not only Visual Merchandising but interior designing, cartooning, illustrations, anything. He read books based on Visual Merchandising especially that of Martin Pegler’s to make his mind adept to this concept. He soon understood the working of it and implemented everything in his work.
He has a written a book which is considered as a Bible in Visual Merchandising in India. He is planning to launch other books too. He publishes a monthly newsletter on Visual Merchandising called ‘ Think tank’.
He is so full of knowledge and ideas. When we discussed about what matters in Visual Merchandising, his straight reply was, ‘the thing which matters is how you can use the given space effectively and generating more sales of the merchandise kept in that space. This is the only which one should think about’.
Besides, all this, he write Puns and One liners , utilizing the power of Social Media. I must say, one can never ignore his writings. I would like to end it with one of his one-liners, ‘Whatever you do in life, always give 100%…unless you’re donating blood…’
I forgot to take a picture since I was too engrossed in the conversation. It was not at all an interview, therefore I am not quoting his words. I am putting forward my interpretation and my words.
The meeting was really great and in that half an hour, I understood whole lot of things about Visual Merchandising than I ever read on Internet or in books.
So any aspiring Visual Merchandiser needs to know about him, how he has taken the creative responsibility for Allen Solly in India, his award-winning work, his work getting published in the Martin Pegler’s Book of Visual Merchandising, on an International level and there are so many other victories of him.
We would definitely like to know more about him but sometime later, unstacking his victories and knowledge. That’s all from my side.