026 – Sal Khokhar of Koka Consulting – “Startups Are the New Rockstars”

Realizing a brand’s potential…

Sal Khokhar (President International and Licensing for Koka Consulting, a fashion brandingSal Khokhar consulting company) sits with Pavan Bahl (OS Fashion) and Rob Sanchez (Manufacture New YorkRalph and Remington [Episode 22]) at the FashInvest Fashion Tech Investment Conference in Miami, Florida. Khokhar describes his work in helping brands go into international marketing, licensing, franchise partnerships, discovering extremely successful designers in those markets and brining them to the U.S.. He relays how he fell into fashion and how the industry is like any other with a product needing marketing and distribution, and the importance of efficiency, execution and clarity to be a winner. Khokhar recalls how the sale of Donna Karan led to his current company and to thinking outside box of a singular brand, applying large company merchandising/branding/growth knowledge to smaller companies, and the need to cohesively turn into real growth business.

Khokhar on why he looks for a “rough stone with a shine underneath”, and how the ability to allow a brand to focus on product and design while letting his firm focus on getting them into U.S.  distribution channels leads to successes. The critical values of heavy drive, keeping an eye out for potential, having “skin in the game”, being open to “sweat equity”, designers who are equally qualified as the CEO, being deep in a vertical expertise, and persistence in connecting with influential industry leaders.

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