Cresset is not your typical agency; they are strategic partners of fashion brands, who are wholly data-driven and results-focused. Cresset is passionately committed to comprehending the essence of fashion brands, whether it’s a budding newcomer or an established presence in the business world.
With so many feathers in your cap, let’s start with a brief introduction about yourself and a bit about your educational background.
I am from Lahore and spent over 25 years in the US. I pursued my undergraduate studies at the University of Connecticut in Finance & Accounting and attended graduate level courses at Harvard University. I began my career in finance, specifically within Hedge Funds and Investment Banking. Now, to simplify, I am engaged in the business of fashion and run a Venture Capital (VC) firm that invests in startups.
What is Cresset Tech all about and what key services does the company offer?
Cresset is Pakistan’s leading “Fashion Commerce” player. We provide end-to-end solutions, from revenue-based eCommerce management to brand strategy, manufacturing, distribution, retail expansion, and even last-mile delivery for fashion brands. Our Venture Capital (VC) arm enables us to aid in the growth of brands both locally and internationally.
How many brands do you have on board and can you name a few prominent ones?
We actively cater to over fifty (50) fashion designers and brands, both within Pakistan and globally. Some prominent names in Pakistan include Farah Talib Aziz, Nomi Ansari, Ansab Jehangir, Mohsin Ranjha (MNR), Annus Abrar, Zain Hashmi, and many more. Internationally, we service names like Forever 21, Kylie & Kendall Jenner, just to name a couple.
What strategies do you use to create an emotional connection between customers and the brand?
A study by the Harvard Business School (HBS) concluded that in the 21st century, relationships are the backbone of business. For the last decade, our mantra at Cresset has also been the same. We focus on experiential marketing rather than a product push. Our motto is to be “empathetic,” providing unparalleled service, thus creating an emotional connection.
What sets your business apart from competitors?
Technically, we have no direct competition. With a human capital strength of 400 across five countries, Cresset is highly vertically integrated in all aspects of the fashion business. While other firms focus on just one aspect of what we do, none provide even half the spectrum of services as Cresset. While we wish the best to others, our only competition is within ourselves.
Why is brand management important to a business in your opinion?
A brand is a uniquely recognizable identity that distinguishes itself from others. A well-positioned brand’s persona and ethos are experienced without being spelled out. To strategically achieve this is the art of branding/brand management. Brand positioning/management is the soul of the brand, the single most important aspect.
What marketing metrics do you value most for brand management?
We believe in a balance of both quantitative and qualitative metrics. While numbers are paramount and easier to measure, it is equally important to track qualitative aspects such as emotions, feelings, and feedback.
Describe a typical work week and how do you spend your weekends?
The beauty of my entrepreneurial journey is that it has no “typical” week, and I love that about it. Depending on the week, it could involve traveling to three different countries, attending client meetings between Karachi and Lahore, or a retail store launch. There’s no such thing as a weekend for an entrepreneur.
Your favorite travel destination? Any memorable moment you’d like to share?
Zanzibar! From snorkeling to hiking and safari, it offers the best of all worlds. The whole vacation was memorable and a great experience.
We always see you very well dressed; is it a personal preference?
Tom Ford said, “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” I feel as comfortable in a suit as in a pair of denim. Coming from a finance background and now in the business of fashion, my career choices have shaped my sense of style.
What fragrance would Asad wear to turn heads at a meeting/conference and at the beach/party/or at the coffeehouse?
Chanel (Bleu) has been my go-to cologne since its launch a decade ago. Depending on the time of day and occasion, I also wear Creed (Aventus) and Clive Christian (No.1 Masculine).
How do you envision the future of your business?
Cresset has been on an upward trajectory since its inception. Despite the ever-changing market, we’ve experienced exponential growth. As long as we, as an organization, continue to evolve in both business fundamentals and technology, I foresee continued growth.
Are there any upcoming projects or expansions?
Absolutely! The only constant in life is change. We’re constantly expanding within Pakistan and internationally, through both eCommerce and retail networks. I can’t disclose exact details, but here’s a hint: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor.”
What advice would you like to give to our readers?
I’ve learned that we are all a product of our unique life experiences and circumstances, so I refrain from giving direct advice. Sincerity to others, passion for your career, and humility in success always yield positive results. Patience and resilience are key ingredients in building character.