Ad Land’s Young Guns: Satyajit Mittal, Co-founder & CEO, Aretto

Satyajit Mittal is the Co-founder and CEO of Aretto, a kid-focused footwear brand deep-rooted intechnology. He is responsible for various critical functions at the start-up, including maintaining business relations, overseeing business development, making key decisions, and spearheading the overall operations and resources of the company. Mittal is also the primary point of contact between Aretto’s board of directors and corporate operations.

In conversation with Adgully, Satyajit Mittal speaks about Icons he looks up to, Success Mantra, advice to the youth, and more.

Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?

As someone who values design, I greatly admire the work of Dieter Rams and strive to incorporate his principles of thoughtful design into my own work. As a designer at Braun, Rams created products that perfectly balanced the needs of consumers with what is considered good design. I believe that design is present in all aspects of life, and how we perceive and interact with the world is inherently a design decision.

In the footwear industry, I look up to Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, who built a successful brand despite having no prior experience in the industry. I am impressed by how he leveraged design, technology, and cultural trends to make Nike a lasting brand.

In terms of innovation, I am inspired by Billy Bowerman, Phil Knight’s partner at Nike who made the first waffle runner, which was a leapfrog in the technology for running shoes. I also find Steve Jobs to be an inspiration for his ability to create generationally differentiated products and consistently add value.

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

Waking up early: One of my most productive daily habits is waking up early, specifically at 5:30 am. This allows me to start the day with a clear and focused mindset, setting a positive tone for the rest of the day.

Reading: I make it a habit to read at least 25 pages every morning, which helps to set a positive perspective for the day and learn something new.

Exercise: I go for a walk or jog in the morning, always outside, and use the time to explore my neighborhood and observe the world around me.

Planning: While walking, I set an agenda for the day, focusing on achieving one task perfectly, five tasks moderately, and three long-term planning tasks.

Managing communication: To maintain focus and avoid distractions, I reply to emails in set slots, once in the morning and once at the end of the day. Additionally, I keep all meetings under 30 minutes to maintain productivity.

What does it take to succeed in a career?

To succeed in a career, it is important to be consistent and stay committed to your goals. I have noticed that many people tend to change careers too frequently, jumping from one opportunity to the next without fully understanding what they truly want to do. By staying committed to a specific role, it allows you to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact in your field.

It is also important to have patience and perseverance, as success doesn’t happen overnight. In the past, people used to stay at a company for five years, but now many are looking to switch companies in less than a year. However, it is hard to gain enough experience and knowledge in such a short period of time to make a significant impact in a company. By staying with a company for a longer period, you will have a better chance to develop your skills and make a valuable contribution.

Another key to success is specialisation. Instead of trying to be a jack of all trades, it is important to pick one thing and become an expert in it. When you focus on a specific area, you will have the opportunity to go deep and gain a deeper understanding and mastery of your field.

Lastly, it is important to always be open to learning, even when you are at the top of your game. Always be humble, and know that you will always have something new to learn. Making an impact starts with being good at what you do and that comes primarily with focus.

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?

My advice to young professionals planning to enter the footwear industry is that it is a dynamic and growing field, with a lot of potential for growth and expansion. India is the second largest producer of footwear in the world, and the industry is expected to see a significant increase in consumption over the next 10 years.

In particular, companies that are at the intersection of footwear and design, or that specialise in design, excellence, and consumerism, are poised for success. This is a particularly exciting time to be in the industry, as growth and opportunities are abundant.

If you are considering entering the industry, think about how you can differentiate yourself and bring new ideas to the table. Be open to learning, but also be prepared to take calculated risks and think outside of the box.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Let’s talk about a 5-year horizon instead. I see Aretto creating disruptive and innovative products that the world has never seen before. My goal is to establish Aretto as a globally accomplished and admired brand, known for its unique and high-quality products. I envision Aretto scaling and expanding to different countries, seeing people wearing our brand, and becoming a well-known name in the kids’ footwear industry.

Five years, however, is a significant amount of time, and the world is constantly changing. I can more pinpointedly answer where I see us in the next 24 months. In 2 years, I see Aretto becoming one of the top-known brands in the kids’ footwear space, not just in India, but also making its presence felt abroad and starting to explore global markets. This is possible only when we keep on learning, adapting, and keep pushing our limits.


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