Bhupinder Singh

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Holding the Reign

Bhupinder Singh

Chief Product Offi cer,

Wildcraft India

A successful Chief Product Offi cer embodies a unique blend of technical expertise, strategic vision, and empathetic leadership. They possess an innate ability to bridge the gap between the present and the future while staying attuned to industry trends. This role demands a deep understanding of product development intricacies, coupled with the confi dence to make timely decisions. However, what truly sets apart an exceptional CPO is their commitment to collaboration, breaking down departmental barriers, and communicating with unwavering clarity.
Meet Bhupinder Singh, the Chief Product Offi cer at Wildcraft India Pvt. Ltd., whose illustrious career in leadership roles, product development, sourcing strategy, and business development in the retail industry speaks volumes. With a holistic approach to product management, Bhupinder holds the reins from concept to shelf, overseeing Wildcraft’s four key verticals: apparel, footwear, gear and luggage.
From conceptualizing innovative product ideas to guiding them to fruition, Bhupinder’s vast experience of over 25 years in the industry equips him to address challenges and streamline processes effi ciently. Previously handling Product development and sourcing roles for Adidas Group and driving the product development and sourcing strategy for Adidas India Marketing, he possesses an unparalleled grasp of the intricacies of the product lifecycle.
Known for his technical prowess and a knack for nurturing relationships, Bhupinder’s commitment to operational excellence is unwavering. He champions a product-centric organizational culture, setting high performance standards for his teams. Emphasizing strategic planning, quality assurance, and lean execution, Bhupinder’s meticulous attention to timelines and collaboration has been pivotal in achieving consistent profi tability and maintaining desired gross margins.
Bhupinder’s leadership narrative transcends mere professional accolades. At its core lies a deep-seated commitment to people, an insatiable appetite for continuous evolution, and a masterful knack for forging infl uential stakeholder relationships. With a leadership style that seamlessly marries adaptability with vision, Bhupinder not only sets the gold standard for Chief Product Offi cers but also ignites a culture of relentless excellence among his teams. In a candid dialogue with TradeFlock, Bhupinder divulges the driving forces behind his unparalleled pursuit of perfection and the strategic alchemy he employs to consistently achieve it. 

How do you define your leadership style?

My leadership style is best described as “Transformational Leadership.” I prioritise inspiring teams with a shared future vision, championing open communication, and cultivating mutual trust. At a product-centric company like Wildcraft, this approach ensures adaptability, seamless collaboration across departments, and resilience to market or tech shifts. To truly embody this, I believe in leading by example and always “walking the talk.”

How do you promote effective collaboration among departments to ensure successful product outcomes?

As a CPO, I champion a dual-focus strategy: clarity in product vision, intricately aligned with our company’s mission, distilled into actionable roadmaps; and fostering a culture of open dialogue, ensuring seamless collaboration across all departments and regular stakeholder alignment for optimal product launches and outcomes. Product management is a harmonious blend of art and science. As a CPO, my philosophy combines the analytical—deep market insights, agile methodologies, risk foresight, and metric tracking— with the intuitive— creativity, customer-centricity, and a fervour for addressing user challenges. Central to success are a keen market understanding, rigorous product development, and a go-to-market strategy that resonates. Post-launch, I focus on iterative feedback, scaling, and optimization. But it’s the strength of the product team, diligent budget management, and unwavering commitment to problem-solving that truly drive product excellence.

How do you balance new product development with product improvement in outdoor gear and apparel, and what role does technology play in this?

In the competitive landscape of outdoor gear and apparel, striking the right balance between innovating new products and refi ning existing ones is pivotal. Here’s the blueprint I follow: Start with rigorous market research, pinpoint market gaps for new opportunities, and scrutinise feedback for refi ning current products. Stay vigilant for competitors’ moves and adjust. Balance the fi nancial prospects of new developments against the ROI of product enhancements. Assess internal capabilities: can you innovate effectively, or is refi ning a smarter play? Consider your brand’s image—are you an innovator or a stalwart of reliability? Keep a pulse on product lifecycles, with declining sales signalling a need for reinvention. Stay attuned to regulatory shifts, especially in eco-conscious sectors. Lastly, gauge the speed-to-market: can you swiftly capitalise on a market gap, or would refi ning an existing product provide a quicker win? Ultimately, the key lies in maintaining a fl uid strategy, ready to pivot based on market insights and customer needs. In today’s competitive outdoor gear and apparel market, technology is the linchpin for both product innovation and enhancement. Advanced analytics pinpoint market trends and predict demands. CRM systems and social listening tools capture invaluable customer feedback. With CAD and 3D printing, product designs transition rapidly from concept to prototype. ERP systems and IoT streamline and optimise the supply chain, while innovations in material technology bolster product sustainability. VR offers immersive product testing, and AR elevates the customer experience. Modern collaboration tools knit teams together, even if miles apart. Realtime insights are gleaned from e-commerce platforms, and wearable tech integration introduces revolutionary product features. AI refi nes this process further, from pattern recognition to instant customer feedback via chatbots. In essence, embedding technology into product processes isn’t just effi cient—it’s a game-changer, driving innovation, aligning with market needs, and ensuring unparalleled product quality.

How do you foresee and adapt to changing consumer preferences in an industry known for rapid shifts?

In dynamic industries, my prowess as a Chief Product Offi cer hinges on proactively navigating market shifts and ensuring product relevancy. This involves a relentless focus on market research, predictive analytics, and deep customer engagement. Adopting an agile development process is crucial for rapid iterations, while a diversifi ed product portfolio mitigates risks. Investing in adaptable technology platforms, fostering crossfunctional collaboration, and championing continuous learning positions the company ahead of the curve. Regular scenario planning, pilot programmes, and close ties with distributors offer fi rsthand insights. With growing consumer consciousness, aligning with sustainability and ethical values is nonnegotiable. For global players like Wildcraft, cultural attunement is essential. Above all, nurturing an innovative mindset within teams is the catalyst for breakthroughs. In essence, as a CPO, my success lies in a data-centric, customer-focused approach, underscored by adaptability and continuous evolution.

What key lessons from your product development journey would you share with aspiring product leaders?

For those rising in the product leadership realm, my journey imparts these insights: prioritise the end-user, ensuring you understand and cater to their nuances. Embrace failures as growth catalysts, maintaining agility to pivot when necessary. Champion cross-functional synergy and stay updated in our ever-evolving landscape. Ground decisions in data and champion simplicity over complexity. Vigilantly manage product scope, factor in ethical implications, and advocate for team diversity. Communication is your compass—be lucid, set clear benchmarks, and always stay aligned. Navigate product development with resilience, balancing short-term wins with long-term vision. Fuel your journey with passion, which can invigorate teams and resonate with users. While these tenets are pivotal, every product leader’s odyssey is distinct—be ready to carve out and learn from your unique trajectory.