After Hours: Harsh Lal, Co-founder, The Souled Store

From Nike to Decathlon are some of his favourite brands

As a co-founder, there are new challenges and opportunities every day, which keep me on my toes
As a co-founder, there are new challenges and opportunities every day, which keep me on my toes

The Job

In addition to our retail expansion and marketplace business, I handle our licensing vertical, which is merchandise collaborations and partnerships. I have grown up watching cricket, football and WWE, so being able to work with brands from these spheres is as close as it gets to a ‘dream come true’ — we have had the opportunity to meet cricketers, and got backstage access to a WWE RAW show.

We are constantly adapting to change as it’s still a very nascent industry. Licensors and IP owners are figuring the best way to monetise their creations. We are aiming to work with brands as partners and not licensees as we grow their IP. 

The Weekdays 

It gets pretty hectic as there are multiple roles being juggled. So, I prefer keeping my meetings in the second half. That way, I can use the first half to focus on bigger picture items that often get side-tracked. I try to schedule catch-ups with team members (non-work-related) one or two times a month, just to check in on them. This is especially important when working from home. As a co-founder, there are new challenges and opportunities every day, which keep me on my toes.

I try to ensure I work out at least four times a week, once I am done for the day. It’s a nice, productive way to finish off a hectic work day.

The Weekend 

My weekends largely depend on the lockdown restrictions these days. But I try playing tennis, or go kickboxing or for a long jog. Catching up on sleep helps me recharge. I also try to go for at least one short trip every month with friends, as it is important to take a break and just cut off. 

The Toys

I am actually not a very tech-savvy person. As long as my phone, laptop, and TV are working, I’m good! I have been working on my home-gym set up though, so I keep buying equipment, hoping I will eventually use it. 

The Logos 

One brand that stands out for me is Nike for its consistency in delivering on the promise of quality and performance for so many decades. I am someone who doesn’t like switching brands too often; if a brand provides value for money and good quality, I stick to it. For instance, Enrich (great service), Decathlon (great value and helpful staff), and Sleepy Owl (morning routine) are my go-to brands.

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