Fouzul Hameed’s Fabric of Success
With a success story that embodies a fine eye for details, Fouzul Hameed stands as an instantly recognizable icon.
Fouzul Hameed’s name has long been a byword for fashion and style in Sri Lanka. As an individual who needs absolutely no introduction, his commitment and dedication to grooming and perfecting the gentlemen of Sri Lanka is seen as an asset to the nation. With a success story that embodies a fine eye for details, Fouzul Hameed stands as an instantly recognizable icon.
Q: Can you sum up the growth of Hameedia for us?
F: Over 30 years ago, when my parents handed this business over to my brothers and myself, it was quite a minimal operation. During my travels to the fashion hubs of the world such as London, Paris and Milan, I was exposed to many iconic fashion brands. This was a form of inspiration to create a fashion brand of such caliber for Sri Lanka as well. Thus, began the growth of Hameedia. We were able to create four successful brands; Envoy, for the premier market, Le Bond, for the mid upper range and Signature, for mass market and finally FH, as a fashion brand for discerning gentlemen.
Q: What were your formative years in the industry like?
F: When I first entered this market, I didn’t have much of an understanding of the market dynamics. I learned along the way; with more focus and determination the brand kept getting better. I wanted to see perfection. With decades of practice this was finally achieved. I never expected that we would grow so much, all thanks to the support of our loyal customers and team members.
Q: As a stylistic icon, what is your definition of ‘style’?
F: Style is something that differs from person to person. Individually, everyone should display their own style, the kind of style that they are able to carry with confidence. I always tell people to never copy the style of others, no matter how influential they may be. What works for them may not work for you. Personally, I would describe my style as being totally natural to me.
Q: Where did your fine eye for details come from?
F: While growing up, I would always see tailors and cutters working. Watching them work and seeing them correct their mistakes was very empowering for me as a young boy. I guess it is something that is in my blood. Today, I use this eye for detail to further my passion in creating real men; modern day gentlemen of contemporary society.
Q: What is your take on the saturation of the menswear market in Sri Lanka?
F: With new startups emerging, things have been tough for us. But we remain resilient as our loyal customer base understands our heritage and our strengths. As we are a prestige brand coupled with true value for money, this has enabled us to retain customers. Another way in which we counter the competition is our movement into international markets as well. I am a firm believer in the philosophy that if your service is unparalleled, customers will remain with you.
Q: Do you have any tips on how to make a good first impression?
F: You should know what occasion you are going to. Evaluate the event and the location. Don’t overdress and try not to wear negative colors. Then there are the little things that you should do on a daily basis. Groom yourself well so you keep looking sharp. The first impression that you give off is almost like a signal, so make it last as you will not get a second chance.
Q: How important are your employees to your operations?
F: Throughout our 70-year long history, our employees have been pivotal to our success. It has certainly been a long journey and along the way, we have strived to continually develop our employees, both in terms of professional and soft skills. The success of any company is not because of one man, it is a team effort.
Q: In recent press, it has been shown that certain Hameedia outlets have faced some issues, what is your take?
F: Yes, we have faced some issues. Yet, those who know us, know that we are a genuine brand. We have always been a brand for the people and our products will continue to sell due to the respect associated with them.
Q: For those who are unaware of the Hameedia brand, how would you introduce it to them?
F: As a brand, we are well balanced. Hameedia has taken Sri Lanka to new heights when concerning the world of fashion. Additionally, we also have social causes where we seek to look after the gentlemen of Sri Lanka so that they can appear as ambassadors to the world.
Q: What words of advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
F: You must love what you do, that is what being an entrepreneur is all about. It should never solely be about the money. As always, business operations come with much stress, but that is a part of the show.