Malaysian kidswear brand Poney is looking at investing Rs 30 crore to expand its India operations, including opening 25 more outlets over the next five years.
Poney, which entered India last month, is targeting a turnover of Rs 100 crore in five years, said Rajat Kapoor, head of Ajanta International Group, with which Poney has a master franchise agreement in the country.
"We're looking at opening three more stores in the NCR (National Capital Region) by the end of this financial year and two more in Mumbai by the end of 2016. We plan on opening at least five stores each year," Kapoor said, adding that the brand is also aiming for 100 shop-in-shop counters and will be adding 10 counters to its name every year.
Apart from cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, Poney plans to set up outlets in tier-II cities like Lucknow, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana and Pune. According to Kapoor, the brand is in also talks with Indian kid-centric portals to sell its products.
In India's children's wear market estimated by consultancy firm Technopak at $8.3 billion in 2013 and expected to contribute to 22 per cent of the country's apparel market by 2023. Poney will compete with international brands Zara, Tommy Hilfiger and GAP Inc., among others.
The brand, which has presence in 11 countries and is entering the European market, debuted in India with a 900-sq ft store in Delhi. While the brand operates on its own in China and Singapore, it has entered into a franchise agreement for India.
Poney's international business unit head, Muzaffar Syed said, “It is difficult operating internationally. We have to have a good sense of the Indian market, firstly, and then we have to have the whole set up done over here," said Syed.
The domestic kidswear market, which was earlier dominated by the unorganised sector, has begun making way for organised retail brands, thanks to the increased purchasing power of double-income households.