Kimaya Fashion has been one of its kind retail experiences for the consumers through its Kimaya stores and now Karmik. Adding a new identity with Karmik, Pradeep Hirani, Chairman, Kimaya Fashion looks at targeting a larger bunch of women, giving them affordable designer labels. He shares his plans for the newly launched identity in a conversation with Suranjana Basu.
Suranjana Basu (SB): Share the Karmik story with our readers.
Pradeep Hirani (PH): Two years back we appointed a research consultancy to outline the way ahead for our brand Kimaya, as per the research context it was discovered that there’s a huge gap in the Indian wear context. Today, there are two ends of the spectrum one is mass market wherein average MRP is Rs 1250 and the other end there are designers labels whose average selling price is Rs 27500. This vacuum cannot be mere filled up with a ladder but by a platform. The first car in can be Maruti 800 then you graduate to own Tata’s, Hyundai’s, Ford’s and Toyota’s. So everyone ladders up in life, but there is no ladder in the Indian wear segment. So, the creation of the ladder is most important. Our DNA is designers. We are known for giving them the best platform in the country, so we felt that ideal would be to leverage our DNA to fill this vacuum. Karmik is born out of three aces, which are Aspiration, Affordable and Accessible. What is the highest aspiration a woman can have in terms of clothing is designer label. Is she willing to pay Rs 27000 for that? Maybe not yet, maybe eventually. But then what is affordable, which is a relative term? What we found is $100 of Rs 5000 which is affordable to her and in her city, for which she doesn’t have to travel Delhi or Mumbai. These collections will be of designer labels but will be manufactured in bulk and thus the benefits will be passed on to the customers. These are couture at the prêt prices.
SB: What are your retail plans for Karmik?
PH: We have already opened six and have plan to bring up the footprints to 60 outlets within three years. We have tied up with 12 top designers of India such as Ritu Beri, JJ Valya, Rohit Bal, Rina Dhaka, Anamika Khanna, Ranna Gill, Kavita Bhartia, Shane Falguni Peacock and Rocky S and designers from Pakistan because Karmik will be set up in Pakistan an other parts of Indian subcontinents. We have licensing tie-up with 6 Pakistani brands. We will be licensing our brand name, manufacturing in high scale, reducing the price and offering to customers.
SB: Kimaya and Karmik both are designer driven, will we see any intermingling of the two?
PH: Kimaya will be distinctly kept separate from Karmik. They will never be sold from the same place. And designers will be in control of the quality, it won’t be compromised. However, whatever sold in Karmik will be one season that is six months old.
SB: What impact do you see FDI making on Karmik and Kimaya?
PH: For international brands you have plenty of options but for Indian brands you don’t even have five options. If you want to buy ready, off-the-shelves branded stuff, you don’t even have more than five options. So it’s always Indian wear for me.
We are focused on Indian funds, Indian clients, Indian designers, so FDI doesn’t make life different from us. Having said that, it will definitely increase the horizon and there will be more aspirational customers. People want brands now. More you offer, more they want. That’s the advantage.
We have presence in Dubai. We will do in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Colombo, Bahrain, Kuwait.
SB: What are your expansion plans for Karmik and Kimaya?
PH: Karmik was launched at Lakme Fashion Week four months back. We launched 6 stores for Karmik in one week , two in Delhi, one in Mumbai, one in Bangalore, one in Chennai and one in Ludhiana. In December we will be launching 9 more stores in one week. February we will be launching another 12 stores. For Kimaya we have 16 stores. We will be having 30 stores for Kimaya, one next week in Jaipur, two weeks later in Ludhiana and Lucknow.