Gunjan Piplani (GP): Kindly give us a small brief about Blue & Blues?
Praveen Agarwal (PA): Blue & Blues is an Italian brand conceived by Francesco Lanzaratto and Fulvio Rovaris – two Italians – one a designer, the other a fashion visionary with over 60 years of experience in leather products. Among them Francesco was a designer and business associate for European fashion brands like Blue Marine, Mandarina Duck, Sergio Tacchini. Rovaris is the owner of one of the largest belt producing units in Italy – licensee for top brands like Sergio Tacchini, Evolution, Pierre Cardin, Lancetti, Gattinoni etc. That is why we always claim that very few know leather better than we do. Many look at leather bags and wallets as essential fashion accessories or believe that they are black and brown signatures of elegance. At Blue & Blues, we look at leather bags as an extension of your being. Our leather is uniquely colorful, pure, buffed and deliciously soft, our bags beautifully adapt to the texture and feel of your own hands, they evolve and mature to the shape of your body. With you, our leather bags would breathe and grow, with us, you would feel and experience the world of purest leather, you’ve never known before.
GP: What is your product portfolio? And what you consider as the USP for Blue & Blues products?
PA: Our product category includes hand Bags, ladies wallets, gents wallets, portfolios, passport holders and other leather accessories.
Talking about the USP, we are the pioneers in introducing coloured leather in India. Most of the styles are designed in Italy. The quality of the products compels admiration.
GP: What is the product fit of the brand and who are your target audience?
PA: Blue & Blues, deals with lifestyle products. Our target audience is women above the age of 25, mainly working women who have the sense of style and fashion.
GP: What is the price range of the products?
PA: The price range of products are:
For handbags, it starts from Rs 1988 and goes up to Rs 6000
For portfolios and luggage bags, it starts Rs 4588 and goes up to Rs 9088
For ladies wallets, the range starts from Rs 988 and goes up to Rs 2488
The gents’ wallets start from Rs 688 and go up to Rs 1688
The key chain and card holder’s price range starts from Rs 388 and goes up to Rs 688.
GP: How are you retailing your products? What is the number of stores (Both multi-brand and standalone) here at India?
PA: Blue & Blues has its own flagship stores in MGF Mall, Gurgaon; Manisquare Mall, Kolkata and Citi Centre 1, Kolkata. We are also present in all Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Rituwears, Central, Witco, Metro and Landmark stores. There are also standalone stores where we are available like Premsons , Benzer, Green Hills, etc. In total we are present in approximately 150 stores all across India.
GP: Do you plan to expand this presence? If yes, then what are plans in terms of numbers?
PA: Yes we are going to expand our presence. We are planning to have one store each in places including Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
GP: How you are marketing and promoting your products in India?
PA: We are marketing our products through advertisement in premium lifestyle magazines like Femina, Cosmopolitan, Harpers Bazar, Elle etc. Digitally, we market ourselves through Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogs etc. We also sponsor fashion events and participate in exhibitions.
GP: Are your products being manufactured or sourced in India? Kindly elaborate on the supply chain and quality check, as well.
PA: Our products are sourced in India, China, Bangladesh and Italy. We get our products designed in Italy and then the designs of the products are manufactured / sourced from respective countries. Quality standards are pre-set and any product not confirming to quality standards are out rightly rejected. Experts and specialists have already been working at respective profiles to ensure zero tolerance on quality issues.
GP: What are your expansion plans in India? Also share your revenue and growth expectation in the coming years?
PA: We are planning to expand with our own exclusive stores in various Tier I and Tier II cities in India. We are also trying to expand our presence abroad like at United States of America, Australia and New Zealand. We have grown almost 50 per cent year on year basis and would like to accelerate the growth process by adding new products to our portfolio. We may also start looking at offering franchising opportunities by the end of this year.