Sharing his familiarity and experience of the retail industry, Sanjay Kapoor, Managing Director, Genesis Colors Private Limited throws light on the changing scenario in the fashion industry
Neha Malhotra (NM): For how long have you been associated with this industry? And how has the journey been so far?
Sanjay Kapoor(SK): I am a banker turned entrepreneur and entered the Indian fashion Industry in the mid 90s. Post acquiring a slew of premium Indian fashion labels, I have expanded my vision of luxury retailing by introducing European luxury brands into India. Modeled on the lines of global fashion conglomerates, the company has posted an impressive 80 per cent year on year growth in the last few years.
NM: How has the fashion industry changed over time?
SK: Changes in the fashion Industry have been multifold both from the consumer’s as well as the marketer’s end. The Indian economy has grown ten folds and become more self - sustained in the last decade and this has increased the viability of foreign retailers to invest in India.
Today, the apparel industry is fragmented in terms of distinct choices exercised by various consumers. Designer wear which was earlier largely an unorganised sector, today has transformed into an organised retail segment, with the emergence of multi-designer outlets such as Samsaara, as well as exclusive self owned designer stores. The aspirational value generated by designer creations and higher disposable income has propelled the fashion industry’s growth and has led to a bigger rise in the demand for designer wear. This has also made foreign designer labels like Aigner, Canali, Hugo Boss and Gucci etc. to foray into India.
Also, the opening of large retail outlets such as Shopper’s Stop, Pantaloons and malls like the Select Citywalk or the Ambience Mall, are providing the consumers as well as the manufacturers a one stop shop for varied brands. The earlier problems of real estate development, location and the high prices of shops etc. have come down with the coming up of malls and multi - designer outlets. This comprehensive effect has given an impetus to the fashion industry like never before.
NM: What changes have you seen in the customer preferences in the past few years? And how has the demand for designer wear changed over the years?
SK: The whole concept of shopping has altered in terms of format and consumer buying behavior, ushering in a revolution in shopping in India. Globalisation and international exposure with higher disposable incomes have lead to a better-informed and assertive customer who has distinctive needs to be met. Today’s consumers are willing to spend a premium price for brands that give them exclusivity and a fashionable edge. The trends across various segments in the apparel industry are far more global now hence the design and colours for any particular season have to be in tandem with the international fashion scenario. Consumers have a variety of international brands to choose from and hence have become a lot more experimental and impulsive in terms of their buying preferences.
NM: What future do you perceive for retail in India?
SK: There is an immense scope as far as the growth of retail in India is concerned. Franchising as a format is a long-term benefit and not a short-term business initiative and needs to be optimally explored. Considering India’s high real-estate prices, franchising is a cost effective and market friendly method to enter fresh territories. It also allows a company to expand the brand presence while retaining control over the business. Thus franchising is going to come up in a big way in the entire retail scenario.
NM: Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
SK: GCPL takes pride in being the first fashion conglomerate in India and has to its credit the early beginnings of corporotisation of fashion as a business. Now with Genesis Luxury we have forayed into the retail of a variety International designers brands like Paul Smith, Kenzo, Canali, and Just Cavalli and in the next few years we will work towards building the right base for marketing of these brands across India.