Since Khadim’s started its retail journey in Kolkata, the brand has been serving masses with comfortable, affordable & durable shoes for all members of a family from generations. Siddarth Roy Burman, MD, Khadim’s India Pvt Ltd, speaks candidly about the brand’s journey, milestones along with expansion plans.
You have been in this business since 1965. During this course of long time, what has kept you motivated to stay ahead?
Retail is a very exciting journey, much like a well-made film, with fashion, people and product that still excites me after all these years as it did in 1993 when we ventured into retail.
Since its inception, Khadim’s has followed a remarkably simple ideology: to make shoes that fit everyone, in style, quality and price. The philosophy behind our brand has remained unchanged over the years and has made Khadim’s a brand that it is today. It is the people’s brand that delivers what it promises: fashion footwear that is not only affordable, but comfortable and lasting as well. We believe in offering the right products at the right price and this has earned us customer loyalty towards Khadim’s products. We continue to enjoy positive market feedback that motivates us to do better.
Since Khadim’s cater to all age group of people across the nation, how do you differentiate yourself from other players in this segment?
Khadim’s is the first of its kind, a home-grown, Indian family brand that caters to everyone in the family, from children to adults to seniors. We offer fashion for the masses at prices neither too high nor too cheap, but just right without compromising either aesthetics or durability. We pride ourselves for delivering “India-ready” shoes; we design for Indian tastes and for use on Indian roads. Also, we make sure that we have stores even in places/regions our competitors have not yet penetrated, so our customers can enjoy great quality goods.
Since the time you had started until now, what trend changes and growth you have observed in this industry?
With more exposure to media with each passing year, our customers are becoming aware of global fashion trends and thus, also fashion conscious. People now buy multiple shoes for their different lifestyle needs; no longer is it one pair per person. Consequently, per head consumption has increased over the years. Also, with industrial and economic growth in the country, there are more number of people employed, they earn better and naturally, enjoy better spending capacity. There is also the willingness to spend for branded products as people aspire to lead a “cool” lifestyle.
Add to that the increased reach retailers now enjoy with influx of online marketplaces and door-to-door delivery services. There is an increase in number of online shoppers fuelled by affordability and improved functionality of digital products. Khadim’s is too no longer restricted to retail stores but reaching out to customers in places beyond our retail coverage, thus expanding its customer base.
What are the challenges for a footwear retailer like you and what are the benefits you can count?
Khadim’s strives to find the perfect balance between fashionable and trendy products and a price point that never gets too high despite the high quality. We design products to cater to all customer tastes (SEC A, B, C and also D) without compromising aesthetics and overall quality. The challenge, primarily, is to strike a balance between fashion that our customers from all sections aspire and functionality and resilience they seek for Indian roads.
Benefits: Khadim’s designs attractive yet affordable merchandise as decent alternatives to the more expensive fashion brands selling at premium price points. We are still largely known for cost-effectiveness and durability and our bank of loyal customers who have been wearing Khadim’s for at least two generations now, are proof of that. We are the all-in-one shoe shop for the family offering fashionable footwear for children, young adults, adults and seniors and this attribute works to our advantage. Besides, with 650 stores in 24 states nationally, our retail network is unparalleled. We have consolidated our brand in not only Tier I and II cities but also penetrated in small towns and urban localities (Tier 3) where our competitors are yet to set up shop.
Which one is your best performing store lately?
There are quite a few and interestingly the top ones compete with each other to stay on top.
What is the average bill size of your best performing store?
Rs 750 to Rs 800
How are you designing your ecommerce strategy? Do you retail through marketplaces?
Yes. Currently we are on Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon.in, Ebay.in, Paytm and Shopclues. Soon we will be selling on Rediff Shopping and LimeRoad. We also have plans to start selling on Jabong, Myntra and upcoming Reliance lifestyle e-store in 2016-17. To ensure ease of order and logistics management, we have tied up with Browntape.
What kind of future growth plans you have in place? Is there any plan for product portfolio expansion?
In the coming years we would expand in the regions where we are not present and would also open more stores in states where we are popular as a brand and present for years.
Currently we have around 650 outlets in 24 states, with major presence in the Eastern and Southern states of our country.