Redefining the ready-to-wear market

In conversation with Vinay Chatlani, Chairman and COO, Soch.
Redefining the Ready-to-Wear Market

Bangalore-based women’s ethnic wear brand ‘Soch’ commenced its business in 2005, by opening its first store at Forum Mall, Bangalore. The company currently has 36 stores and plans to reach 70 by FY’15, according to Vinay Chatlani, Chairman and COO, Soch.

What are the latest trends that you are witnessing in the ethnic wear space?


There has been a drastic shift from traditional unstitched sets to ready-to-wear mix-and-match apparel. At our stores, sari remains the bestseller, followed by stitched and unstitched sets, kurtis and bottom wear. We have observed that the more conservative catchments buy saris and unstitched or stitched sets to a greater extent; while the catchments that attract more tourists and floating crowd sell more kurtis and mix-and-match apparel. 

Who is your target audience?

Our target customer has always been the career-oriented woman, homemaker and student, in the age group of 16 to 60 years. We service SEC A+, A, B+ and many times SEC B customers.

According to you, when should a regional retailer expand nationally?

When a retailer has the confidence in scalability, supply chain, logistics and ability to tweak the merchandise mix as per the targeted regions, he should expand nationally. We feel that a cluster approach works best due to the efficiency in advertising and management bandwidth.

How much investment goes into setting up each store? What is the average bill size? 

A store requires an investment of Rs 40 lakh in fixed assets and Rs 20 lakh to Rs 25 lakh of deposit for four to six months. In addition to this, depending on the store size and location, Rs 3 lakh to Rs 40 lakh is invested to stock merchandise. The average bill size is Rs 2,950.

What are your expansion plans?

We are planning to open around 25-30 stores and targeting revenue of Rs 250 crore by the end of FY’15. Our plan is to initially be present in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, followed by North and East India. We have recently entered Bhopal and are targeting to open stores in Lucknow, Kanpur and Indore, shortly.

Vinay Chatlani
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