We are looking to generate Rs 200 crore revenue this year: Ramesh Kheni

In conversation with Ramesh Kheni, Director, Classic Polo, who talks about his brands marching towards the Northern market and its future plans.
Ramesh Kheni, Director, Classic Polo

On marking its18th year journey in Indian markets this year, Classic Polo stands tall among the brands that have re-established and succeeded. From a brand made for the middle-aged men, to its latest collection that targets the college crowd, Classic Polo is adding many new feathers to its caps. With targets of entering the Northern markets and spinning turnovers to Rs 200 crore, Classic Polo director Ramesh Kheni tells Indian Retailer how the brand plans to enter new markets.

You have completed 17 years in Indian retail industry. Tell us about the brand’s journey so far.
This year we are marching towards 18th year in the Indian market and we have had a large market in South India. We are present in 70 cities and have 106 franchise outlets. With new collection in line and a dedicated team working towards building the brand, we are all set to enter the Northern market i.e, North, West and Eastern markets this year. Since we were not into winter wear collection, we had stayed away from these markets. However, now, our collections will cater to the needs of the customers here too.

Classic Polo has fairly been for men over 30’s. You have added a youth collection as well. How did Classic Polo emerge as the brand for men of all age?
True, most of our customers have been over the age bracket of 30. While we wanted to introduce the fashion of 25+ years to our customers, we did not want them to think that the brand had lost its identity. Hence, the Classic Polo Bro, a youth-oriented brand, was introduced for millennials and college goers. There has been good response to this CP Bro.

Reliance Trends, Big Bazaar and Max are in trend for making fashion affordable as value brands. How do you see the competition?
Our aim has been to deliver premium products but at price point. Most of our products have been similar to Adidas, Nike and Puma range of products, but moderately priced. In fact, we are present at 285 Reliance Stores and Max or Big Bazaar has not been our major competitors.

All major brands have taken the e-commerce route. Classic Polo is not aggressive on the e-marketplace. What are your online strategies?
We have noticed that majority of our customers still prefer touch-and-feel experience over online buying, and though we are present in online channels like Flipkart and Amazon, we are not aggressively promoting the brand online.

But CP Bro is a youth-centered brand. Will this rule apply for these young customers as well?
For CP Bro, we are reworking on our omni-channel strategies as youth look for brands that are available online. Although we have largely been an offline brand, our approach will be slightly different.

What are your expansion plans?
We plan to add at least 40 more stores this year, with 10 stores in North, East and West each. Also, we are looking to generate Rs 200 crore revenue this year.  

Ramesh Kheni