We are planning to open 35 COCO and 65 FOFO stores by the end of this financial year: Ramesh Kaushik

In conversation with Indian retailer, Ramesh Kaushik, VP (Brand Experience), Blackberrys, shares his brand's future marketing plans.
Ramesh Kaushik, VP (Brand Experience), Blackberrys

After more than two decades in the business, exclusive men’s wear brand Blackberrys is trying its hands on rebranding and launching new store formats. From hipster collection to formal wear, the brand has ventured into newer collections and wider options. Close on the heels of its new brand identity launch, Ramesh Kaushik, VP (Brand Experience), Blackberrys tells Indian Retailer that the new identity will help the brand establish a deeper connect with its customers. Excerpts:

What is the strategy behind new brand identity?
The idea behind the facelift of our brand identity is to establish a deeper connect with our customers. It is to reinstate that Blackberrys stirs consumers’ desire to achieve, ignite their passion and expand their vision to a new vista of possibility. Our three new segments- corporate formal attire, the new launch of casual wear Blackberrys Casuale and hipster fashion wear brand Urban Blackberrys- will make the brand a definitive store with diverse style options. With the new logo of a ‘firebird’ and the tagline that says ‘Keep Rising’, our new identity promises modern men to be dressed in confidence. 

What can consumers expect from the new store formats?
We are coming up with three sub-brands’ standalone stores as well- Blackberrys, Blackberrys Casuale and Urban Blackberrys. The new stores will enliven the brand philosophy of Keep Rising. The casual collection will give a complete lifestyle experience that will live by the adage ‘Dress Well, Travel Often’. Urban Blackberrys, our youngest offering opens the realms with a wide range of Hipster denims, shirts, jackets and beyond for this free spirited wanderer who is always exploring new dimensions of life. 

There are a lot of niche and youth segment brands on e-commerce. How are you planning to compete with them?
Consumers irrespective of whether online or offline understand what the brand offers are, the look that the brand is offering for the season and so it's a fantastic opportunity that digitalization is offering. We have our website where the listing is present of what the store offers. We are also present on leading e-com partners such as Flipkart, Myntra & Jabong.

The youth segment has seen a lot of new entrants with many options for budget products. Is the market overcrowded? What potentials do you see?
The market has a lot of potential for growth, and yes for which we see a lot of new entrants. Blackberrys has been present in the market since 25 years now and has delivered the promise of a brand in its full term. We have reinvented ourselves and evolved into a newer form with new design, cut, fabric and fit options with formals, casuals and hipster wear at the same spot. The commitment of service is as promising post sale as it is it pre sale of the product, which gives us a strong edge in the market.

What are your online and offline expansion plans?
We are planning to open 35 COCO and 65 FOFO stores by the end of this financial year. At least 25-30 percent growth is expected by the end of this year. Our retail plan has over 200+ footprints to open in the next 2-3 years. We are keenly exploring franchise model with some company owned exclusive stores. Given our robust distribution network to support our increasing presence, we are aiming to penetrate to Tier 3 markets as well. So far, we cover 6% of business from an online presence, and expect it to increase to 9 percent by this year.


Ramesh Kaushik