We have a multi- pronged growth plan with multiple product lines: Gaurav Dublish

Gaurav Dublish talks about the market scope and the customisation they made in order to sync with the 'new-age' consumers.
Gaurav Dublish, Co-Founder, Wildcraft

Adventure gear, a market that is been largely driven by global brands in India, is into its assessment phase at the moment. India stands tall when we talk about global adventure destinations across the globe and with the increasing adoption of adventure sports the market has reached an inflation stage. Not limited to professionals anymore, adventure sports have become a lifestyle by masses, especially by the millennial consumers.

With a winsome global appeal, sportswear retail scenario is growing big in the country. Boosting the sector, Wildcraft (an Indian outdoor product company) has slowly but steadily managed to keep the balls rolling. The company paved its path to become one of the prudent names in adventure gear market.

Retailer Media caught up with Gaurav Dublish, one of the Co-Founders of the company in order to understand the market scope and the customisation they made in order to sync with the ‘new-age’ consumers.

Share your background. Was entrepreneurship something you always wanted to do?
I and Siddharth Sood (Co-Founder) have been friends from our MBA days in NMIMS, Mumbai. I was in Standard Chartered and Siddharth was in GE when we met Dinesh (Co-Founder). For the first 10 years, it was run like a garage firm that today has grown to an INR 300+ crore brand in the outdoor boutique space. Entrepreneurship was something that Siddharth and I were inclined to do since our college days and 2007-08 was a deciding year for us.

How was the idea of your venture conceptualised? What is the need you are addressing in the market?
For us building Wildcraft was about building a firm that equips people for the world of outdoors. We continuously study the needs of different outdoor pursuits. The products created basis this study are functional, feature-rich, multi-utilitarian, light, compact, collapsible, reliable and durable in all weather conditions.

What is your Business Model? Please share numbers of founders, product/services offered and current Business size.
We are a manufacturer and retailer of outdoor gear, apparel and footwear. There are three founders (Dinesh, Gaurav, and Siddharth) and the business is currently INR 300+cr in size.

Who is your target consumer? Could you please share how you have detailed your consumer?
Wildcraft is a brand born for the open air. Whether it’s a hill, a mountain, forest areas or the countryside, the great outdoors can invigorate you like no other and Wildcraft equips you with the means to experience it. We target trekkers, hikkers, outdoor travellers, rock climbers and anyone who is keen to explore. The young at heart, the confident ones and those that want to take the road less travelled.

What is your current distribution in Brick and Mortar space? What are your future distribution plans?
Current distribution is 3,500+ points of sale, 150 company stores, 500 shop-in-shops, available in over 500 cities in India and with distribution in SEA and MEA.

What was it that attracted the Investors to your business? Have you had to pivot your business in any way that has worked for you?
Our business model is built on seeking consistent growth with a robust platform which is sustainable and unique, built over the last 2 decade that attracted investors for our business. They were interested in our head-to-toe product offering and the fact that we have market leading brands in our categories. We have robust foundations in the key aspects of distribution, IT, manufacturing, a solid supply chain and some top talent in our various departments.

What is your team size? What is your office culture like? 
We have a team consisting of over 2,500 people. The typical culture of our organisation is open, passionate, self-driven and frugal.

What has been your A-ha Moment in the business? (The high point)
Entrepreneurship is not one, but a series of such moments. The ones that stand out from among these are when youngsters manage roles that are beyond their experience & capacity with élan, and hold their own while taking on such responsibilities.

What has been your biggest challenge so far in scaling -up? How are you addressing it?
One of the biggest challenges is gaining market acceptance to functionally rich, performance based product lines from an Indian-born firm. We have set global standards for our teams. Our vision is to consistently focus and deliver on innovation and superior value to the consumers.

How do you see growth scenario is this business? What are your future scale-up plans?
We have a multi- pronged growth plan with multiple product lines, expanding to multiple geographies reaching out through multiple channels and along with multiple brands.

Gaurav Dublish
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