Hong Kong based a lifestyle & electronic gadgets’ brand, WK Life, which has successfully combined telecom and electronics’ industry to create an umbrella lifestyle brand. It has become a well-known and established name with 1000+ stores, 18 factories, 75 patented designs in over 60 nations with more than 4000 employees.
WK Life forayed in India in October 2018. Currently, they have opened 8 stores in India (Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mohali, Hyderabad) along with 54 signed franchise which will go live in the next 3 months. In an exclusive conversation with Rohit Sahni, Director, WK Life sheds light on the growth strategy of the company.
How do you see the growth scenario consumer durable market in India? According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment?
The size of the consumer durables market of India has crossed Rs.1 trillion (US$ 15.5 billion) in 2017,in which two-thirds of the total revenue was generated from the urban population but the government and leading companies are now focusing more on uncapped rural market. In rural markets, durables consumer goods would witness growing demand in the coming years as the government has invested significantly in rural development. Now, people are more aware of things, having easier access, and changing lifestyles have been the key growth drivers in this segment.
Tell us about WK Life. Why did you choose to come to India now? What would be your assessment of the market in terms of numbers?
WK Life is a global lifestyle brand which entered the Indian market in Oct 2018 after anticipating the growth in this untapped sector. The brand has more than 1,000+ stores across 60 nations offering 500+ products to cater the needs of the young generation.
India is the fifth largest retail destination on the global platform, so you can understand the demand and consumption ratio here. Everybody wants a better lifestyle at a reasonable cost and with the increased rate in purchasing power and influence of social media; people are accessible and aware of the options. According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion data, the Foreign Direct Investment is attracted majorly by the electronics goods market, which is worth 1.97 billion US dollars. And, in the coming years, India is going to be a hub for retail investors because of its increasing economic development, purchasing power, and resources. So, we think this is the best time to expand ourselves in the market and allow people to explore the aspects of WK Life products.
What kind of distribution you are planning for online as well as offline distribution? Any plans to adopt a franchise model to scale up the distribution?
We are working on a Franchise based business model. After the launch of our first franchise store in Noida and the anticipated growth of the Indian market worth rupees, 10,000 crores motivated us over our expansion to up to 125 retail stores in the country. Franchising helps brands to explore untapped markets and look for more potential growth. Reaching out to various parts of the country and people helps the brand expand their territory with smooth functioning, processing, and reduced risk. Currently, with our plan outline of providing initial training, operations manual, ongoing support, regional and national marketing support, and a trademark license we are operating quite well in the market and we hope to do better in the coming future as well.
Who do you see as your competition in the market?
We were the pioneers in this space, as our research indicates that there is no other brand selling the range of products we’re currently offering to the Indian consumers. Because of that, we’re anticipating a good portion of the market share shortly. However, we would love to have competition as it makes everyone's products better.
What would be your initial product offerings to Indian patrons? Also, shed light on your price points, brand USP and the largest category?
Currently, we’re offering a complete range of uniquely designed lifestyle products, electronic gadgets and mobile accessories. The highlight of our product range is a unique design and supreme quality. We offer our customers over 500 product categories and our offerings are growing every day. Our gadgets and electronic products are available at most competitive prices as we want to cover the whole spectrum – from the bargain hunters to the high-spending tech enthusiasts.Our strong commitment to customer satisfaction and to give our patrons the best deals is the driving force behind our operations.
At last, kindly mention your growth plans. What kind of investments do you have in mind for the Indian market?
As the retail sector is taking a high margin growth in India, we are planning to make ourselves more visible in the market through our retail chains and expanding our geographical boundaries in various metrosand tier cities of the country. The driving force in India is its vast population and with better markets and more organised retail spaces, it's become easier to reach out to them. WK Life believes the quality of products play a very important role in trust-building, which is one of the many reasons; we operate in physical retail chains where people can visit their nearest stores. In the coming two years, we are planning to expand to over 125 retail stores across India.Each store will have a budget of 1 crore to set up. You can do the Maths if we are to open 125 stores in 2 years what the investment can be.