Please share your entrepreneurial journey.
We started as a footwear brand licensee two decades ago. Post economic liberalisation of 1990’s and the reforms introduced, we saw a huge opportunity in the Indian footwear market. We approached Lee Cooper, an international apparel brand, for a license in their footwear segment and started designing, manufacturing, distributing as well as retailing for them.
With success of the licensee model, we became the leading brand in the domestic market. Initially, we were supplying to MBO’s (multi-brand outlet) through our distribution network, however, once the modern retail revolution started we pioneered in developing direct relationship with other international brands.
In 2005 we expanded our focus and brought other footwear brands such as Provogue, Merrell and Geox. We also started in-house brands such as ID Footwear and Firangi. As modern retail emerged, we also established direct relationships with large-format chains and forayed into the concept of shop-in-shops inside department stores in tier I and tier II cities.
What kind of training and support do you provide to the investors?
Since purchase decisions are mainly influenced by visual perception, we give utmost importance to providing our partners with visual merchandising training as it has a significant role in enhancing brand value as well as customer’s purchase desire.
Personalised training is provided on product, visual merchandising and point of sales to all our franchisees. In addition, we regularly offer inventory support, inventory optimisation and marketing support as well as after sales services.
How do you help partners to grow ?
We offer our partners across the country 360-degree support to gain greater visibility and business agility. These include an electronic cloud-based commerce platform, featuring the latest technology that allows all franchises run their accounting on the same platform. This also allows us to seamlessly integrate the online channel by allowing us to efficiently and effectively fulfill e-commerce orders across the country last mile from our pre-existing franchise stores.
What are your expansion plans?
We are looking to expand our reach to tier II and tier III cities. For this, we plan to expand our retail network and open more stores through franchisees. We plan to open 150 Lee Cooper franchisees and shop-in-shops in three years.
In addition, we are also looking at increasing our turnover to Rs 1,000 crore by 2020 for which we are looking for right partners who can bring value to our business to help us grow faster.
Lastly, we are looking to foraying into new footwear categories and in advanced talks with couple of global brands keen to enter India.