Malaysia-based concept retail store Kioda, which entered India through a partnership with Franchise India, is aggressively working on its expansion strategies in the country. According to a company source, it initially plans to produce goods from India itself and is eyeing to source 25-30 percent of their products locally for Indian stores while the rest will be imported from Malaysia. Kioda, which has a presence in Singapore and China apart from Malaysia, includes products ranging from cosmetics, gifts to stationary and household items. We talk to Karthikeyan Vishnu, Chief Operating Officer, Kioda India, about this Korean concept, his plans for the brand in India and also on his views on the overall industry.
Tell us about Kioda, its inception and USP.
The word Kioda is originally from Korea which means cute. At Kioda, our philosophy is simple, natural and quality with a brand essence of "returning to nature and restoring the product's nature". In Kioda, unique product layout design is our utmost practice in our production line. With the availability of famous designers across the globe innovating new ideas, shoppers will be seeing new batch of products every quarter. This is our promise to shoppers, stay in style and trendy and will never be out-dated when you shop in Kioda.
Tell us about your market presence.
We have recently entered India and we are present in Bengaluru, Mohali, Delhi and are on the verge of closures in Mumbai. These are all exclusive franchise outlets that we have come up with. This is a unique fashion and lifestyle concept wherein we have 9 categories under one roof and the nine categories range from health and beauty, textiles, apparel, digital appliances, lot of seasonal products, etc. So there is lot of intelligence that is gone into making of Kioda , in terms of identifying the categories that needs to go under one store.
Have you curated your collections in order to suit the Indian tastes and preferences?
We have customized our merchandise as per the needs of Indian consumers. All the product line that you see is definitely in sync with the products that you get in the international market, but they have been curated for Indian market. We have added an element of Indianisation to the merchandise. That is something that we have specifically taken care of. Secondly, the most important element that Indians look at or even I look at is the price points. Our products are available at the range of Rs.150- Rs.3,000.
How do you think are Kioda merchandise in sync with the ongoing trends in the industry?
If you look at it, Korean cosmetics have penetrated very aggressively in the Indian market and that is one of the USPs that we have, that is, all the cosmetics we have is from Korea. When we talk about the latest trends in the beauty segment, there is a new trend of men’s grooming which is happening and Kioda has lots of easy to use, handy products for the metro-sexual men in the country. We also see a rising demand for skin care and make up products from the teen population and for that we have a lot of entry level cosmetics with natural base, which are easily affordable.
What are your plans for entering the tier-II and tier-III areas of India?
There is no such plan as of now but we are definitely looking forward to entering these areas in the years to come, because that is where the Indian market actually is. We are on a project of “beautifying an already beautiful India” with our product assortments.
How would you describe the current status of your industry?
The retail industry in India is very organized and there are a number of dominant players, especially in the health and beauty segment. But if you look at it, it’s the fashion and lifestyle concept that we are entering into and that is not there in the Indian market. That is the uniqueness of this brand Kioda, that we are dealing into 9 categories under one roof and that no one has ever done here. So the question is, can it be repeated? It surely can be, but the differentiator is in the quality of product and the pricing that we offer.
Tell us about your marketing strategies for the Indian market.
We will adopt a complete 360 degree marketing strategy for the brand promotions in India; plus there will be lot of experiential marketing because we want the customers to touch and feel of products. In terms of marketing budget, in the year one, we would be investing around 10 percent of our revenue into promotions, brand building, etc.
Do you think franchise is a viable model for expansion? What are your plans to expand through this model?
Franchising, we believe, is the key for positioning a brand in a new market space. Kioda entered India through a franchise partnership with Franchise India, just months ago and is looking forward to expand its reach in the country through franchisee route only. We are looking for a franchisee partner who already has a good hold, knowledge and their goodwill in the industry.