Aiming to launch 125-150 stores by 2017: Tilokchand Kothari
Aiming to launch 125-150 stores by 2017: Tilokchand Kothari

Observing that tier II cities have huge potential and demand for sarees, lehangas and unstitched suits, Visagar Polytex Ltd. has come up with a massive plan of launching 125-150 stores under the brand name “Vividha” by 2017. Tilokchand Kothari, Managing Director of the company talked of his future expansion plans to the Retailer media.

Why did you think of mass ethnic stores’ expansion while there is a huge adoption of western wear by younger generation? 
We have already been operating in retail so we thought to take to it in a bigger way. We have planned retail expansion for brand awareness and increase of margin on sale.
India is a huge land of occasions throughout the year and we are capitalising on the same. We are observing that more consumption of sarees, lehangas and unstitched suits is taking place majorly in tier II cities. Awareness, disposable income, more accessibility to different brands and online buying are the factors driving the sale in these towns, so there are opportunities with scope for future growth in these cities.
The saree’s market constitutes Rs 3000 crore of the whole Rs 15000 crore apparel market in India. The apparel industry is growing by 12 per cent a year.

How are you planning to launch 150-odd retail stores by 2017?  
We are strategising to have around 125-150 stores in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh under the brand name ‘Vividha’ by the end of 2017.  
Currently, we have 15 stores in Rajasthan and will be adding 20 stores in the next two years, as well as have 10 stores in Gujarat, 40 stores in Maharashtra, 30 stores in Madhya Pradesh and 10 stores in Uttar Pradesh.
Probably this year, along with launching a TVC, we will open around 25 stores, out of which 15 stores will be in Rajasthan, 4 in Maharashtra and the rest will be in Gujarat. And from April 2016 we will concentrate on Madhya Pradesh where there is more demand for sarees.
All these franchisee-owned stores will be opened in tier II towns like Nashik, Nagpur, Sangli and Satara.
We are not going to cities like Delhi, Kanpur, Lucknow where we already have our wholesale network nicely spread out. Presently, we have 1500 wholesale stores in our network across the country which we want to increase to 2500 stores. Also, we have 2000 sq. ft. showroom in Kolkata.

What are the investment prerequisites and what could be the average investment a franchisee needs to make? How much will you invest?
If it’s a 300 sq. ft. store then the average investment will be of Rs 10 lakh to Rs 15 lakh and if it’s a 500-1000 sq. ft. store then it will require somewhere around Rs 20-25 lakh. We will only invest on promotion and marketing of the stores while the investment per store will be done by franchisees.

What is the expected ROI per store as per your calculation?
In the first two years the ROI will be average and in the third year we will gain good returns. With this expansion we are expecting to achieve a turnover of Rs 100 crore and from FY 2016 we are targeting to have 20 to 25 per cent growth in turnover. Presently, 10 per cent of our revenue comes from retail, 20 per cent comes from manufacturing and wholesale and 70 per cent comes from trading. By 2020, we are targeting to earn 50 per cent of our revenue from the retail stores.

Have you also expanded in the online space Any tie-ups that you could tell us about?
Our products are already being sold on Snapdeal and Flipkart, and soon we will be available on Amazon. Apart from this, our in-house website called is also garnering good sales. On online platforms, these products are sold in discounted rates. We are also planning to launch a mobile app in the coming years.

What will be you major product offerings?
We will be selling sarees and lehangas for women as well as unstitched suits for men. These products will be priced from Rs 500 to Rs 25000.
In stores these products will be sold in retail prices as offline stores have to incur store expenditure. With these offerings consumer would be able to get value in our products as we are the direct manufacturers of the product. Our offerings will be customised according to the taste of the consumers of different states for the occasions like weddings etc. We are also thinking of manufacturing shirts for men in some time.

What age-bracket are you targeting?
We cater to 25- to 40-year-old women for sarees and 14- to 50-year-old women for lehangas.

Will you also get into exporting the products?
Yes! By the end of this year we are planning to supply to US, UK and Middle Eastern countries. Also, there is a huge market for sarees in Bangladesh, so that could be one of the markets too. 

According to you, where does ethnic, which is an integral part of the Indian apparel, stand today?
There are very few brands associated with ethnic wear currently. We are the only company listed on stock market which is into designing, textile manufacturing, wholesale, retail and trading business of sarees, lehangas and unstitched suits, interlining goods as well as variety of fabrics. And we are the only one operating in the market with complete set-up of manufacturing to retail. I’ll stop at that!

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