It was in 2012 that Sanjeev Mukhija, Founder of Goldenseam Industries Pvt Ltd and Managing Director of Breakbounce, decided to seek online exposure in the apparel space and partnered with Myntra with his ‘streetwear’ brand, Breakbounce and three years later opened his first exclusive brand outlet in Vadodara, with a plan to open a few more this year.
The one thing he knew for sure about the perks of being online: online commerce matters. Though there were not many such success stories as Breakbounce, where manufacturers are setting up their own brands and physical stores, there were some new entrants that got lucky. Right now, Breakbounce sells through the popular eCommerce platforms and has set up a store, and will set up its own eCommerce site for brand recognition and wider customer reach. Retailer caught up with Mukhija and talked about the journey.
Did you always want to be an entrepreneur?
I have over 17 years of experience in textiles, garment manufacture and exports. I spearhead all initiatives with regard to business and strategy. My journey started in 1998, when my first venture kicked off exporting premium fabrics into the Middle East and East Asian markets. Goldenseam Industries Pvt. Ltd. was started with a vision to collaborate with international fashion powerhouses, catering to the retail fashion requirements of brands like Energie, Tommy Hilfiger, Super dry, Riverisland, Jules and Auchan from France, Newyorker from Germany, along with the quintessential European brands like JC Rags, Mango, Zara and others.
I have driven the company to have a fine mix between large international retailers and brands. What started as a modest yet impressive beginning, the export house grew from Rs.18 crores in 2007 to an impressive Rs.150 crores in 2015. The modern and result oriented approach led me to build an export house with a brain trust of talented and experienced resources.
How was the idea conceptualised? What is the need you are addressing in the market?
With a magnitude of experience in garment construction and specialisation in ‘of the peg’ streetwear, the decision to start my own brand with a distinct international signature came naturally to me. As India’s first streetwear brand, Breakbounce drives the onus of creating a unique and holistic retail experience. It is truly a global fast fashion brand for men with its own unique signature and flavour.
Is there a story behind the name, Breakbounce?
Yes, the idea was to create a happy brand, something that is vibrant, fashionable and yet appeals to the youth. We wanted to break the clutter and be a brand that resonates in minds of the consumers. The idea was to create a progressive brand and give users a reason to follow us. We believe in taking things to the next level. That’s what Breakbounce stands for.
What is your business model?
I have founded the company with 4 key people who form the core team at Breakbounce. We deal in Men’s Apparel, accessories and footwear. Basically, we are a fast fashion brand with focus on products, design and making sure it is affordable to our target audience. By the end of fiscal 2016, the company would do a business worth Rs.50 Cr.
How have you detailed your target customer?
Breakbounce targets male consumers between the age group of 20-30 years. Consumer pool can be categorised as SEC B+, B, A+, A in social economic demography and fuses urban metros, Tier II and III. Our fashion philosophy is targeted at fashion forward youth. Product proposition is targeted at lifestyle based choices keeping global street style and fast fashion integral to the brand promise. When we started nobody believed we were selling chinos online. In 6 months, we were the highest selling brand.
What is your current distribution in brick and mortar space? Talk us through your future distribution strategy.
We are currently present across 140 (plus) doors through our partnership with Central, Splash Fashions and Lifestyle stores PAN India. Our first exclusive brand outlet was launched in December 2015 in Vadodara. This year looks big in terms of larger retail footprint through our EBO’s in markets such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat and Pune.
What has been your biggest challenge in scaling-up operations? What measures have you taken to address it?
The challenge has been the moving of our business from online to offline, apart from making sure that both coexist without affecting either channel. Another challenge for us was to check that we do not get into heavy discounting. That happened because online is attracting more customer engagement for us than offline.
What are your future scale-up plans?
We see a growth in distribution channels and partners. We are partnering with people who understand fashion and believe in the product and brand philosophy. This is a slow process but will give us a huge penetration to Tier II and Tier III cities. Our customer connect will increase and we will be more specific in addressing customer needs. Online business for three years gave us great insights into varying consumer behaviours, likes and dislikes to better divert our efforts of scaling up. Currently we are at 140 (plus) doors and would want to be at 200 (plus) doors by next fiscal year.