Retail can never be about just opening doors: Sandeep Jalan
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Retail can never be about just opening doors: Sandeep Jalan

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy feat, being an entrepreneur based out of Northeastern India is even a bigger role full of obstacles. Sohum Shoppe, the well known retail store based out of Guwahati, has six stores up and running and two more coming up. Currently they are scaling a pan India presence, taking the total number of stores to eight. Sandeep Jalan, owner of Sohum Shoppe, in an exclusive interview shared his insights into success story.

What makes Sohum Shoppe one of India’s most successful retail chains?
Sohum Shoppe’s retail presentation is one very strong reason which has proudly made us one of the most successful retail chains of India. The way we project ourselves gives the end customer a reason to make us their very own favorite shopping destination and that is very important to be successful.

As a regional retailer, what difficulties did you face while aiming a pan Indian presence?
We won’t call them difficulty or challenge; it’s just that going pan India calls for setting up one’s own infrastructure on a large scale. This needs a strong regional presence and feasibility of restructuring into a whole new level. That comes with time. While we do have a pan India presence in our futuristic plans, there is a good length of task to be done for ourselves.

In what ways retailing differs in eastern India from other parts of the country?
The fashion quotient is the main difference. It’s very vibrant and fast. Though the market volume is small, the retailing bit is very exciting and will always keep surprising the rest of the Country.

Tell us about your business model.
We do not have a pre-decided business model. We would never believe in that. You cannot stick to one notion of doing business keeping all varieties in mind. Business model always depends on how both the parties conclude into a win-win situation.

What is your take on expansion through franchising model?
We are reviewing it and as said earlier, it’s a business model and we will go ahead with the model of business where everyone wins.

What are your investment plans for the current fiscal? What plans do you have for expansion?
We came up with our 6th store in the last fiscal. This store opened up in Naharlagun, Arunachal Pradesh on the 12th of Feb’17 and is of approximately 35 k sqft. We have 2 new stores planned for the current fiscal. Both these stores are of an approximate retail area of 35 k sqft. While one is planned in Guwahati, the other is planned in Tezpur. The store coming up in Guwahati will be the 4th store of the city.

Thus by the end of this fiscal our count of stores will reach eight.

What advice do you have for other regional retail brands which are planning to go national?
The advice is very simple— Strengthen your feet in the region first before you venture out.

Retail can just never be about opening doors.

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