Shed light on your brand Shree’s journey so far? How do you see ethnic fashion is evolving amidst the high power MNC brands?
After gaining extensive experience in textile industry, I started the brand during late 2009. So far market has accepted us with open arms. During our early years we used to cater NRI clientele only via online channel. Back in 2011, when Indian e-commerce industry started to opening up we began to explore other fashion market places including Myntra, Flipkart, etc. And, we went offline also from 2013 onwards, mainly via distributors, MBOs channel, today we have more than 2000 point of sale pan India. We have just started our EBO channel almost a year back, and in this short span we have more than 20 EBOs, primarily located in northern region of the country. Though, we also have shops in Hyderabad, Gujarat and Haryana. And, we are looking to open more in the time to come.
We are just not into ethnic wear, in fact, I will term our collection as indo fusion range. Though, we are using Indian print and designs, same time, we are doing a lot of innovation to give the garment a modern twist. We depict the uniqueness of Indian culture in our collection. Today the modern appeal of the customers allows them to experiment and go beyond tradition, for example, older women who were used to wearing typical Indian attire are now embracing palazzo pants and other western outfits.
What was the rationale behind switching to offline from online channel? How challenging was this transition?
Though we started online but mainly we expanded via MBOs and offine distributors. We have extensive network of distributors spread across all parts of the country. When we started the market was not open to new brand or product, hence we started via online. We were not encouraged by the market initially. Since, we used to make four-five designs everyday so online seemed a better option in terms of reaching wider audience at that point of time. Online has helped us in establishing brand identity which ultimately helped us in offline channel as well, as people already knew our brand when we go offline. So, going offline from online was really not at all challenging for us.
So how you plan to extend the brand from here? Any plan to come up with large format stores(LFRS)?
We are looking to increase our share in tier 2 & 3 markets where unorganized share is high as our USP is value pricing. Large format outlets are never being our focus as such stores are primarily located in tier 1 or metro cities. And, in next five year we are aiming to increase our EBO count upto 500.
How do you plan to compete with ethnic majors such as Biba, Global desi etc? Also shed light on your starting and exiting price point?
No, we are not looking to compete with such players. We are quality oriented brand which caters the value segment. We wish to settle our niche in value segment only. Our starting price point is about 500 Rs and goes upto Rs 2500. Though, our maximum SKUs are priced between Rs 1000 to Rs 1200.
Are you also into wedding wear? What is the plan to men’s category?
No, we are primarily into casuals and semi formals. We are only into imitation jewellery which is doing exceptionally well for us. We are planning to foray men’s ethnic fashion by 2018.
Are you also mulling expansion via franchise model?
We are already into franchising; out of 20 stores that we have right now among those eight are franchised.
How did you close last financial year? What is the projection for this year?
We closed with around 18 lakh pieces sold, and we should do almost 24 lakhs pieces this year.