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“We have grown from 3 stores to 20 stores in 18 months”: Veena Ashiya

In an exclusive conversation with Veena Ashiya, Founder, Monrow sheds light on the growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: Monrow, Shoppers Stop, Future Group, Reliance

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  May 30, 2018  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Veena Ashiya

How did you come up with an idea of launching shoe brand considering Indian market is flooded with shoe brands from national as well as international players?

We came up with "Monrow" with intention of bringing "freedom of movement" without compromising on fashion element. There are fashion brands who make "good looking shoes" and on another side, there are comfort brands who make "comfortable shoes".There is a huge gap between good looking and comfortable shoes. Now Young Indian women are not willing to give up fashion for neither comfort nor the other way round.  We are building Monrow for Fun, Active women who want to dance to their hearts any time any place. That is true freedom of movement. 

What is the USP of your brand which makes it stand apart from others?

Monrow stands for a very strong philosophy of "Freedom of movement". Our whole design team brings two opposing things together fashion and comfort. We scanned 3000 Indian women feet to understand the shape of feet better and built whole collection keeping Indian feet shape in mind.  We have patented designs like "Travel shoes" where you can change the colors to match our outfit.

According to you, what are the major challenges as far as brand-building exercise is concerned?

To be very honest our groundwork of 6 months to understand Indian women feet made half of the game easy for us. The only challenge we continue to face is faster supply chain. We are building very data-oriented approach to tackle this. "Data" is our warrior to win the supply chain battle.

Kindly shed light on your distribution strategy and current footprint in the online and the offline space? Going forward the focus would be on online expansion or offline?

Monrow is one of the organically fastest growing women shoe brands in India with 20 stores in 18 months.  Shoppers Stop, Future Group, Reliance and Centro are among the strongest believers of the brand signing us up for 150 stores in next 4 years. Monrow believes in great experience and fast access when it comes to distribution. Offline lets us deliver a great experience with our innovative VM. Online opens up fast access to 40k zip codes to India. 

So while we might have our physical presence in Indore in 2020, with Myntra we have virtually reached every city in India.

Are you also thinking about opening online store and expansion via franchise distribution?

We are in the process of ideating our first experience store. Run of the mill physical stores are dead. People no more come to store just because you are in a mall. We want to build a space where true shoe lovers feel like partying. 

According to you what are the major retail challenges for start-up footwear brand in the country like India?

With 1.2 billion population; one might look at market size as a great opportunity but this opportunity has huge operational cost. This business is not for faint-hearted people. Inventory management, supply chain, size management all of these compounded can kill any team. I feel founder's passion, solid execution-oriented team and being truly listening to your consumer is the only way you can win Shoe game.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

We have grown from 3 stores to 20 stores in 18 months. Our goal is to reach 150 stores in next 48 months. While the ability to understand the versatile consumer and coming up with unique design is our strength we are rapidly building very strong supply chain which is the engine of our brand.

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