Kindly shed light on your retail journey so far. Also, highlight how the brand Alcis got its existence?
I started this company called Paragon Apparels back in 1995 just after finishing the college. We had a humble start with 10 machines only. During that phase I was in process of learning the production. Our major breakthrough can in 2001 when we started manufacturing for Adidas and still we are the largest vendor for Adidas. We are only vendor for Adidas who supplies them internationally. We are also the largest vendor for Reebok in India. We started working with Adidas when market was not much evolved and awareness towards sports apparel was less. In fact, synthetic material was not much developed then, I used to source it from Taiwan during those days. Since then, we have manufactured sportswear for various international brands. And, now we are the largest sportswear manufacturing company in India and plan to come up with our exclusive store.
With the launch of Alcis which is primarily a sportswear brand in athleisure segment, we aim to end the hegemony of MNc brands as we are committed to provide good quality fashionable sportswear in affordable range. With the aid of state of the art manufacturing facility nobody can manufacture the way we can. We are leader in producing sportswear in country.
As we know as per FDI policy all internationals brands are bind to do 30% local sourcing. Is Adidas working with you due to policy constraint? Apart from Adidas, which are other brands with you are working presently?
No, I am supplying to them internationally, I am not the local supplier to them. They are buying from me because we are competitive from the rest. In fact, 30% to 40% what they are selling in India is from Paragon Apparels only. As everybody is in athleaiure segment, so we are working with Benetton international, Jack and Jones. We also supplies apparel to Sarvana Stores and Pothey’s to name a few.
Since you now coming up with your own store, so are you mulling to explore other categories except apparel?
We have our strength with apparel that is evident. We already have men and women line and now we are coming up with kids range very shortly. Yes, we have plans to come up with footwear line but at later stage, for now, our priority is to settle the brand as it is comparatively new in the market. Our first EBO will be launched this month only at Lulu mall, Kerela. We are progressively moving towards getting complete sportswear range in India.
Sports apparel is all about technical clothing. What is the specification of your apparel line? How your range is different from other premium brands?
Premium brands cater a very small segment of the population since their price points are very high. Second, most of MNC brands play on two-three colors only. We are providing Indian customer good quality sportswear with Indian palette and Indian prices. For product range is as per Indian weather conditions. For example, some of our T-Shirts are light that they weigh merely 70 gms . These are special made for Indian summers when temperature soars upto 45 degree Celsius. Most of the people buy premium products only when they are on discounts, we want people to buy all the time.
What is your starting and exiting price point?
Men’s range start from Rs 499, whereas women’s category start with Rs 399, only selective products goes upto Rs 1200 and Rs 1400.
Kindly shed light on your current retail distribution? What are the plans to expand the brand from here?
We are already there at 20 stores of Central by Future Group, 10 Shoppers Stop and about 15 Sports Station. For now, the plan is to come up with few our owned stores with complete range of products. We are looking to open about 5 stores before the festive season starts. These stores could be flagship stores within the carpet area of 1000 sq.ft. And, we have already started getting queries for franchise in different states. Going forward, yes we would focus on MBO channel because there we can control the merchandise well. And, we are looking at exclusive stores with major focus on franchise expansion.
How you decide SKU number and spilt when you operate via MBO?
Normally, our range is consist of 400 SKUs, it should increase by next year as we coming up with kids range. So each store would have around 700 to 800 SKUs by next season. SKU number and spilt is majorly decided as the store location.
Pls shed light on your exclusive store format. Which brand will be placed within your EBO?
Apart from Alcis, we have exclusive licensee agreement with FIFA, NBA. So, our retail store will have three brands.
Your price point is exiting to value segment, how you plan to attract deep pocket consumers who usually cherish strong brand patronage towards MNC brands?
I am not advertising myself as a value brand it is up to the people to decide. I am advertising myself as aspirational sportswear brand where apparel is competitive to any international brand. Low price point is our strength. All the technologies that big brands are using I’ll be using those technologies. In addition, we have aggressive marketing strategies we are hopeful to attract premium customers.
Any plans for fashion lifestyle category? What are the plans for accessories line?
We will have a very small range in lifestyle category because many of our retail partners requir that category also. We would be launching exclusive line of socks, bags and caps in near future.
What would be estimated cost of your franchise distribution?
We are flexible in our terms right now that will solely depend case to case.
What kind of location the brand will target for exclusive store expansion?
Mainly we would be targeting premium locations like malls locations as we want to catch more eye balls.
How much investment is planned for retail expansion?
We are expected to invest around Rs 20 to Rs 25 cr in this financial year.
Have you raised any sort of funds so far or plan to?
Yes, we have been funded by Singapore based company RB investments. We are sufficiently funded for at least next two years.