AP Group is dedicated to the distribution and retail of international luxury products in India. The group commenced its journey in the retail business 18 years ago and currently boasts of having the retail strength of over 20 premium outlets in India, with many more in the pipe-line. In an exclusive conversation with Hamza Patel, Managing Director, AP Group sheds light on growth strategy for the company. Patel was speaking at the sidelines of Opportunity India Show 2018 recently concluded in the capital city New Delhi.
Are you looking sub franchise model as far as your growth strategy is concerned?
We are through master franchisee in India and I would not be looking at sub franchising at all as I am very much satisfied with current operations. I would prefer to take the new stores forward by myself rather than relying on somebody else. Going forward we would be focusing on ‘efficiency’ rather than expansion that is the reason we have closed down few doors in recent past along with opening new ones. .
We are in the business of connecting premium and luxury brands to Indian consumers. As far as expansion is concerned, this is an exciting time for us and we would like to consolidate. For next year, we are looking to expand the footprint of Swarovski as we see enough appetite as far as luxury consumption is concerned.
Do you see similar opportunities in tier II & III markets?
Tier II is very strong part of our footprint along with Metros and Tier where we are present already. As per our growth strategy, we should target tier III cities in next three-four years.
Ethos and Titan are two market leaders as far as luxury watch retailing is concerned. Do you see them as your competition?
I do see them as market leaders sametime I do find them aspirational as well. Both brands are true to their DNA, I think Ethos has done phenomenal job with online which they continue to do so. No doubt, they are setting the benchmark for everybody else. In fact, Ethos gave me inspiration to up my game, because of them I am striving hard in my business.
What according to is the key to build successful brands?
It is important for brands to forecast the behavior of their consumers that will lead to build successful brand going forward. For example, Ethos use online channel heavily to generate enquires and not for luxury retailing. They are exploring boutique format for luxury sales.
Coming back to AP group, going forward what are plans to expand the brand portfolio?
We have just signed with a luxury brand which we will be announcing very shortly. Moreover, we have signed few distribution brands as well. We have been retailing guess and gc since last 10-15 years via 500 retail sales in the country. We have recently added asprey, cavali amongst others.