Achieved accolades for its excellence and design leadership, Hidesign, leader in the leather industry is known for its brand values. Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign shares his company’s inception and success…
Neha Malhotra (NM): How did you track the retail journey for Hidesign in India?
Dilip Kapur (DK): From being a complete export oriented company, Hidesign is in India since 1999, the journey had been quite satisfactory and fulfilling. Leather goods industry was an unorganised sector with a very few key players across India. Within no time, Hidesign became the first brand with a nationwide popularity that caught up with the taste of the consumers and showcased itself as the most reliable leather goods brand. Hidesign has matched steps with the growth of the retail industry and have gained a prominent place in terms of market reach, brand communication and product quality.
NM: How does Hidesign manufacture or source its products? If you manufacture them, what kind of facilities have you set up for the same?
DK: Hidesign is a vertically integrated company which sources its hides, treats them with eco- friendly vegetable tannins creating fashionable leathers, and designs. It also, manufactures and retails its leather goods and accessories under its own brand name.
NM: How many stores do the company have at present? Which are the preferred locations for the opening of Hidesign stores?
DK: Hidesign has 65 exclusive stores internationally and distribution network in 23 countries. It has placed its products in over 2,000 stores globally. Malls, high streets and airports are some of the preferred locations for opening Hidesign outlets.
NM: Who are the target audience for Hidesign? What are the brand communication activities being undertaken to attract them?
DK:Globally Hidesign occupies a comfortable position as an eco-friendly leather goods and accessories brand. As a market leader in India Hidesign is slowly growing beyond its niche category to become a complete lifestyle brand for the young working professional with work totes, laptop compatible bags, day bags, going out evening bags, clutches and city bags for women and briefcases and messengers portfolios for men. A large segment of Hidesign customers range from mid 20s to mid 30s, but surprisingly Hidesign’s fastest growing consumer segment is below 25.
Hidesign launches ad campaigns every year. Along with its annual fashion show and various marketing activities, Hidesign also reaches out through public relations, events, seasonal promotional activities, tie ups and customer loyalty programs.
NM: What is Hidesign’s USP?
DK: The USP of Hidesign is that it does not cover its leather with layers of pigments and paint or emboss it with artificial patterns to hide defects as in low quality materials. Nor does Hidesign use electroplated steel or zinc fittings.
It is ecological, and believes in the highest ecological values. Hidesign uses vegetable extract from seeds and barks for tanning inspite of using heavily polluting chemicals.
Hidesign is all about craftsmanship. Every Hidesign product is uniquely handcrafted. There is no mass manufacture at Hidesign. Hidesign believes in Innovation. Its products are unique. The multicultural design team has won several international awards for its excellence and design leadership. True to its values, Hidesign constantly innovates to stay in touch with the moving changes in the lifestyle of its customers.
NM: Hidesign already has a tie-up with Louis Vuitton and the Future Group and is now in talks with Indian fashion designer Rohit Bal and Italian luxury brand Braccialini for creating a product line of bags. Can you brief us about these?
DK: In the last few years Hidesign moved ahead at a much faster pace. With collaborations, what you learn is to use each others strengths. It’s a win-win situation. Holii the brand that we launched with Future group was successfully launched last season and is growing rapidly.