Dedicated to introduce high quality international brands in all segments and categories, Major Brands India Pvt. Ltd is providing an international shopping ambience, experience and superior customer service to its patrons. Major Brands was one of the first few retail organisations to focus on the retail of premier international brands through the exclusive brand outlets format in India. Kamal Kotak, Director, Major Brands India Pvt. Ltd shares the retail journey.
Neha Malhotra (NM): Tell us about the inception and growth of Major Brands?
Kamal Kotak (KK): We are a franchisee for a large number of international brands. We look into all the operations of all these brands in India. Major brands was formed in 2001 in India when we introduced the first brand -Mango which was later followed by Nine West and other brands into the Indian market.
NM: Which international brands have you brought to India?
KK: We have a total of nine brands that we have introduced in the Indian market, namely Aldo, Aldo Accessories, Promod, La Senza, Okaidi, Charles and Keith, Mango, Nine West and Inglot.
NM: What is the retail presence of these brands?
KK: We currently have 34 stores total of all brands spread nationwide, in cities like Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurgaon and Hyderabad. We would be opening stores in Pune and Ahmedabad soon.
NM: Are all these store outlets company owned?
KK: Yes they are, once the brand comes to India, it is entirely our responsibility to open further outlets. We step into action and decide where the brand’s store will come up and how its expansion plan needs to be put forth in accordance with our market research. All these brands are looked after by us and not franchised to some other entity.
NM: Who are the target customers of the stores you set up nationwide?
KK: For most of the brands, largely our target clientele are women who might be in the age bracket of 15 to 45 and are fashion conscious. Then we have customers who are well travelled and know about the international presence these brands hold. Aldo is one of the brands that also cater to men in the age bracket of 20 to 65. Then we have Okiadi which is a kids brand, so in short we have end number of possibilities ranging in target customers, be it college students or older women or men.
NM: What type of marketing strategies have you taken up to establish your brands?
KK: For most of the brands we have an expensive media plan in the beginning every season which might include direct marketing, PR programmes, billboards and personalised marketing efforts which is only based on extensive research since we want to be largely visible in the buyers market.
NM: What were the challenges you faced in establishing these brands on the Indian shores?
KK: Since all these brand were new to India we not only had to study the market but also keep in mind the high import duties. Along with which we had to see which brand would mark its presence and what all products were available in the market in terms of placing and pricing since organised retail space was not that organised. It’s only now that we have malls with great infrastructures and facilities making it easier for us to place our brands.
NM: How receptive are Indian consumers to International brands?
KK: I think the customers we target are well versed with these brands and neither do I feel our brands take long enough to attract our target customers.
NM: What are the company's future plans?
KK: We would be opening stores in Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Pune being one of the major expansions. So by 2011 we would be touching a target of 100 stores for all our brands.