It takes good part of 2 decades to establish yourself as a clothing wear brand in the country, that’s how competitive this segment is currently. We have Mr. Yogesh Tiwari, VP- Sales & Marketing Head, Blackberrys, who narrates the journey of the brand in his own version.
Aadeetya Sriram (AS): You’ve been existing in the country for over 2 decades now, how has the journey been?
Yogesh Tiwari (YT): In the year 1991, 20 years back, when we launched, we started with a very small office-cum-factory space in Kotla today we have a three manufacturing units and unparalleled capacities. The growth of Blackberrys has been well thought out and we have worked extremely hard at establishing a very solid base. One may call it controlled growth, if you may. Today, at 20, we now have a sound foundation from every perspective - a strong distribution and retail network, product portfolio, brand positioning etc. We are ready to now harness all our strengths and take a quantum leap this year onwards. In the process, we have had to make some harsh decisions in the process, like axing our women’s range, but these decisions have helped us in sharpening our focus. Overall our growth has been meticulous and well planned at the same time aggressive. We have built our strengths in the last 2 decades and we do see the brand reaping the rewards as we launch into our expansion plans now.
AS: At present how many stores do you have? In which part of the country are you prominently visible? Please cite the reasons.
YT: At present, we partner with over 900 MBOs pan India, 92 stand alone store and 32 Franchise outlets .We are focused from all P’s perspective, onto the young India. We do believe that the aggressive growth for brand India is equally shared by the young small business entrepreneur who lives in smaller cities, as is the Tier 1 knowledge workers. We believe the spirit of our brand and our audience in the smaller towns will resonate an emotional cord.
AS: How well equipped is your manufacturing plant? How is the design part done?
YT: This year we complete 20 years of being in the Indian market. We launched in the year 1991 and have expanded since then. Today we are the largest manufacturers of suits in all of northern India. In fact we are increasing in all dimensions. We have already invested in doubling our Suits & trousers capacities very recently, which will be scaled up even further.
AS: In India, it’s been the women’s segment which most of the brands target, how are you catering to both men and women segments in particular? What is the ratio of men and women merchandise in your store?
YT: Apparently we have dropped women’s range to focus on the highly buoyant menswear category.
AS: The accessories segment has flourished over the past couple of years? How has the response to your brand been?
YT: Blackberrys in terms of accessories has been great. Blackberrys captures the essence of manhood with the following offerings on fashion styling: Sun Glasses, Ties, socks etc. as its accessories and has been spectacularly appreciated for its high design and comfort look.
AS: Over the years, how has the shift in demographics as well as fashion trends impacted the mindset of retailers in the country? What trends will be preferred in the foreseeable future?
YT: The Changing age profile has impacts in the trends in the fashion industry because of the complex relationship between age and fashion. Retail industry has taken cautious steps to cater the situation with reasonably healthy ideas to equally run with the pace of the trends and we feel we have accommodated the same. In future we would keep exploring innovative ways to enhance the brand and conjure up fresh ideas to promote it globally.
AS: Talk us through your future plans for Blackberrys in terms of expansion?
YT: We will be looking at aggressive expansion going forward. Tier 2 cities are our clear focus and we will be looking at our growth coming in from these. Currently we are present in more than 900 MBOs and this number is bound to go up as we penetrate down to smaller towns. Therefore, greater investments in SIS and retail stores are planned this year.