Fashion in her Blood
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Fashion in her Blood

When Shivani Dhingra, currently President of S Oliver Fashion India pvt ltd, took over the reins of her family tradition, she didn’t  imagine the kind of market presence S.Oliver will attain in the country. But as she says it’s in her DNA, there is no doubting that anymore. In conversation with Aadeetya Sriram, she gives her insight on what beholds fashion retail in the country.


Aadeetya Sriram (AS): Tell us about your company?

Shivani Dhingra (SD): S.Oliver was founded by Bernd Freier in 1969, in Wurzburg, and is today one of Europe´s largest fashion and lifestyle companies. S.Oliver products can be found in more than 30 countries. The company currently operates over 5400 points of sale worldwide.


S.Oliver has established itself as a pioneer in bringing best of trends out of Europe to the world. S.Oliver means first and foremost fashion and lifestyle. To encompass this, there are 3 different ‘worlds’ available to the customers to shop from and be a part of. These are S.Oliver Casual – Fashion for everyday, QS by S.Oliver – Red Hot Fashion and S.Oliver Selection – Work and After-work Fashion. These three worlds offer fashion for all age groups and for all events and time of the day. In addition, these are well complemented with lifestyle accessories like S.Oliver Fragrances, S.Oliver Umbrellas, S.Oliver Time, S.Oliver Eyewear, S.Oliver Shoes, S.Oliver Jewel and S.Oliver Accessories (bags, belts, scarves & luggage). Internationally S.Oliver also has on offer Beach Wear, Home-wear and other personal-care accessories.


AS: Do your products differ in India compared to the global product range?

SD: Well yes, they do differ because usually the climate differs, but we do have two different insert dates in a month, so we give our customers many options.


AS: Do you have production unit in the country? Who all are involved in designing your collection?

SD: No we import all our products directly from Germany. In our headquarters in Wurzburg, the design team is responsible for entire design. But we also give in our ideas and feedback, as Indian dynamics vary from most international. The Indian consumers are different from the usual.


AS: Do you have multi-channel retail format?

SD: We do have our standalone stores and we are present in shop inside malls. Initially we open our shops to test the market, and tweak accordingly during that time period, till we open our stand-alone store.


AS: How many exclusive S.Oliver stores do you have in the country?

SD: S.Oliver ventured into the Indian market in 2007 with the launch of 2 exclusive stores. Today, S.Oliver is available in India through 21 point of sales (6 exclusive stores and 15 shop in shop). S.Oliver is located in Select Citywalk Mall, DLF Promenade Mall, Ambience Mall Gurgaon, Mega Mall, Inorbit Mall and Jewel Square Mall in Delhi, NCR, Mumbai and Pune in that order. S.Oliver Shop-In-Shops can be found in stores of Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle & Kapsons Punjab.


AS: What is the marketing and business strategy that you have?

SD:Our strategy is to have a shorter lead time and fast turnaround time, and being able to give more fashion and better quality products. We also strategize to tap into various colleges and reach to the youth of the country, as they attain high disposable income; we have to make optimum use of this target-mass.


 AS: Your annual turnover and growth for ’10-’11?

SD: Our annual turnover for ’10-’11 has been Rs. 25cr.  


AS: Your expansion plans in the country?

SD:  For this year, we are testing different cities where we believe our presence is essential. We shall be opening 3 more stand-alone stores by Aug. S.Oliver does not believe in opening stores without analyzing the market, the consumer and the product that is to be made available, as we have different range in every store.








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