With an array of brands under it's umbrella, Virola Group has come a long way since its existence in early 90’s. Mr. Sushil Sachdeva, Director of Virola Shoes Pvt. Ltd enlightens us about their venture in the country.
Aadeetya Sriram (AS): Tell us about Virola group? How long have you been in existence?
Sushil Sachdeva (SS): Virola International was set up in the year 1990. It was during this year that the company ventured into the export market of footwear. However, Virola Shoes, incepted in early 2010 is amongst the top 10 Footwear Exporters of India which has over 175 customers all across the globe. Virola’s maiden domestic venture, “Alberto Torresi” showcases a phenomenal range of Men’s shoes which gives a perfect blend of style, innovation and real comfort. The superior workmanship and quality material used to craft these shoes add an enticing proposition to the customers.
AS: Where do you have your manufacturing units in the country, what is your production capacity? How much have you invested in them?
SS: At present we have 6 factories for our manufacturing, but are in the finalising process of setting up one more factory. We have invested around Rs.25 million for the manufacturing units.
AS: Where do you source your raw-materials from? How far is your vendor coverage based in the country?
SS: We source it from India as well as we import from other countries like Brazil, Bangladesh, Italy, Portugal etc. From Brazil and Bangladesh, we source leather while from Italy we source soul and from Portugal we source other material required for making shoes. Our current vendor base includes 125 vendors who are based Pan India at places like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Chennai etc.
AS: Could you share with us your technology being implemented for footwear production?
SS: We are using the technologies designed and developed by Italian, Dutch and German designers and technicians working exclusively for us, like WELLFLEX, STRESSLESS.
AS: Which specific markets does Virola Shoes cater to?
SS: Virola shoes cater to Indian Market and Virola International caters to the rest of world. Virola International has around 200 plus customers spread across 60 plus countries in 6 continents.
AS: Tell us about your R&D set-up? How much have you invested in them?
SS: We believe that R&D is an important exercise for every brand and this is the reason why we spend 10% of the total turnover. This exercise of R&D enables us to keep abreast with the marketing trends. Also detailing gets more profound and sought after when regular R&D initiatives are taken by any company.
AS: What trends does the consumer follow currently in terms of the footwear segment?
SS: Indian market used to follow the UK trends but now with globalisation the international trends have started to pour in with great ease. Also the Indian market has seen a phenomenal improvement and change as far as setting trends is concerned.
AS: Tell us about your brand Alberto Torresi, its consumer base and offerings?
SS: Alberto Torresi is an international brand selling across Europe and been introduced in India in October 2010. It caters to the premium segment from 18 to 45 and what we are offering is fashion with comfort.
AS: Do you have any manufacture training in place for your staff?
SS: We do have manufacture training in our factories based in Agra where we have our design team of around 50 people who are based in our Agra factories.
AS: Your annual turnover? How much growth have you attained y-o-y basis?
SS: The annual turnover of Alberto Torresi is Rs. 45 Million$, marking a growth rate of 20% every year.
AS: Your future expansion plans?
SS: We are planning to place Alberto Torresi in more stores across India so that we can go ahead with marketing strategies to promote the brand in all parts of the country. Also we are all set to enter countries such as Australia, New Zealand and other Scandinavian countries.