Bagging profits!!
Bagging profits!!

With its distinctive Italian sensibility, Da Milano entered India in 1989. With strong brand recognition in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia today, Da Milano has carved a niche for itself in the Indian market. Sahil Malik, Managing Director, Da Milano talks about the brand’s journey in India.  

Neha Malhotra (NM): Tell us something about the origin of Da Milano as a brand?
Sahil Malik (SM):
Da Milano with its distinctive Italian sensibility entered India in 1989. With strong brand recognition in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia, today Da Milano has carved a niche for itself in the Indian market. Da Milano has its design studio in Italy, where talented designers introduce new collections keeping the global fashion forecasts in mind. The collections introduced by the brand exude character, originality, style and flair.  

NM: What are the products offered by you? Can you brief us about the manufacturing of the products?
Da Milano offers a wide array of products that include ladies handbags, men’s bags, strolley’s, briefcases, computer bags, portfolios, wallets, belts, luggage, leather jackets and small accessories like tie cases, card holders etc. 

Da Milano imports 70 per cent of its leather and accessories from Italy for its leather goods retailed in India.  

Da Milano has two state of the art, company owned manufacturing units at Nalagarh in Himachal Pradesh equipped with the latest and most advanced machinery. They have a highly skilled workforce operating under the guidance of Italian technicians. They also have an exclusive tannery near Chennai in Tamil Nadu where leather produced is benchmarked to the latest process technology.

NM: How is the designing for the bags taken care of? Do you have in house designers? 
Have you tied up with any designers for designing your collections?

Da Milano has a team of designers from Italy, who design new collections every quarter in sync with global couture trends. Our products are crafted from the most exquisite and exotic Italian leathers, suede’s and furs.  

NM: How many outlets do you have at present? Which are the preferred locations for the opening of your stores?
At present we have 17 outlets in India. Our preferred location for Da Milano stores are high streets, premium shopping malls, five star hotels etc. 

NM: Da Milano has recently ventured into airport retailing. What was the reason for this venture?
There has been a rapid growth in the number of air passengers and consumers’ enthusiasm for duty free shopping. This is particularly true in emerging markets, especially China, India and the Middle East. Driven both by an expanding number of affluent travelers having reasons to fly and a growing culture of consumerism, there is a huge scope for airport retailing in these increasingly prosperous markets. 

NM: Have peoples’ expectations for leather goods changed over the years? If yes, how are you catering to them? 
With the improvement in the standard of living, the demand for leather handbags, luggage, trolleys etc is on the rise. We use the finest Italian leather that symbolises quality, fashion, and sophistication. Besides, we tend to use the best dyes and other materials during the production process thereby producing consistent, durable, long-lasting leather products. 

NM: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through company owned outlets?
By the end of 2010, we project a growth of 130 per cent. By then, we will have a total of 50 Da Milano exclusive stores across India.

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