Rajpal has been responsible for identifying and negotiating apparel licenses with strong global apparel/lifestyle brands like Beverly Hills Polo Club, Ladybird Kids, Ecko Unltd and Ecko Red to launch them in India through multiple formats – Exclusive Brand Standalone Stores, Shop-in-Shops & Wholesale Distribution.
BHPC has signed up a brand ambassador in the form of “Gautam Gambhir”, the stylish Indian opener to endorse the brand. The brand has also been able to do a lot of mall and neighbourhood activities, including tie-ups with radio channels like Fever FM, run a whole range of contests through the medium. There is also highly sophisticated mobile phone based CRM programme. Ecko being an iconic youth centric brand we are taking the Internet medium to reach out to the target audience. And for Ladybird, which is kids centric brand, we are doing a lot of activities with play/activity schools, the results of which are quite encouraging.
With three international lifestyle fashion brands, Spencer’s Apparel Brands division has acquired a unique proposition. Spencers Retail is in talks with a few other globally acclaimed brands to further strength its portfolio.
The Challenges overcome
Working on international brands, the single biggest challenge one faces is of importing & countering high import duties to keep the cost of the product low and put MRPs in line with consumer expectations, vis-a-vis, brand positioning. Through sourcing domestically, like the case of BHPC, some challenges have been met. And for Ladybird Kids & Ecko brands, we are in the process of creating that value for the Indian consumer.
The apparel division intends reaching out to the consumer not just in metros but to consumers in fast developing tier II and III markets across the country in a very short span of time. Franchising is one option to expand rapidly.
His understanding of the retail business and his learning in this process
“I have always believed in taking a conservative approach in building businesses, thus the scope for course correction is minimal. With wealth of experience behind me in working at senior levels in the top apparel companies in India for more than a decade, I think I am better equipped to synergise product offerings in tune with consumer needs and wants, and in line with international fashion trends.”