Raza Beig: Fash­ion­ing a makeover for Splash in In­dia

The en­try of in­ter­na­tional brands, changes in pref­er­ences from non­branded ap­parel to brand names, the fast-grow­ing econ­omy, and a large young con­sumer pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try has made In­dia a highly lu­cra­tive mar­ket – some­thing Splash Fash­ions’ CEO & Di

Images Retail - - FRONT PAGE - – By Charu Lamba

The In­dian re­tail mar­ket is ex­pected to hit ₹1,02,50,500 crore (US $1,576 bil­lion) by 2026, grow­ing at a CAGR of 10 per­cent. A big chunk of this num­ber be­longs to the fash­ion seg­ment. Re­tail pun­dits are pre­dict­ing that the In­dian fash­ion re­tail mar­ket worth ₹2,97,091 crore (US $46 bil­lion) will grow at a promis­ing CAGR of 9.7 per­cent to reach ₹7,48,398 crore (US $115 bil­lion) by 2026.

The In­dian ap­parel in­dus­try, which is the sec­ond largest con­trib­u­tor in the re­tail in­dus­try after food and gro­cery, is see­ing some ma­jor shifts. The en­try of in­ter­na­tional brands, changes in pref­er­ences from non-branded ap­parel to brand names, the fast-grow­ing econ­omy, and a large young con­sumer pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try has made In­dia a highly lu­cra­tive mar­ket.

To cash in on this im­mense op­por­tu­nity, Splash Fash­ions, Mid­dle East’s largest fast fash­ion re­tailer, plans a makeover, and will present it­self to In­dia in a new avatar.

Speak­ing on his big plans for the brand in In­dia, Raza Beig, CEO, Splash Fash­ions, & Di­rec­tor Land­mark Group, said in an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view on the side­lines of In­dia Re­tail Fo­rum 2017: “Splash Mid­dle East is at a very ma­ture stage. We have al­ready cap­tured quite a bit of the fash­ion mar­ket in the Mid­dle East.

The brand is 287 stores strong in 13 coun­tries cov­er­ing 2.8 mil­lion sq. ft world­wide. How­ever, in In­dia, the growth is in nascent stages.

“We have been op­er­at­ing in In­dia for about seven years now but be­cause of all the ex­pan­sion that we were tak­ing on in the Mid­dle East, we have not been able to give a lot of at­ten­tion to our In­dian model. Ear­lier, our In­dia op­er­a­tions were done through a fran­chise model. How­ever, two to three years ago, we de­cided to takeover and con­duct op­er­a­tions in­ter­nally. Hon­estly, we have started work­ing on Splash In­dia only over the last eight or nine months,” Beig said.

“We went back and re­vis­ited the en­tire In­dia model – from prod­uct to pric­ing. We had to reengi­neer prod­ucts to a cer­tain ex­tent to meet the de­mands of the In­dian con­sumers and the trac­tion that we have re­ceived in last seven to eight months has been re­ally good,” he added.

There are around 18 stores of Splash Fash­ions – part of the Dubai- based Land­mark Group – in In­dia and Beig aims to take this num­ber to 50 in next three years.

A Slow & Steady Pace

Raza Beig feels that ag­gres­sive ex­pan­sion is not the style of Splash Fash­ions.

“We want to go slowly and steadily as we have learnt a few lessons in the last seven years, we do not want to make the same mis­takes. At present, what Splash lacks in In­dia is po­si­tion. We are in B-spots and even C-spots in malls. So, the first thing that we need to go is en­sure that we are in the right space and re­tail­ing to the right con­sumer,” said Beig.

In keep­ing with this vi­sion, Splash Fash­ions closed some stores that were not rightly po­si­tioned and now plans on re­fur­bish­ing the re­main­ing stores in line with their new for­mat.

Ac­cord­ing to Beig: “We will be repo­si­tion­ing all of our stores in malls – we are al­ready in talks with mall de­vel­op­ers for the same, and we will also start look­ing for spa­ces in ex­ist­ing and new malls.”

The brand, which will be spend­ing be­tween ₹100-150 crore to open new stores in In­dia, eyes a rev­enue of ₹1,000 crore in the next four to five years.

Mak­ing a Splash in In­dia

Splash, which used to re­tail sev­eral brands in In­dia like all MBOS – in­clud­ing Benet­ton, Vero Moda – has de­cided to do away with this model. They will

be re­tail­ing Be­ing Hu­man and Bossini ap­parel and mer­chan­dise at their stores, but 90 per­cent of the in­ven­tory will be purely Splash.

Beig out­lined the for­mat of stores in In­dia, say­ing, “In In­dia, our stores will range from 6,000 - 12,000 sq. ft. depend­ing on the mall we are in, as well as the catch­ment.”

Stores will have the av­er­age tar­get price point be­tween ₹999 and ₹1,499. Beig said that his brand closed the last fi­nan­cial year at ₹160 crore. “Go­ing for­ward, we are look­ing at a growth of 50-60 per­cent ev­ery year, year-onyear for next three years. Last fi­nan­cial we touched a like-to-like growth of 35 per­cent, and we want to main­tain the mo­men­tum.”

Go­ing Om­nichan­nel: Cater­ing to the Evolv­ing Con­sumer

Tech­nol­ogy holds great im­por­tance in the suc­cess of any brand and re­tail­ers are lever­ag­ing dig­i­tal tech­nolo­gies to reach the mod­ern shop­per. Mo­bile-en­abled ap­pli­ca­tions draw in a lot of con­sumers and re­tail chains are in­vest­ing heav­ily in them. Au­toma­tion and IOT (In­ter­net of Things) are lower on the list for in­vest­ment but gain­ing mo­men­tum as they are per­ceived as game changers.

To stay ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion, Splash

Fash­ions is leav­ing no stone un­turned as far as lever­ag­ing tech­nol­ogy is con­cerned.

The brand is plan­ning on in­vest­ing 4-5 per­cent of its turnover in this space.

Elab­o­rat­ing on the tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments his brand is em­brac­ing, beig stated, “With the world mov­ing so fast, we have to be very tech-savvy. We will soon be in­tro­duc­ing an en­tire tech­based col­lec­tion. This means that tech­nol­ogy will be an in­te­gral part of the gar­ment we are sell­ing.”

He fur­ther added, “Two months ago, we in­tro­duced tech-mer­chan­dise in UAE to which young kids can re­late to. These in­clude phone still cov­ers, head­phones and even quirky speak­ers. Our In­dia stores are just re­ceiv­ing their first ship­ment.”

And as Om­nichan­nel re­tail­ing is con­tin­u­ing to ma­ture, and the lines be­tween the on­line and the phys­i­cal store blur­ring, Splash is pre­par­ing its e-re­tail web­site in a bid to lure more cus­tomers and with an eye on prof­itabil­ity.

“We have launched our e-com­merce web­site in UAE, as well as Saudi Ara­bia and by the end of this fi­nan­cial year, our on­line stores will be avail­able across all GCC’S. In In­dia, we have signed up with Myn­tra and we will soon be launch­ing Splash on­line in In­dia,” Beig con­cluded.

We want to go slowly and steadily and be­cause we have learnt a few lessons in the last seven years, we do not want to make the same mis­takes. At present, what Splash lacks in In­dia is po­si­tion.

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