Rahul Me­hta, 1090F


1090F, a well known ap­parel brand for women, has emerged with its own po­si­tion­ing and a style cater­ing to the needs of the fash­ion con­scious In­dian style buffs and hav­ing a well net­worked re­tail pres­ence through­out the coun­try. VM&RD chats up with Rahul Me­hta, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of 1090F to know the se­cret be­hind their suc­cess in this com­pet­i­tive re­tail mar­ket of the coun­try.

like ‘fash­ion’, ‘fe­male’etc.1090Fahren­heit also im­plies a cer­tain warmth, and ‘hot fash­ion trends’ – at­tributes that the Brand stands for.

How chal­leng­ing it is to carve out a niche es­pe­cially in such a com­pet­i­tive ap­par­els mar­ket?

It has been a very chal­leng­ing ef­fort from the very be­gin­ning. In In­dia there is a tra­di­tion of fol­low­ing the trail blazed by an al­ready suc­cess­ful niche brand. So whilst it may be easy to start a niche Brand, it is dif­fi­cult to main­tain one’s niche. For ex­am­ple, when we started, there were hardly two Women’s Western wear brands - and now may be there are more than 25 in the same mar­ket. More and more In­ter­na­tional Women’s Ap­parel brands would also be en­ter­ing the mar­ket. Thus, it has been a chal­lenge for us to Niche that we have, and the chal­lenge is only go­ing to be more ex­it­ing in the com­ing years. There are sev­eral other cru­cial de­ci­sions we have to con­tin­u­ally re­view and take afresh – the right Pric­ing, the right Dis­tri­bu­tion Chan­nels, the right Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Strat­egy, etc. I be­lieve our suc­cess is due to the right de­ci­sions we have taken so far – but in the Fash­ion In­dus­try so many de­ci­sions are right only till the next sea­son. Th­ese have to be pe­ri­od­i­cally re­viewed and re-ex­am­ined on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis.

How would you de­fine your USP and value ad­di­tions?

I feel that we are clos­est to in­ter­na­tional fash­ion trends in the coun­try while hav­ing kept the In­dian sen­si­bil­i­ties in mind, which is our USP. There are many brands avail­able but their sal­a­bil­ity is lim­ited, ei­ther be­cause they are ‘too’ for­ward in their fash­ion state­ment, or are just not fash­ion­able enough. I think 1090F has achieved that dif­fi­cult bal­ance, and hence its pop­u­lar­ity.

Who are your tar­geted shop­pers/con­sumers?

Our tar­get au­di­ence mainly starts from the age group of 18 years and goes upto 30 years.

What does it take to cap­ture and then re­tain this seg­ment of con­sumers?

Con­stant in­no­va­tion is the fore­most re­quire­ment and it should be in sync with the lat­est fash­ion trends of the fash­ion mar­ket. For ex­am­ple, when we launched the Brand, as­pects like heavy em­bel­lish­ment on the gar­ments was the trend, but to­day fash­ion has changed a lot. Clean and straight lines with smart looks are in vogue now which we have also adapted in our Range. In terms of in­vent­ing new things we have also ob­served that In­dian cus­tomers do a lot of win­dow shop­ping and thus they visit the stores far more fre­quently and ex­pect to see some­thing dif­fer­ent each time they en­ter the out­let. Thus we have a huge range – prob­a­bly the largest amongst our com­peti­tors, and yet, we have not lost our fo­cus on Qual­ity. In­dian con­sumers are also very much value con­scious and thus they need to be con­stantly re­as­sured that the brand is worth buy­ing and that is pos­si­ble only if your qual­ity is never com­pro­mised. Then your con­sumers get re­tained au­to­mat­i­cally.

Could you throw some light on your newly launched brand called Fu­sion Beats?

As the name sug­gests, it has been launched for con­sumers who still feel more com­fort­able wear­ing eth­nic clothes, but want to ven­ture in to some Western cloth­ing. But af­ter launch­ing it just a year ago, we ob­served that our Brand was also ap­peal­ing to the women who nor­mally wear Western cloth­ing, but are still proud of their In­dian lineage, and who would like to have that In­dian touch to their clothes. We are al­ready avail­able with this Brand in about 150 shop-in-shops & MBO’s and are soon look­ing for space to un­veil ex­clu­sive out­lets for the brand.

Who de­signs your store?

We have our panel of Ar­chi­tects who cre­ate the mas­ter de­sign for our re­tail space and once the lo­ca­tion of the store is fi­nalised, it is im­ple­mented ac­cord­ingly as per the Brand’s phi­los­o­phy.

Where do you buy your store and light­ing fixtures?

We have a set of nom­i­nated ven­dors from where we pur­chase as per the store de­sign re­quire­ments and the work is car­ried on by the

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