Apparel - - Contents - RAHUL ME­HTA

Dear Friends,

One of my firm con­vic­tion is that you do not need to go to an ex­pert or a ‘learned’ man to pick up a new idea, or a thought that had not oc­curred to you be­fore. If you are alert, you can learn from any­one – a peer, a ju­nior, an am­a­teur, or even from a ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion with some­one whom you hardly know.

And it was ac­tu­ally in a ca­sual con­ver­sa­tion with a co-pas­sen­ger on a flight that I picked up this gem: ‘TAC­TICS WITHOUT STRAT­EGY IS THE FASTEST PATH TO DE­FEAT’. Con­versely, ‘STRAT­EGY WITHOUT TAC­TICS IS THE LONG­EST PATH TO SUC­CESS’.

What struck me was how apt these say­ings were to our In­dus­try. So of­ten we see Brands fol­low­ing the same tac­tics as the more suc­cess­ful Brands in their cat­e­gory, and yet not suc­ceed­ing. It could be in their dis­count­ing poli­cies, their pric­ing, their Ad­ver­tis­ing, and a host of other ac­tiv­i­ties – and yet, we see some Brands get­ting huge re­turns out of these tac­tics, and some oth­ers flop­ping badly – and we won­der why. Ac­cord­ing to my mind, the an­swer lies in the afore­men­tioned adage. In the case of those Brands who are suc­cess­ful, their tac­tics are closely aligned to their long term strate­gic po­si­tion­ing.

Take Dis­count­ing for ex­am­ple. A Brand could be po­si­tioned as a ‘good value for money’ Brand and gain more ben­e­fit out of con­stant dis­count­ing and low pric­ing. But a lux­ury Brand will prob­a­bly col­lapse if it goes in for dis­count­ing more than maybe once a year. A pro­mo­tional tac­tic of ‘A free voucher for ev­ery­one who walks in be­tween 5.00 PM and 7.00 PM’ for ex­am­ple, will have far more suc­cess for a Brand hav­ing a strat­egy of dis­tri­bu­tion through Malls and a mass con­sumer base – rather than a Brand hav­ing a strat­egy of ex­clu­sively lo­cated shops fre­quented only by so­phis­ti­cated, sta­tus con­scious clien­tele.

The re­verse is equally valid. If a Brand is strate­gi­cally po­si­tioned as a Value Brand, and then goes in for lux­u­ri­ous in­te­ri­ors, and ex­pen­sive lo­ca­tions, it is bound to have a tough road ahead. If the prod­uct is right, the pric­ing at­trac­tive, it may ul­ti­mately suc­ceed even without pro­mo­tions and dis­counts, but this is likely to take far longer.

I am aware these are rather sim­pli­fied and ob­vi­ous ex­am­ples, but I am us­ing them just to il­lus­trate my point. A deeper anal­y­sis into more com­plex sit­u­a­tions will also re­sult in a sim­i­lar con­clu­sion.

You would all be aware that the 67th Na­tional Gar­ment Fair this July was to be held in a new for­mat, with the Fair be­ing split into Two Edi­tions – Menswear & Ac­ces­sories be­ing held on the first Three Days and Wom­enswear, Kidswear & Ac­ces­sories over the next Three Days. This was ne­ces­si­tated by the traf­fic re­stric­tions in and around the NSE Com­plex. How­ever, I am de­lighted to in­form you that as a re­sult of the con­tin­u­ous ef­forts of the Fair Com­mit­tee Mem­bers, the Traf­fic Po­lice have very kindly agreed to al­low us to hold the Fair as usual – all at one time.

How­ever, con­sid­er­ing the ever in­creas­ing size of the Fair – this time we will prob­a­bly touch 1000 Stalls – we have de­cided to hold the Fair for Four Days, i.e., on 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th July. And, for the first time, the July Edi­tion will be a No Dec­o­ra­tion Fair.

Since this is the first time we are ex­per­i­ment­ing with a Four Day Fair, CMAI has de­cided to bear the ad­di­tional costs of the Fourth Day (Rent, Power, Se­cu­rity, Staff, Buses, etc).

I ex­press my sin­cere Thanks to the Mum­bai Traf­fic Po­lice for their un­der­stand­ing and sup­port.

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