MD & CEO, Soch
In bigger cities, where the brand has a warehouse, an area manager or strong staff presence, it prefers to open company-owned stores. However, in Tier II and III cities where it has just one or two stores and which are difficult to reach, it prefers to work on a franchise model. “Since we supply goods, quality control is done by us. As far as service quality is concerned, we have an audit team, outside agencies who conduct mystery audits. Only when we are satisfied that everything is running smoothly, we hand over the reins of running a store to a franchise partner. If we are not satisfied, we appoint our own store managers – even for franchise stores – to ensure that service standards are maintained,” explains Chatlani.
“Apart from this, we have a regular training team for all employees, including those at franchise stores. We prefer to pick partners who are well versed in the field of retail, who know the industry well,” he adds.
At present, the brand has 90 companyowned stores and 30 franchise-owned stores.
Production & Design Capabilities
The production is done both in-house as well as with select factories who work exclusively with Soch. The brand has a few in-house designers and it also draws upon the designers of partner factories for inspiration and range planning.
According to Chatlani, “We manufacture only about 3 to 4 percent of our product. We buy the product, but we buy in bulk. We buy in bulk and pay on time and hence we are able to get the best of goods. We source goods from the best of manufacturers from across the country. One reason that we don’t get into manufacturing is that it limits our taste and variety. If we employ an in-house design team, our breadth, taste and concepts would become very limited. In this way we get an opportunity to pick the best from in the country – specialised embroidery from Lucknow, prints from Jaipur, etc. It also widens the spectrum of goods that we deal in.”
“Currently we offer bespoke tailoring only in select stores for select products like dress materials, saree blouses and ghagra choli. The bespoke market does have a huge potential for special occasion garments such as ghagra cholis, gowns, bridal saree blouse designing and stitching. However, our service is offered more as a convenience factor of the customer,” he states.
The brand, which targets the modern Indian woman largely between the ages of 22 to 35, is competitively priced as compared to others in the same space while providing quality which is as good as the competition, if not better.
“Apart from this, we have a regulartraining team for all employees, including those at franchise stores. We prefer to pick partners who are well versed in the field of retail, whoknow the industry well”–Manohar Chatlani,