MD & CEO, Soch

Business of Fashion - - Women's Wear In India -

Op­er­at­ing Model

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.

Pric­ing Strat­egy

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,

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