According to a recent study by Mckinsey, Indian apparel prices have doubled over the last decade, and tend to be 25 to 30 percent higher than in China as a result of supply chain inefficiencies. What measures should be taken to become competitive in this context?
For good quality, Indian products are more competitive than Chinese products. It is only for low value items, China is cheaper than India. Undeniably, there is lot of scope of improvement in infrastructures, state of art technology equipment and conducive government policies.
Tell us please the cause imperative for building K-Lounge stores? What are your core marketing strategies?
K-Lounge is a retail chain concept entailing area of 800-1200 Sq ft, which showcases and markets all the products of all the brands of KKCL. Going forward after having wide recognition and greater popularity, K-Lounge stores may be scaled up as mega K-Lounge stores akin to department stores.
Offering high quality branded fashion apparels and life style accessories at competitive price through memorable customer experience has been key marketing strategy.
What dissimilarities you find among Indian customers and American customers? What are your USPs against other players in the market?
There is vast difference in climatic conditions between USA. and India. Due to low temperature in USA, consumption is higher as compared to India. Further per capita income is lower in India as compared to USA., hence major Indian customers are value buyers and as a result realization per garment is lower in India.
All our four brands, KILLER, Lawman Pg3, Integriti and Easies are owned by the Company, unlike other international players where it is owned by their parent Company outside India they have to incur licence fee. KKCL owns over 2 lakhs sq ft of manufacturing facilities spreaded at Daman, Vapi, Goregaon and Vapi. Our per garment financial cost is lower due to less leveraging and offer low cost entrepreneurship. All these factors contribute in optimizing the product cost and ward off any competition.
To beat the competition from similar brands with low price, what strategies are applied by KKCL?
The market size is huge and all competent players have enough space to expand. However KKCL has always believed in profitable and sustainable growth, hence market all our branded apparels at a price point which is commercially viable irrespective of peer group. It is not possible to sell at low price while working in organized sector where cost of full compliance is also to be endured. We choose to withdraw from competition instead of price war, which in long run has proved a beneficial strategy.
Based on your experience and success in having given some of the strong brands to market, what are the main points that you would recommend to a new entrepreneur for considering before launching an apparel brand?
'Fashion is Passion' and brand creation is like nurturing an Oak tree, you plant it today and wait for at least 2-3 decades for lucrative outcome. One should be financially very strong and with deep pockets, if wants to grow faster. This is important that one should not diversify in other unrelated businesses and plough back resources for developing the brand. This is of paramount importance that one should remain fully occupied for development of one’s branding business and have patience for reaping the fruits.
High-end apparel brands have for sure noticed the importance of activities beyond just business. How about KKCL?
Branding is a science and not simply commerce. At KKCL, we always strive for product development through research and development and market innovations for ensuring customer satisfaction and memorable experience. Presently we target mid-upper segment, in future we shall further scale up innovations, creations, visual merchandising, advertisement campaigns by employing higher resources.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.