Interview with Mr. Chetan Shah

Mr. Chetan Shah
Mr. Chetan Shah
Country Head
Pepe Jeans London
Pepe Jeans London

Chetan Shah is the Country Head, Pepe Jeans (India)Ltd- one of the most prominent jeans brands in th

What does Pepe Jeans quintessentially convey as a brand?

Pepe is a premium international brand from London offering fashionable, stylish, trendy and fashionable jeans and casual wear. Pepe is very distinctively positioned, as a brand for the youth with a strong attitude; A brand not only for the youth but also for everyone who is young at heart. Pepe speaks about young, sexy, cool, fashionable, independent, self confident personality who exudes an attitude that says “I am what I am”.

What was the scenario when the brand was first pepe-jeans-londoned in India? Could you trace its pathways of success?

"Pepe Jeans London entered the Indian market in 1989 and today is the No.1 international premium denim brand in India. In the early period, there were no sprawling malls, there were no exclusive brand retail outlets, retailers were not updated of the international way to sell a pair of jeans, the infrastructure was poor etc. There were a lot of problems that Pepe Jeans had to deal to make the brand a success in India. Pepe Jeans took off as a jeans brand in India. The brand extended its product offerings and grew into a complete denim wear brand with denim jackets, shirts etc along with its line of jeans. Gradually Pepe introduced an array of knits, wovens, denim bottoms, fashion denims, non-denim and accessories under its umbrella. Today, Pepe is the only international brand to offer complete casual wear solutions for men and women. Pepe offers its customers an entire wardrobe with ‘Denims and Beyond’. Pepe Jeans is an absolute casual wear brand and sells everything one would associate with casual wear like casual cotton shirts, denim shirts, light-weight jeans, t-shirts, shirts, jackets cotton casual pants and accessories such as bags, caps, belts, wallets, wrist bands etc. Thus Pepe Jeans London has transcended from a jeans brand to a complete lifestyle brand today. Pepe Jeans is the market leader with 25% market share in the premium international jeans and casual wear market. The brand was recently also acknowledged by the apparel industry in the CMAI, Apex Awards (Clothing Manufacturer’s Association of India) with the “The Brand of the Year - Men’s Casual Wear (Large)” award at the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai. "

A lot goes into making of a brand, particularly in case of clothing. What is it?

Apart from the 4Ps of marketing the emotional and aspirational connect with the consumers is the key. For eg. Christino Ronaldo, Manchester United’s star striker and international youth icon was chosen as the face of Pepe Jeans last year to help the target audience to relate to the brand clearly.

Has the Indian retail industry come to terms with the world today or no?

Not yet. By 2010 when 400 shopping malls will be actively operating, the B and C class cities too interface malls the Indian retail industry will come around as a super power on the global retail map. Currently it’s just the beginning

What according to you are the problems faced by the retail sectors in India?

shortage of quality malls in metros and virtual absence in B and C cities (that’s changing quickly) and shortage of qualified retail professionals at all levels (senior, middle level and front end) two af the major problems that Indian retail industry needs to address.

What in your opinion will be the situation when Indian brands meet multinational brands in the India market place?

Haven’t they already met? On a serious note, there will be repositioning of the Indian brand which can be in terms of product, price or image.

What market segments do your products focus upon and any special category focus has been planned for future?

"Pepe is a Premium Brand with a Mass appeal. As you must be aware Pepe Jeans has two brands focusing on two different segments. Pepe Jeans – Youth targets at 18 – 25 year olds and Pepe Juniors targets 8 to 16 years. Pepe Jeans is the first international brand to pepe-jeans-london a new brand exclusively for teenagers called Pepe Juniors. Pepe Juniors caters to the special needs of this difficult age group, which was largely neglected by industry players. Pepe Jeans London has identified the absence of any branded player in this segment. The 10 to 16 age teenagers aspire to wear what their immediate elders wear. But they finally had to settle to extended versions of kids wear or unbranded clothes. Pepe Juniors fills this need by offering a range resembling teens fashion, yet its very sporty and peppy to suit the moods of teenagers. "

What technology has Pepe Jeans been adopted for ensuring smooth shop floor operations?

Pepe Jeans has implemented system softwares that connect all our store locations in India to our Head office which in turn is connected through the same platform to our distribution centers to ensure smooth shop floor operations.

How different or similar do you perceive the mindsets of Indian and foreign clients as a Marketer?

Mindsets are changing as Indians are becoming more “westernized” but in the current scenario Indian customers like to be serviced, assisted and pampered.

Do you feel that Indian textile and apparel manufacturing matured to take on global giants? In what way, can you elaborate please?

Ofcourse. World’s biggest and best brands have been sourcing out of India.

Advertising is integral to any marketing of a product. How does it make all the difference particularly for a product like yours - jeans?

Jeans unlike any other product/category (excluding footwear) are almost/completely brand driven as far as consumption goes. Pepe’s signing of Sienna Miller as face of the brand for the next two years is testimony of the brand’s objective of further enhancing its aspirational image and to be identified with one of the most talked about Hollywood actress.
Published on: 26/06/2006

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

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