Interview with Arun Bhawsingka

Face2Face
Arun Bhawsingka
Arun Bhawsingka
CEO
Portico New York
Portico New York

You are an ardent supporter of "geographical reach" when it comes to marketing products, isn't it? How much of importance do you give to proximity when it comes to marketing home textile products?

Home textile products are very locally purchased items. One would never drive 10 kilo meters just to buy a bed sheet, although one can drive 10 kilo meters to get a wedding suit designed or get a fashion dress. So, proximity is important! Local availability is important! And it is in this context that we are expanding our geographical reach. Contemporary selling mediums like online retailing help in this regard. We are present in almost all the leading e-commerce sites, and are expanding our presence continuously.

Plans to open new showrooms are in full swing. Do you find opening showrooms in the country profitable? Or would you prefer exporting your products to other countries?

Our entire focus is on the domestic market, but we are looking at options in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. India is a good market for home textiles.

Is India a good market for branded home textiles? Are Indians shifting to the use of branded products or is the unorganized segment still dominant in the country?

Absolutely! It has the maximum potential because 90 percent of the home textiles business in India today in unbranded, but consumers would prefer branded products. So, if branded products are made available, they will go for it. As a number, the unorganized segment is dominating. But in terms of growth, branded home textiles are way ahead. The average growth in home textiles category is 8 percent per annum, but the average growth in branded business would be more than 25%.

Which sections in home textiles are expected to see immense sales in the future in India? For example, we believe that you seem to be optimistic about the bed and bath sections in home textiles for the future.

Bed and bath is the maximum volume contributor in home textiles, and so I am optimistic about its sales in the future. Home is becoming a place for peace and relaxation, and people don't mind spending a little more if the product is nice and if it makes a statement of their individual identity.

Out of the two segments - premium segment and value segment, products of which segment are expected to see growth in India? What are the market demands in this regards at present and how is the market expected to behave in future?

Both will grow in the branded segment. Value segment will see substantial growth because of Large Format Stores and alternative selling channels like e-commerce. And the premium segment will grow because of the consumers need for innovative and fashionable products. In the current scenario, the value segment undoubtedly holds a larger share of the market. It is way ahead of the premium segment.

With general elections round the corner, I would like to know how do you suppose will the Indian retail sector behave in coming years? Do you suppose that a change in government will change the entire outlook of the retail sector in India?

The organized retailing segment in the country will keep on growing, because the consumer demand for branded products will continue to grow. What the consumer needs is a product with a brand on which he has faith for quality and price and which satisfies his needs.
Published on: 24/04/2014

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.

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