Interview with Prathyusha Agarwal

Prathyusha Agarwal
Prathyusha Agarwal
Head- Marketing
Tata Cliq
Tata Cliq

Tata CLiQ very recently launched lingerie. Do you plan to add any more product categories in the near future? If yes, please share a few details with us.

Tata CLiQ currently offers 1000+ brands across the categories of apparel, electronics and footwear. We are aiming to scale up to 3000+ brands through the addition of further categories such as accessories, jewellery and home furnishings by September 2016, home products in the month of October and luxury on the 1st of November. This is our immediate roadmap, but we have still a lot of categories to cover.  Even our group companies have a lot of categories which we aim to cover, for instance, jewellery is another thing in our pipeline which we aim to have soon and many other categories like toys and stationery.

Moving forward Tata CLiQ's alliance with Genesis Luxury Fashion Pvt. Ltd will enable us to soon offer 12 luxury international brands, like Burberry, Michael Kors, Armani, Canali, Furla, Jimmy Choo, Hugo Boss, Coach etc. Consumers will also be introduced to several high street international brands by November this year. We will also add many other brands over the next five or six months in the luxury category.

What kind of growth can be expected in the apparel and fashion category online?

During the year 2013, the Indian e-commerce market was worth US$ 13 billion with online travel business contributing 70-75 per cent of it. Out of the total US$ 13 billion, the e-commerce industry summed up US$ 3 billion in the same year due to increased Internet penetration and easy-to-use payment mechanisms. Further, the overall e-commerce market is expected to increase to US$ 50 billion by 2020. 

In e-commerce, fashion as a category is seeing a lot of traction from consumers and the sales in this category have doubled to reach US$ 559 million from last year when compared with top categories like electronics and books, with an estimated growth rate of 20 per cent per year. The fashion segment is projected to reach US$ 2.9 billion by 2016. A lot of budding e-commerce companies are now heavily investing in this category because the margins are higher as compared to other categories.

Tata CLiQ offers its consumers lifestyle forward brand which includes top notch national and international brands, some of which are exclusively available on our portal. We have witnessed the numbers multiply across fashion and footwear categories. 

In the coming months we will on-board exclusive international luxury brands in order to provide consumers with an authentic brand forward shopping experience.

Which category - womenswear, menswear, footwear, or electronics -- is faring well at Tata CLiQ?

According to a report released by Google India and A T Kearney, a consulting firm, the consumer electronics segment currently dominates the sales of Indian e-commerce industry but soon fashion and lifestyle will take over electronics and will be the largest e-tail category generating about 35 per cent of the overall gross merchandise value (GMV) by 2020. We are also witnessing a similar trend and are working towards providing a lifestyle forward experience to our consumers. During the first week of Festober also fashion as a category witnessed a significant jump.

Which international and Indian apparel brands can consumers expect at Tata CLiQ?

We believe consumers have always had an on-going demand to experience international brands from across the globe. They are well-travelled and aware of global fashion trends and have the purchasing power to own several of these brands. The only barrier preventing them from buying these products is unavailability of these brands in India and the mistrust and the lack of authenticity. We have curated this list of brands, and offer products directly from them or their authorised sellers. At Tata CLiQ, we don't have an endless listing of products, we have brand-malls. We offer personalised brand-experience to our consumers, and aim to give them a delightful and engaging shopping experience of curated brands, rather than just a choose-and-pick purchase of products.

To achieve this, we have formed a strategic partnership with Genesis Luxury Fashion to offer a wide range of international luxury brands, exclusively. This significant alliance will make TataCLiQ.com the only authorised partner to offer several international luxury brands in India that the Genesis Group represents. Genesis is the marketing and distribution partner for more than 12 international brands that include Coach, Burberry, Furla, Tumi, Hugo BOSS, Jimmy Choo, Giorgio Armani, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Bottega Veneta, Canali, G-Star RAW, Michael Kors, Paul Smith and Villeroy & Boch in India. 

Consumers will also be introduced to several high street international brands by November this year and we are aiming to add many other brands over the next five-six months in the luxury category. Tata CLiQ has also brought on several other brands on board, such as Microsoft, international brands New Look, Warehouse, Oasis and handcrafted merchandise by Okhai.

Discounts and sales models have been adopted by many e-commerce platforms to get people shopping online? What is your take on it? What is different at Tata CLiQ?

Tata CLiQ is not just an e-commerce portal, we are a multi-brand phygital marketplace. We are exclusively pioneering this space in India, where our biggest differentiator is the concept of phygital . While discounting is a legitimate strategy for retailers, it creates problems at two levels in Tata CLiQ's view:
  • It is not healthy for the business as the retailer will end up burning cash
  • Any player relying on heavy discounting creates certain a type of customer expectation
Some of the websites today are already in this trap. Customers who are going to these portals are actually either buying discounted stuff or buying products at the end of value chain.

Tata CLiQ therefore uses discounting as a tactical tool, rather than as a strategic tool. Tata CLiQ will not make any decision in which discounts become the key determinant of a purchase. We at Tata CLiQ work with brands directly - starting from popular, premium, going right up to luxury - and hence use discounts more as a tactical rather than a strategic tool.
Published on: 14/10/2016

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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