CEO & Founder Universal Sportsbiz Pvt Ltd (USPL)
Which points-of-sale are faring well for all the four brands?
We do well both online and offline; there is no major difference between online and offline profit share. However, it varies between brands-like Imara is a little more offline and Wrogn does fairly well online as well as offline. It is almost like a 50-50 split between online and offline.
What is the break-up in terms of the number of stores these brands have?
Wrogn and Imara have 73 stores in association with Shoppers Stop, and Ms Taken will have about 35 stores by the end of the season.
Which regions do you plan to expand to?
Other than the 73 stores that we have in association with Shoppers Stop, we have 10 of our own EBOs across the country. This week, we are in the process of opening in Nagpur, Bilaspur and Patna, and we will also open in Bengaluru. We are focusing more on a creative market.
How were the last two fiscals, and what are your expectations for the next two.
We did a business of Rs 22 crore the year before, and Rs 61 crore in 2015-16. We are expecting a business of Rs 120 crore this year. Next year, we are looking at Rs 240 crore and I think we can leave it at that. I think today it is hard to predict beyond a year.
You are trying to raise $15 million in series C of funding for your company. Where will you invest?
I will not be able to talk about series C. It will be invested into the operations of the Shrimani supply chain, and a little bit into marketing and building the brand value.
Do you plan to go omni-channel?
We are already omni-channel. We are in 73 stores offline and have a very large presence online between Myntra and Flipkart.
What is the response to your brands in tier-III and tier-IV towns?
Like I said, it is doing well-that is why we are opening our EBOs. We have opened two stores of Wrogn and Imara in Vijayawada, our Imara store in Agartala does phenomenally well, and we are opening Ms Taken stores in Patna and Bilaspur. Vijayawada has both Wrogn and Imara (which are standalone stores), Nagpur has Wrogn, and there is a combination of Wrogn and Imara in Bilaspur and Patna.
What are the top five points for young entrepreneurs planning to enter the apparel retail niche?
I do not know five, but the most important thing is to have a vertical plan, and inventory management is very critical. These are two of the most important things.
What do you plan to achieve at USPL in the next two years?
We can be India's first global youth-focused brand, and I think that will be a big achievement for us.
How would you describe the online apparel retail space in India? What is the percentage share of home-grown brands in this space?
It is great. I think it has changed the buying pattern. People used to buy festivewear or occasionwear during a couple of months in a year. But with e-commerce, the reach is a lot more, the product knowledge is a lot more, there is a lot of description and the data that the consumer gets to see. I think the consumer today is buying a lot more and there's the convenience of buying it and returning it if you do not like it or if it does not fit. So, e-commerce has done good. I think it is here to stay. But I would not be able to comment on the percentage share of home-grown brands as the data is not public. I would not want to give numbers that I am not comfortable with.
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