Interview with Neha Shah

Neha Shah
Neha Shah
Senior Manager - Marketing
Pepe Jeans India
Pepe Jeans India

Kidswear is more unorganised than any other apparel segment
Pepe Jeans has plans to increase marketing spend in India by a flattering 20 per cent. In an exclusive interview with, Neha Shah, Senior Manager - Marketing, Pepe Jeans India talks about the brand's plans in the country and India as a market for the brand.

By what percentage is the marketing spend likely to increase? Please elaborate.

We have for the first time launched kidswear in India as a part of AW '15. Each season, we plan to run the adult campaign parallel to the kidswear campaign. The focus and approach for each will be unique to the audience to which we want to reach out. We will also continue to reach out to our target audience through relevant collaborations, sponsorships and initiatives. We are also looking at high-impact, broader-reach properties like cricket. Pepe Jeans is associated with the India-South Africa cricket series this year. We are looking at a continuous association with the sport in future. Thus, with new categories added and objective looking for newer mediums or properties to drive outreach, the marketing spends are likely to go up by 20 per cent.

What strategies do you plan to deploy to achieve this goal?

The company works on a 360° marketing approach involving both Above-the-Line (ATL) and Below-the-Line (BTL). The brand advertises heavily in print and outdoor media to reach its audience. Pepe Jeans collaborated with key fashion and music initiatives this year to strengthen the connect with youth. The brand associated with the music vertical of the country's largest multi-cultural festival, the Kala Ghoda Arts festival to reach out to a large, young audience. Pepe was the title sponsor of the Grazia Young Fashion Awards in April, a platform that supports young talent in the field of fashion. From Sienna Miller and Kate Moss to Alexa Chung and Brit super model Cara Delevingne, Pepe Jeans continues to be passionate about discovering and nurturing new talent in sync with its image as a young and fashion forward brand. Sports is yet another great avenue to reach out to the youth. Pepe Jeans has associated with the India-South Africa cricket series this year, which will further help strengthen its customer outreach and connect. Besides, the brand continues to engage with its target group through its social media channels.

What per cent of your marketing spend goes for online marketing?

Approximately 20 per cent of our marketing spend is allocated towards online marketing.

What is the size of the kidswear market in India? What growth do you foresee in this niche?

Kids' apparel market is more unorganised than any other apparel segment. A huge volume of kids' apparel in India is dominated by local and unorganised players. However, the dynamics of this category is changing as the market and consumers continue to evolve. Increase in the amount of disposable income and retail blitz has brought a sea change in the Indian kids' apparel industry. With kidswear being considered a part of lifestyle segment, a strong emphasis is being placed on brands. Branded kidswear is one of the most propitious markets in India. Industry reports suggest that the category is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.5 per cent, poised to reach US$ 22.4 billion by 2023 from US$ 8.3 billion in 2013.

Which new products do you plan to bring to India?

We recently introduced new categories like shoes and kidswear in India. Besides existing categories, we believe that the company's foray into these new segments will boost sales.

Please tell us something about your upcoming store launches.

Pepe Jeans plans to open flagship stores in prime high-street areas like Linking Road, Mumbai and Tonk Road, Jaipur. We will shortly open exclusive kidswear stores in popular malls such as South City in Kolkata and a few more. We are in the process of opening multiple stores in key tier II cities such as Bikaner, Simla, Siliguri and many more.

Which are your best-selling products?

Pepe Jeans India manufactures an array of chic casual wear for both men and women. Of the entire merchandise, men's segment accounts for 75 per cent, whilst 25 per cent consists of womenswear. Jeans is our core product. It is very popular and sells extremely well. Jeans come in a variety of fabrics, washes, fits and colours. The brand's product portfolio also includes corduroys, cargos, shorts, shirts (casual and party wear), T-shirts, flat knits, sweaters, sweat shirts, jackets and others. Its accessories range is diverse consisting of bags, wallets, caps, socks, et al. Pepe Jeans brings in new collections with better quality fabrics and washes each season. It also introduces exciting looks and themes on a regular basis.

How do you expect the tier II and tier III Indian market to shape up in the near future?

One cannot treat tier II and tier III markets simply as an extension of tier I markets. Companies moving to markets in smaller cities of India need to develop new strategies and formulas for them as they have some inherently different characteristics. Since tier I cities are highly saturated, its consumers are more likely to look for upgrades. On the other hand, tier 2 cities will have a greater number of first-time buyers of products, technology or services. Essentially, companies looking to penetrate into tier II and tier III markets need to develop appropriate products, sales and marketing strategies and business models. The tier II or tier III markets are definite growth drivers of the future. A good local market intelligence framework will help in the successful ascension of this market.
Published on: 11/12/2015

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