In conversation with Franchise India, Nayanika Pawar, CEO, Claesen's India, reveals the USP, future plans and strategies of the brand.
Claesen’s is a name to reckon with in the innerwear industry. The Dutch innerwear brand has not only made a place for itself in the fabric industry over last 23 years, but has also established itself as a brand that stands synonymous to quality and craftmenship. Claesen’s has its presence across the globe and retails in 20 countries.
How’s been your entrepreneurial journey?
After identifying the huge gap in the Indian market, especially for fashionable quality innerwear for kids, I initiated my entrepreneurialjourney with Claesen’s in 2013.
The endeavour may have invited several challenges how did you overcome them?
The journey was no less than a roller coaster ride. In fact, the biggest challenge was to start everything from point zero. Establishing the product line, regulatory routes and choosing the right team was the herculean task for company development. Successfully with a hard working and dedicated team we were able to conquer the goal to launch pan India with a workforce of 120 people in January 2014.
What makes Claesen’s different from its competitors?
Being the first European brand that offers premium kids innerwear starting at Rs.299 is our greatest USP. This great international Dutch design brand has evolved with love and hard work.
What is your current distribution in brick and mortar space?
We are an extremely focussed brand on what we want our investors and partners to achieve. We are available in 38 cities across India, through brick and mortar, also partners with online retailers that are from Jammu to Coimbatore and Guwahati to Mumbai.
Put some light on your franchising terms?
We haven’t franchised yet, but the model for the same is ready. We believe, as a brand we will always be relevant because an innerwear is an essential daily requirement. We are an “Evergreen business” similar to FMCG.
As a leading female franchisor do you face challenges while working with male franchisees?
Working has never been difficult for me. I have worked with a mixed team of clients, investors, team mates and vendors. In fact even if there are issues you learn to manage all your stakeholders with time.
Do you have any message for aspiring female entrepreneurs? Do you believe franchising can act as a growth booster for them?
Being a kidswear brand, it’s a fun business to be associated with 300 million kids across the length and breadth of India. Today aspiring entrepreneurs look for healthy and safe returns and therefore, franchising helps in establishing a lucrative business it is space efficient (maintaining lower rentals) and gives you good returns. Additionally, it is safe and secure space to invest.
What are your expansion plans?
Currently, we are targeting 35 cities across India which includes Tier I and tier II cities. Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai Jaipur, Chandigarh and Vijaywada are just to name a few.