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Retail 2010-06-10

Enamored by franchise success

By Abha Garyali Sub Editor

Lingerie industry has transformed from unorganised to organised, a shift that can be attributed to the entry of successful lingerie players like Enamor. In an interview Parag Merchant, General Manager, Business Development and Franchising, Gokaldas Intimatewear Pvt. Ltd, which owns Enamor, talks about his franchise success.

Abha Garyali (AG): What lead to the inception of Enamor?

Parag Merchant (PM): Enamor was launched in 2003. It began as a joint venture with Barbara of France. The brand was launched after measuring 4,000 Indian women as we wanted to ensure the best possible fit. Periodic events are held in prominent stores, where women are made aware of their correct sizes and informed about how innerwear can complement their outerwear. It has been a constant endeavour of Enamor to innovate and make available the latest worldwide trends to the Indian consumer.

AG: What motivated you to expand the brand?

PM: Enamor belongs to Gokaldas Intimatewear Pvt. Ltd. Following our success in the MBOs and national chain stores, the company decided to make the product available through EBOs and be in direct touch with the customers. The company has invested in five EBO’s so far which are doing roaring business. Our EBOs serve as model stores, where the widest possible range is available along with the best possible customer service.

AG: How is Enamor different from other lingerie companies? How do you handle competition in this sector?

PM: Enamor has the widest possible product offering for the Indian woman and is customised for Indian body type. Consequently, no other brand has the right product for as large a number of customers as we do.

AG: What is the criterion for selection of prospective franchisees?

PM: We want to provide franchise opportunity to women entrepreneurs and people from the industry, who are aware of the brand strength. An Enamor franchisee would do excellent business in a shopping mall, which has good footfalls or in an upmarket high street area. All that is required by a franchisee is an outlet between 500 to 700 sq.ft, capital to invest in and an entrepreneurial drive.

AG: Where are your franchisees positioned presently and which areas are you looking at for expansion?

PM: The focus of Enamor has always been on the Indian woman. We commenced our franchisee roll-out from Delhi/NCR as well as Bengaluru. The other cities we intend to cover soon are Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkatta, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana and Chandigarh.

AG: In what ways do you support and train your franchisees?

PM: Effort is put on training employees of the franchisee, including the store manger. We also support in designing the store, branding and stock optimisation. The franchisee will be given all the support and help to excel in business.

AG: How much investment is required by aspiring franchisees?

PM: In the A-class metro cities, an investment of Rs 25 lakh would be required. However, in smaller metros, it could be little lower around Rs 20 lakh.

AG: What are your future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?

PM: Enamor proposes to have 50 stores in major cities in the next three years.

AG: What are the challenges faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome them?

PM: The challenge for the franchisee is to manage the stocks well and ensure customers revisit the store consistently. The company helps them in stock management and staff grooming, which will enable franchisee to operate the shop efficiently.

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