Retail Nov, 24 2009

Fashioning leather

By Ramanjit Kaur
Fashioning leather

An Italian company with its unique and traditional yet trendy designs, Da Milano has taken the country by a storm. Sahil Malik, MD, Da Milano, India shares the company’s expansion plans…

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Tell me about the origin of Da Milano?

Sahil Malik (SM): Da Milano is an integrated leather brand that manufactures and retails leather bags and accessories for both men and women since 1989. It is a brand with distinctive Italian sensibility and today it has 17 signature stores across India and still growing.

RK: What inspired Da Milano to take the franchise route to expand the brand?

SM: Franchising is one of the mediums that helps to cater to the customers in places where it becomes difficult for operating the company owned outlets. Therefore franchising can support the expansion function. Besides, the scope of franchising in India’s fashion accessory industry is increasing day by day as it is an opportunity for the brands to expand globally.

RK: What is the eligibility criterion for selecting the franchisees for your company?

SM: The franchisees must be able to operate the business at its maximum potential, perform in compliance with the policies and procedures laid down by the franchisor at all times. They must have a location in high market streets or shopping malls.

RK: How many franchisees do you have and in which all cities?

SM: We have six franchises which are located in New Delhi and Chandigarh.

RK: What type of business support and training do you offer to your franchisees?

SM: In order to sell the products, franchisees must understand what the product is, and possess the confidence and knowledge about the type of leather. Our franchisees will have to do everything in compliance with our consistency standards. We provide a full three weeks training at our head office in New Delhi. One week programme covers administration, sales and marketing, followed by two full weeks covering all technical areas, including the processes for leather tanning and type of leather prints.

RK: What is the break even period for ‘Da Milano’ franchise?

SM: Break even period can be of six months for operations and three years for ROI (Return on Investment), depending on the location.

RK: What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?

SM: Franchisees may face various sorts of challenges which are mentioned below:

  • Adhering to the business standards
  • Opulent appearance and delightful operations
  • Elegant packaging

These challenges can be overcome by them by attending the complete operations training.

RK: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising?

SM: We will surely like to continue to run our business via franchising model. By end of 2010 we expect in total 50 stores to be in operations out of which 10 are to be via franchising.

Related: Unveiling lingerie market in India

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