Lingerie brand Apr, 17 2017

Franchising enhances brand scalability: Karan Behal

PrettySecrets started out as a women's sleepwear brand eleven years ago. It marked its presence in major departmental stores such as Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons and Globus.

By R Mathur
Feature Writer
Franchising enhances brand scalability: Karan Behal

Lingerie brand PrettySecrets has opened doors to its first exclusive stores at Bandra (West) and Phoenix MarketCity, Kurla, in the beginning of Arpril 2017. Karan Behal, Founder and CEO, PrettySecrets, talks at length about its expansion plans via franchising and omni-channel retail.

PrettySecrets started out as a women's sleepwear brand almost eleven years ago. It marked its presence in major departmental stores such as Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Globus and Central, as well as over 200 MBOs. From its advent as a solitary category, the brand diversified its range in 2012 through e-tailing on PrettySecrets.com.

When and why did you opt for franchise route?
India is a country with a vast geography and growing through company-owned units is difficult here. Any retail format can scale in India through franchising. Therefore, we opted for this route two months ago to reach out to areas where it is otherwise difficult for us to establish our footprint.

What are your expansion plans?
We have planned to spread our wings by franchising 30 EBOs across metro cities this year and an additional 300 stores by 2019. We will expand our retail footprint in 10 cities and account for approximately 20,000 sq. ft of retail space in 2017. The stores are expected to contribute 25% to the company's revenues in the next three years.

What are your views on omni-channel presence?
We live in a digital world where online brands are expanding offline and vice-versa. A company is looked upon as a brand altogether and not merely a channel. The most profitable medium is a mix of offline, online and mobile app. Currently, PrettySecrets.com serves more than 19,000 pincodes in India. It has also partnered with all major online players such as Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong and Tatacliq. The brand wants to optimise its omni-channel presence and offer Indian consumers more than just a click-and-ship marketplace. Thus, it will soon release its Progressive Web App (PWA) in 2017 for an ultra-modern shopping experience.

Which all cities are you targeting?
First cluster of stores will be in Bombay, metros and some tier II cities. By 2018, we will have a pan-India presence. We will be opening stores in Jalandhar and Ludhiana. We are eyeing Chandigarh as well and looking forward to opening stores at Elante Mall, North Country and Sector 17. Amritsar is also in our list.

What all challenges lie in the way of your growth?
In terms of retail, getting a good start in the industry remains a challenge. The supply chain and logistics sector also requires changes. From consumer point of view, we have seen a change in perception that is encouraging, but the sector remains a taboo in some parts of the country. However, it’s a utility product and so its demand will always exist in the market.

Share a word on lingerie industry.
Indian lingerie and nightwear industry currently stands at Rs 20,000 crore and is growing at a CAGR of 18-20%. By 2020, it will amount to Rs. 30,000 crore. The industry is largely unorganised and unpenetrated by organised players. So, there lies a great opportunity for franchisors.

Related: Happy consumers make happy franchisees

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