With three Truefitt & Hill Barber Shops and two retail stores already in India, Lloyds Luxuries Ltd is going up and expanding fast. The group also recently brought UK’s Barker Shoes and finest Cufflinks and jewellery brand Deakin & Franchis to India and many more are there on the plate soon. In an exclusive conversation, Krishna Gupta, the 22 year old Managing Director of Lloyds Luxuries Ltd talks about his franchise plans for the brands and the challenges faced. Enjoy the read….
Starting at this young age and bringing Truefitt & Hill to India! What was the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge for us was to build a good team at our core. As with any business that wants to grow, we needed to have a strong team who understands our vision and has the abilities to handle several stores together. Once we had our core team in place it became easier to train our staff, get our logistics right and open four outlets in just ten months.
Do you plan to decide on franchise route for any of the brands you have brought to India?
Yes, of course we do. Franchising is the fastest way to expand and get across the country. Since Truefitt & Hill is a service brand, it's more scalable, as everyone has to get a haircut and shave, which gives us the opportunities to open several stores across the country. We plan to open 75 stores across the country in five years, and of them we will franchise 25-30%.
Don’t you believe a celeb name attached to a brand surely attracts more business and popularity?
For us the brand itself is an ambassador - Truefitt & Hill, a 210 year old brand, in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the oldest Barber Shop in the world, the only Barber Shop to hold a royal warrant to H.R.H The Duke of Edinburgh, with its products and antiques found on the Titanic. We might plan to have a brand ambassador in the future once we have pan-India presence.
Tell us about your expansion plans for India? Which cities you wish to tap?
Since we are a luxury brand, it will take time to reach the tier III and IV cities, however we are currently focusing on Mumbai where we have three barber shops and will be opening two more in three months. We are short listing locations in Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Pune to open at least one outlet in each of the mentioned cities over the next six-eight months.
Any other brand on the plate this year for Lloyds Luxuries?
We are looking to get a couple of more brands in the women only salon space to India which are specialty brands and are known for certain services abroad.