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Retail 2009-12-13

Only for you, Madame

By Ramanjit Kaur Feature Writer

MADAME is a leading brand for the fashionable women. The vision of the company is to provide world class apparels and accessories for women. In an interview with FIHL, Bipan Jain, MD, MADAME shares the success story of his company.

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

Bipan Jain (BJ): MADAME was introduced in the early 80’s with a foresight to dress the young women according to the latest style. It’s a part of Jain Amar Clothing Private Limited, which has been into apparel manufacturing business since late 30s. In 2002, the company ventured into direct retailing after launching its first exclusive MADAME flagship store at Lokhandwala, Mumbai. Presently, the company supports 60 exclusive stores spread across the length and breath of India, which are a mix of franchised and company owned outlets.

RK: How does it feel to be awarded as the best customer service provider of the year amongst a number of franchisees?

BJ: The credit goes to our diligent and efficient staff. A customer service cell has been introduced to guarantee 100 per cent customer satisfaction to its customers.

RK: What inspired MADAME to take the master franchise route? What difference have you noticed in the performance of the company after it opted for franchising?

BJ: We started franchising our stores right after the success of our flagship store in Lokhandwala, Mumbai in 2002. The franchising business is extremely profitable for Indian apparel market.  India has a huge market potential for franchising in apparel market. We have plans to open 100 exclusive brand outlets in the coming years.

RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced in MADAME?

BJ: There is a quarterly training program by the name of SMART for our sales team and a yearly program for our executive staff by the name of SMART+.

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

BJ: We always look for people with passion for apparels and customer service before finalising a franchisee. Secondly, the prospective franchisee must own a high street property in the most prime location.

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

BJ: Around 40 per cent of our stores are franchised, which are situated in various cities like Lucknow, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Ludhiana, Jalandhar. However, in the cosmopolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, the company operates through their company owned outlets. Presently, we have 60 stores all over the country which are a mix of company-owned and franchisee-owned. We also have multi-brand stores all over the country apart from the company-owned and franchisee-owned stores.

RK: What support do you provide to your franchisees?

BJ: We provide our franchisees with the necessary knowledge of the market, latest fashion trends and also assist them in operational issues. Along with the merchandise requirement, we also offer training to our franchisees and his/her staff to make them more efficient and empathic towards the customer. The best part of associating with our company is that we incur all the promotional expenses that are made to bring value and boost the sales.

RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?

BJ: A lot of youngsters these days are starting their ventures without having the necessary knowledge of the industry. So, it is always advisable to gain requisite knowledge and experience before starting a franchise business.

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

BJ: We are seeking to add another 40 stores by the end of the next year to achieve the target of 100 exclusive stores.

RK: Share with us any new venture that your company has entered into?

BJ: We have recently launched NYCITI stores. These are all exclusive stores and have exclusive collections of women accessories like belts, bags, imitation jewellery etc.

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