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womens wear retail 2015-09-10

Revealing biz secrets to start a successful lingerie business!

Tell us about your brand Wienna and how did it plan to enter India?

Revealing biz secrets to start a successful lingerie business!

Thailand-based diversified, USD 9 Billion conglomerate Saha Group, is introducing Wienna, brand of premium and functional lingerie products to the Indian market in November 2015. Wien International Company Limited, part of Saha Group, has appointed Belle Intimates as its distribution partner for India. Much before the launch, Mallika Shah, Vice President, Business Development & Strategy for Belle Intimates spoke exclusively to us and discussed her plans and action lined up for launching the brand in India this November. 

Tell us about your brand Wienna and how did it plan to enter India?

Saha Group has been manufacturing lingerie for over 45 years now and thereby went on to become the first Thai company to manufacture lingerie on an industrial scale. Saha Group has collaboration with a Japanese major to manufacture lingerie products and also caters to some of the biggest and popular global brands. Thus, it has everything from a legacy to experience to expertise to manufacture lingerie of the highest quality by global standards. The Indian lingerie market, which is currently dominated by unorganised players, offers a huge gap in terms of availability of high quality and premium products. With the largest and growing middle class, more women working and influencing the spending, India was a natural choice for Wien International to foray into. 

What are your plans for India via the franchise route?

We at Belle Intimates, plan to appoint franchisees in all the major Indian cities and towns. We aim to operate about 20 stores in 15 cities through this route in the first four years. The brand has been selling through franchise model in East Asian and West Asian countries. 

Related: Unique yet lucrative biz ideas

What qualities do you seek in the prospective partners?

All our stores will sell premium lingerie, shape-wear, sports-wear, night-wear and cosmetics. We would be enthused to get into a discussion for a franchise with people who have been in that particular city for a long time, a good social background and network. They should be talkative and of course as passionate as we are for intimate wears. 

Is there any training that will be provided to the franchisees from your end?

We have an excellent, strong and sound patronage of Saha Group to bring in the in-depth detailing on the products which will be part of the training which all the franchise owners and the staff will undergo. An intense training in India and Thailand on the technical aspects of the products, sizing, measurements, customer handling and a lot more will be imparted. 

How the market of Thailand in terms of Lingerie trade is different from India?

Thailand,  a global hub for manufacturing quality lingerie products, produces for almost every global brand. The key reasons are availability of manpower which is creative and highly skilled, technology and raw materials available and used. Thailand retails many more premium brands than what are available in India. Thailand also being a tourist destination and a shopper's paradise has a huge variety of designs and range for lingerie products. 

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