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Retail 2010-08-25

Shaping the Italian fashion: franchise way

By Ramanjit Kaur Feature Writer

Cantabil has established its identity and extended its portfolio to casuals and smart casuals not only for men but also for women and children in diverse segments. In an interview, Deepak Bansal, Director, Franchise and New Business Development, Cantabil Retail India Limited, shares the success story of the company.

Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Could you please shed some light on the origin, growth and success of Cantabil?

Deepak Bansal (DB): Cantabil is the fashion-and-lifestyle label from the house of Cantabil Retail India Limited. The idea of making a brand originated in the mind of my dad Vijay Bansal, Managing Director, Cantabil Retail India Limited, in 1998. Latter weighing all pros and cons, the idea was given shape and the brand was named as Cantabil. The brand was launched in the year 2000, with a collection of only formal and semi-formal shirts and trousers for men.

RK: What is Cantabil all about? What kind of services it offers?

DB: At present, Cantabil Retail India limited has two brands; Cantabil and Lafanso, under Cantabil brand. The company offers a complete wardrobe for the family which is designed based on Italian fashion. Under Lafanso, the company offers wardrobe for only men.

RK: What inspired Cantabil to take the franchise route to expand the business in India?

DB: Franchise is a better option to expand your business and networking. Initially the company had owned only a store format, but gradually took to franchise route format. This is due to company’s expansion strategy to make its presence across every part of the country. This is also due to the fact that local people have better understanding of their customer and the best thing is that the local people easily get associated with the brand.

RK: What is the USP of Cantabil? How it is different from other players in the sector?

DB: Cantabil offers international fashion, best quality at Indian price, which makes our brand stand tall in the market.

RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced with Cantabil?

DB: The company believes to give best quality products according to the taste of customers, always try to maintain its high quality standards so that the company can retain its customer and always gives 50-60 per cent discounts on both the brands so that customer can shop easily.

RK: What are the eligibility criteria for selecting the franchisees of your company?

DB: In India, it is very difficult to get good franchise partners. The company always strives to partner with people who are well educated, are motivated and have experience in retailing. The prospective franchisee and his family should also be committed to give time and attention to the business.

RK: How many franchised outlets do you presently have? What are your future target locations to expand?

DB: At present, out of 240 stores, we have around 50 per cent franchised stores under Cantabil and Lafanso is totally a franchised concept. The brand has a strong presence in northern India, and now the focus is more on western and southern India.

RK: What kind of training and support does a franchisee get after partnering with the company?

DB: The brand offers three months training programmes for its franchise partners. Actually, there are two models for selecting the franchise; profit sharing model and minimum guarantee model. So, the terms and condition is different for both the model.

RK: Any advice for the young entrepreneurs?

DB: One should only take an initiative if they find it really interesting, and have prior experience, knowledge or education. If one follows it dedicatedly than nothing can stop them. No line or business is good or bad, and if one follows his dreams sincerely than one is sure to find success.

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