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Retail 2012-05-07

Silky success via franchising

By Neha Gohil Feature Writer

The brand synonymous with fashion in the country, Siyaram’s is a one stop shop for a complete wardrobe solution for men. In an interview Gaurav Poddar, Director, Siyaram Silk Mills Ltd shares the success journey and the brand’s five year goal.

Neha Gohil (NG): Share with us the journey of Siyaram Silk Mills Ltd?

Gaurav Poddar (GP): Siyaram Silk Mills owns various popular brands such as Siyaram’s and Mistair in textiles, MSD and Oxemberg in apparels, and J.Hampstead in both textile and apparels. Every brand holds a distinct position amongst the consumers. The company is committed to create mutually beneficial relations with its franchise network. The ease of operations and a profit focused approach has enlisted immense interest amongst the investing community. The process of due diligence and robust working ensures that the focus is on profitability in deciding on a store opening. This has built immense credibility and belief in the model.

NG: What is the brand’s USP?

GP: Siyaram’s is an iconic brand which has been synonymous with fashion in the country. This is in addition to popular brands catering to various segments makes it a complete one-stop-shop for a complete wardrobe solution for men. The iconic status presents a loyal clientele which patronises the brand. Aggressive marketing and celebrity brand ambassadors have made the brand immensely popular amongst the youth as well. Emphasis on latest fabrics, cutting edge designs and affordable pricing makes it an attractive proposition. Being vertically integrated lends us a distinct edge in the offering. The legacy provides an enviable competitive advantage.

NG: What inspired the company to take up franchise route for expansion?

GP: The major objective is mutually beneficial relations with all its franchisees. The brand has top of the mind recall and connect. Franchising provides an opportunity for accelerated growth across the country. The franchises have an in-depth understanding of the local trends and preferences. The brand is also in a better position to handle local operations and bring the entrepreneurial passion to the store.

NG: Presently, how many stores does the company have in India? What is the ratio of your franchised and company owned stores?

GP: Currently we have 105 franchise and 15 company-owned stores.

NG: Give us a general picture of the company's expansion plans?

GP: We are planning to open 50 franchise stores by December, 2012.

NG: What is the eligibility criterion for selecting the right franchise partners? Is it essential to have a similar background?

GP: We have a simplified operational process and it ensures that we support the entrepreneurial spirit across a broader demographic. While it is helpful in having a similar background, it is not essential and entrepreneurs who are entering this segment for the first time will not be inhibited by any constraints in charting a success story.

NG: What is the area and investment requirement to open a franchise store of your brand?

GP: For setting up a franchise store one requires a total carpet area of 600 sq. ft to 1,500 sq. ft along with an investment of Rs 18 to 25 lakh. The location is preferred in major shopping destination of the city.

NG: Where do you see your brand five years down the line?

GP: We are in a unique position to provide a range of brands in both fabrics and readymade garments, which shall drive the brand strongly in the future. The proposition of quality products at attractive pricing is set to fuel the ambitious growth in new stores across all major cities and upcoming towns.

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