Valued for its design and product innovations in the premium bed and bath category, Portico New York was launched in April 2004 to address a latent demand in the home textile market. Rajiv Merchant, CEO, Creative Portico (India) Pvt. Ltd shares the origin and expansion plans of the company.
Pallavi Majha (PM): Share the origin, growth and success of Portico.
Rajiv Merchant (RM): Portico New York, a brand by Creative Portico (India) Pvt. Ltd is a leader in premium bed and bath category in India. It is valued for its design and product innovations by the consumers. Portico New York was launched in April 2004 to address a latent demand in the home textile market which marketers had not creatively represented. Portico is the fastest growing home linen brand in India for last 4 years and even in the current economic meltdown we have recorded 30 per cent growth YOY (Year-On-Year).
PM: When and how did the company decide to opt for franchising?
RM: We have spent adequate time in understanding our consumers and have been offering innovative design solutions in the Indian market. Having done it successfully, we look forward to transfer our expertise to our channel partners. At the moment we have one operational franchised store.
PM: How much investment is required by an aspiring franchisee in terms of money and time?
RM: Portico franchise opportunity is low on investment and high on returns. We expect our franchisee partner to have a minimum of 400-600 sq. ft of retail carpet area at a ground floor in a retail destination.
PM: What all training and support do you provide to the franchisees?
RM: Portico has invested a lot of time and effort in building one of the best teams of merchandisers and front-end sales team. Bed linen is a category that needs lot of selling inputs from the sales staff for which product knowledge is of paramount importance. We have institutionalised staff training at all levels as a practice, and the same is taken as a benchmark by other players as well.
PM: What difference you have noticed in the performance of the brand after the company opted for franchising?
RM: As mentioned earlier our foray into franchising is fairly recent, however we are positive about the franchising model.
PM: What is the break even period for a Portico franchisee?
RM: The break even is expected 18 months onwards.
PM: What are the company’s future plans in terms of expansion through franchising or through company owned outlets?
RM: In the current financial year we intend to open 10 franchise stores.
PM: Have you noticed any change in the performance of the brand as a result of economic depression?
RM: There is a substantial latent demand in the home furnishing industry, wherein demand is more than the supply. Portico New York is not significantly affected by the slowdown.