In conversation with Franchise India, Arun D’Silva, India Head, Frederique Constant reveals how his distribution model is unique.
According to reports, India’s watch market is estimated at Rs 5,000 crores with luxury watches accounting for about 20 per cent of the sales at Rs 1,000 crores. It is this huge market that international brands have an eye for and see India as a huge opportunity. One such brand, tapping the Indian market with its luxury watches, is Frederique Constant.
Presently, many global brands in this sector are entering into India. What’s your take on that and do you see it as a competitor?
Brands that are coming to India are well aware of the existing brands, but they choose to come because India is one of the few markets that are showing growth. There will be certainly an impact on existing brands, but since the market is growing, one can turn this into an advantage by differentiating one’s brand positioning.
At Frederique Constant, we value the sentiments of existing customers, so whatever we do should reinforce their belief in the brand values.
What scope does this industry have for a potential investor? Typically for an investor who is planning to invest in this sector, what are the factors that he/she should keep in mind?
The premium and luxury watch market in India has a huge opportunity for distribution and retail. The primary requirement is for the investor to demonstrate the capability of building credibility, honoring commitments, demonstrating the ability to understand customers who want to be treated differently. Most importantly the investor needs to understand that starting price wars through discounting does not lead to success.
Elaborate about the training and support that you offer to your franchisees?
Our current system of training and support is the best in the industry. We visit each retailer once a month and train the staff on product attributes as well as on selling skills. We also do a complete cleaning and re-organising of the display windows to make them attractive and contemporary.
Are your services centres franchised? Elaborate on this.
The service centres are owned by the larger retailers. The brand simply does a due diligence to evaluate the equipment and the technicians.
To keep up with the digital era, what Omni Channel strategies do you plan to implement for sustainable growth of your brand?
We have a very strong online initiative that covers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. The brand does not want to sell online, so all our strategies are to provide information about availability and brand collections.
What distribution models have you adopted for the business? Elaborate your distribution models?
Our distribution model is unique because it works primarily on trust. Over the past 12 years we have built an unquestionable trust with our brands and our retailers. For us relationships are more important than commercial terms. It is difficult to explain logically but it is a fact that business grows when trust is created.
What are your expansion plans?
We will be following a very structured and time tested approach of building the existing markets before entering the new markets. This means that existing retailers will be supported for them to improve their business before we appoint new retailers. It also means that we will create more opportunities for retail in the cities.