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As long as people have feet there will be opportunity in footwear sector: Raoul Mehra, Vanilla Moon

Raoul is hopeful of growing the brand further during his tenure, just as he sees the Indian footwear industry growing – onwards and upwards. Read on...

By Senior Sub-editor
As long as people have feet there will be opportunity in footwear sector: Raoul Mehra, Vanilla Moon

In conversation with Franchise India, Raoul Mehra, Director, Marketing Sales, Vanilla Moon, premium fashion footwear brand, shares the brand’s expansion plans as well as about the future of footwear industry in India.

Raoul states, “Vanilla Moon was started as a brand for the modern Indian woman when good quality fashion footwear for women was not easily available in India. Since 1996 we have carved a niche for ourselves in the Indian footwear market - contemporary design, great quality, an affordable price and still uniquely Indian.”

About the footwear industry

Raoul affirms that no other Indian brand provides their combination of quality and design–a testament to the hard work put in by Gautam and Deepika Mehra (his parents) over the last few decades – something he hopes to build on for a newer audience and generation. He is hopeful of growing the brand further during his tenure, just as he sees the Indian footwear industry growing – onwards and upwards.

He states, “Competition has become far more intense. International brands are making their presence felt in India in a big way, and are changing the landscape of retail across the country.

There is a major worldwide push towards more casual/comfortable shoes. We have seen this with the sneaker/athleisure revolution over the past few seasons. This has carried over to the footwear industry as a whole, which is evident with the greater emphasis on individuality and personal expression. At Vanilla Moon we always try to give our customers what they want, and we have invested heavily in range building over the last two years. If you compare our SS-19 collection to previous years you will find that a lot has changed, especially with the variety of styles we have on offer. We will continue to innovate and push the boundaries of Indian fashion and offer the Indian woman stylish footwear at the right price.”

Dodging competition

Raoul explains his way of dodging competitions with the power of his teams of designers. He adds, “All of Vanilla Moon’s operations are based in Delhi, so we have the advantage of being able to quickly turn around small collections and react to market conditions. We manufacture all our shoes ourselves and are able to ensure consistently high quality with every pair. Our biggest strength is design – we have a fantastic team of designers that make sure our collections are in sync with the latest international trends, while also catering to Indian fashion sensibilities. Our flexibility in this regard is unmatched in the Indian footwear market.”

Long term vision

Raoul says, “We are a homegrown brand that has found success by consistently delivering a quality product to our loyal customers over the past two decades. Going forward we plan to continue in the same vein, consolidating our presence in Delhi-NCR as well as looking for strategic expansion opportunities in other parts of the country.”

Exploring Options to expand

He adds, “We are not planning to franchise out just yet but are open to exploring this avenue if the right partners are found. Vanilla Moon is special because of its identity as a niche brand, it is important that we maintain that.”

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