With an in-depth knowledge of the Indian fashion industry, Blues Clothing Company (BCC) is constantly bringing in new brands to cater to the rising demands of the elites. In an interview, Abhay Gupta, ED, BCC shares the success story of his company.
Ramanjit Kaur (RK): Brief us about the inception of Blues Clothing Company?
Abhay Gupta (AG): Blues Clothing Company (BCC) a retail organisation, was established in 1964 under the name of Sehgal brothers. The Blues Clothing Company was formed officially in 1996 with a new mission statement of becoming the highest suit seller in the nation. Under the guidance of Dinesh Sehgal, the company tied up with a number of Italian brands such as Insaf Italia, Ferre, Canali, Brioni and Valentino. The company continued partnering with well known Italian labels like Versace, Cerruti and few more. In 2005, BCC became the sole franchisee for Corneliani, Cadini and Versace Collection.
RK: When did the company sign the franchise agreement for Versace?
AG: In 2005, we signed the franchise agreement with Versace and in 2006, we launched the first standalone outlet for Versace Collection at South Extension part I, New Delhi. Subsequently, we opened the Versace at Emporio and last year we introduced Gianni Versace to it.
RK: Name the brands that BCC deals in?
AG: Gianni Versace, Versace Collection, Corneliani, Cadini, John Smedley, these are the five major brands we are currently dealing with. However, we are in talks with several other brands that we are soon going to introduce in the Indian market.
RK: What practices and initiatives have you introduced in the company?
AG: We are always looking at new brands to introduce in the Indian Market. Keeping this in mind, we are soon going to introduce Versace Home-line in India. We are coming up with stores at the International Indira Gandhi Airport (new terminal T3), which will be operational in June-July this year.
RK: What kind of support and training has been offered to the company by these luxury brands?
AG: The various brands have helped us in store designing, visual merchandising, advertising and marketing. They also helped us in training the staff, in providing product knowledge and in creating the right ambience at the various brand outlets.
RK: How many outlets company presently have?
AG: Presently, the company has around ten outlets, which are Cadini, Galleria Milano, SuMisura, John Smedley, Bench & Bar, Ayana, Royal Blues and Custome tailoring in South Extenion part I. However, at Emporia, we have Versace, Versace Collection and Corneliani.
RK: What are the future plans of the company?
AG: We already have signed few locations in Mumbai to open stores of our brands. We are aiming to have five outlets in Mumbai. These outlets will be for the various brands like Versace, Corneliani, Cadini, and so on. We are also planning to expand in south India as well.
RK: Do you believe that taking franchise is a better option than starting a business from scratch?
AG: In my opinion, taking a franchise is like adopting a mini model of starting a business. It is as good as starting a business of your own. If you are looking at a small business opportunity, then franchising is an ideal option to start a business.
RK: Any advice for the aspiring entrepreneurs?
AG: Franchising is the best route for an aspiring entrepreneur to enter the world of business where s/he acts as manager-cum-operator or owner. Gradually, s/he gets first hand exposure, become capable to explore and use the experience of the franchising company.