The growth in Indian fashion and lifestyle market has given an impetus to the footwear industry. From a basic need-based industry, it has become an evolving fashion and style category.
The Indian market, especially the footwear market, has a lot of scopes. The Indian footwear industry is gearing up to leverage its strengths towards maximizing benefits. Resource strength of India in the form of materials and skilled manpower is a comparative advantage for the country, among other things. Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities are home to a chunk of India's youth who are becoming increasingly fashion-conscious. With heavy internet penetration and the growing usage of smartphones, this segment of the population gets exposed to global fashion trends pretty fast.
The growth in Indian fashion and lifestyle market has given an impetus to the footwear industry as well. From a basic need-based industry, it has become an evolving fashion and style category.
In an interaction with Franchise India, Aasheesh Mediratta, President, Retail and Distribution, SSIPL Retail Limited talks about the constantly growing footwear industry in India.
The Growing Demand of the Indian Footwear Industry
Entrepreneurs of the modern era consider India as one of the best lucrative regions in terms of running and growing a business. Similar is the situation with the footwear market in India. Being a massive country in terms of both volume and mass, every customer has its own preference when its about purchasing footwear. This is why many footwear entrepreneurs are rapidly innovating and experimenting with their existing footwear products, enhancing and providing a luxurious, stylish, and comfortable experience to the customers.
Aasheesh says, "As a brand, it is mandatory now to carry a passion for active sports, leadership in authentic sports, and rich sports-inspired lifestyle collection incorporating the latest designs. Lotto has created a niche in the Indian Sportswear market targeting the Value segment customers. We have grown significantly over the last 2-3 years at a healthy CAGR of 50%. Over the years, we have invested significantly in strengthening our in-house design capability and operational processes. We foresee great opportunities in this segment and will continue to look at all plausible channels to foster growth."
It's All About Competing like a Champ
Every business sector has its own challenges that need to be dealt with in order to achieve success as a brand. India, in particular, has many national and international footwear firms that are either operating independently or growing through different franchise models. The best part about the competition is that they can be daunting as well as healthy at the same time.
"Customers remain loyal if the brand delivers on quality and good customer service experience and are willing to pay extra for superior customer service. Entrepreneurs that belong to the footwear segment could think or plan about increasing their brand's online presence along with developing a distribution network and partnering with destination retailers. Adopting this strategy could help brands in dominating all the major channels.
Furthermore, technology and innovation is a vital tool in the current time. A brand like Lotto is heavily focusing on innovative technologies that can enhance our products. Recently, Lotto has introduced the Air Breeze Technology and Laceless Soccer shoes to offer our customers the best. Our research team is always coming up with never seen before innovations to reinvent the game," adds Aasheesh.
Marketing & Advertising: The Vital Elements
"Marketing is the most important tool as it is used to communicate with potential and existing customers. For all businesses, the key to create an effective marketing strategy is to outline who you are as a company, the ideas, and messages you want to communicate through your content, and the impact you expect them to have on your audience.
At Lotto, we are trying to strike the right balance between traditional & digital & innovative channels of marketing like social media, online marketing etc," highlights Aasheesh.
Expanding the Business through Franchising
In today's world, franchising, without a doubt is the most preferred and lucrative business model available for all the potential investors and franchisees. The model has proven itself fruitful time and again which has heavily contributed to the growing demand and popularity of franchising in India.
Lotto introduced its franchise-based business model in 2014 after its establishment in 2007. The franchise is available at an investment around INR 20-30 lakhs with an area requirement ranging between 600-800 sq ft.