In conversation with Sargam Dhawan, Director & India Head, DAFNI India, who expresses her thoughts on why the brand wants to work with distributors and retailers in India.
DAFNI India follows a diverse distribution model in India. We sell direct to the customers, through our website as well as through other sub-distributors, local vendors, and B2B. Most of our sales are done through our own distributors along with their retail channels. Currently, we have not adopted wholesale trade in India. We are still exploring opportunities in this area. In terms of logistics and transportation, both to and from India as well as within India, we continuously focus on providing services in line with the rapidly developing market. Our logistics partners have been working with us closely since the introduction of DAFNI in India, which has allowed us to ensure continuity within our organization and preserve our knowledge of the Indian Market.
How is the market different in India and what are the challenges you face?
India is a country with tremendous opportunities and a growing economy into which DAFNI could perfectly fit in. The Indian market today is at a stage of one of the most price sensitive markets. We found ourselves confronted with issues of price competitiveness. DAFNI India has been selectively targeting its products to companies who value premium and global level quality. Realizing at an early stage that our products are meant for a minor percentage of the total market and focusing all our efforts and diverting all resources in the "higher value" market has been DAFNI's way of going about in India.
There is a vast difference in how business is conducted in India as compared to the other countries. Carrying on business in India can be challenging. It is extremely important to understand the culture and the way of living of Indian people. Patience is the key; doing business in India takes time. In addition to this, high import duties and time-consuming import procedures add to the difficulties.
What kind of distribution partners does DAFNI seek in India? Any particular qualities you see in the prospective partner?
We are aiming to connect with various luxury and premium goods distributors/retailers in India. In order for a distributor to be successful in this product segment, it is important to judge the financial potential and the mindset of the Indian luxury buyer. This will aid in introducing the right product offerings to our customers as well as targeting them better. As a conclusion, we are actively searching for other innovative channel strategies in order to tap the Indian market effectively.
What are your expansion plans for this year?
Our expansion plans include the introduction of the Limited Edition DAFNI Rose Gold and DAFNI wet range- consisting of various compliments to the product, this year. We are also looking towards introducing other new and innovative products in India under DAFNI. Other than this, we are slowly expanding our presence in South India in terms of many local offline retail stores and salons.
What prospects of expansion do you see on the online platform? Do you think it is equally beneficial to the offline platform?
Due to the rapid expansion of e-commerce in India in the recent years, it has been extremely beneficial to launch our product online. Technology-driven innovations such as digital payment, traffic analytic-driven customer engagement, and digital advertisements have aided this fast growth and development. On the other hand, offline businesses- having a limited reach are dependable and solid. In conclusion- Online businesses have a potentially massive reach, but it is associated with a typically larger level of risk due to the increased competition. Online business is an attractive option for new businesses as it comprises of comparatively lower costs and investments. DAFNI India, being a relatively new brand in India, has had a great advantage in starting online and reaching the mass Indian customer base in a short time frame.