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Dec, 01 2008

Plus size fashion market

Stepping in the plus-size women fashion business in 2001, Revolution has ultimately reached the global market. Presently, it is portraying its expansion plan in India and abroad and also targeting plus-size men. Nisha Somaia, Director, shares her thoughts

The Franchising World (TFW): How has the response of the Indian customers been to your venturing into the plus-size fashion business for women?

Nisha Somaia (NS): In simple words, the response has been astounding. From starting a single store in 2001 to running a chain of 12 EBOs in India and 1 in UAE, it has been a phenomenal journey. The Mumbai consumers took to our merchandise immediately, but Delhites were still a little apprehensive as women sought approval from families. However, the scenario has changed now. Revolution has not only given a full-fledged women`s fashion concept, but also provided new confidence to the customers.

(TFW): What was your occupation prior to getting involved in this business?

(NS): My association with the apparel and fashion industry spans over 16 years. Having worked in prestigious buying houses like Triburg and Li & Fung, I developed an invaluable expertise in catering to a variety of international (mainly French and European) clients. I mostly serviced retailers sourcing garments from India and that exposure helped me in seeing the bigger picture.

(TFW): Did you face any difficulty in the beginning being a woman entrepreneur?

(NS): Being a woman has been a great advantage to me. I have always felt that my intrinsic intuitive power should always hover high while managing a business. Having an inherent aesthetic sense and the ability to multitask are an added bonus.

(TFW): You are one of the few retailers who have forayed into the international market. What are your expansion plans in other countries?

(NS): There have been inquiries from many countries to open Revolution stores, which prove the international demand for our products. We are looking to tie-up with foreign partners to take the brand in other countries.

(TFW): Other than through EBOs, what are the channels through which you retail your products?

(NS): We are already selling from Arvind brands Megamart and are planning to offer our merchandise through more shop-in-shop formats.

(TFW): Where do you foresee the future of the Revolution brand?

(NS): Undoubtedly, the potential of the plus size market is exhaustive. There are various avenues that are still untapped and can be highly lucrative. Our utmost desire is to see our business growing manifold through the franchise business model and we are looking to expand into at least another 50 stores. Our expansion model is also inclined to catering to plus size men. Being the market leader in the plus size women`s segment, we will take advantage of the untapped market, providing similar experience to the men.

(TFW): What is your advice to future women entrepreneurs?

(NS): Never imagine that you are incapable because of your gender; in fact, being a woman is an unimaginable advantage. The universe whispers directly to us in our ear; just listen and believe in yourself.

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