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Nov, 20 2009

The woman behind Scented brands

Sangeeta is the brain behind the launch of both UK based of natural cosmetics brand – Lush, and fashion watch and accessory brand - Storm, in India. Here in conversation with TFW, Sangeeta Kamath, Director, Amaltas Retail Pvt. Ltd, talks about her success

Sangeeta is the brain behind the launch of both UK based of natural cosmetics brand – Lush, and fashion watch and accessory brand - Storm, in India. Here in conversation with TFW, Sangeeta Kamath, Director, Amaltas Retail Pvt. Ltd, talks about her success saga.

What led you to conceive Amaltas Retail?

Cosmetics always fascinated me and making soaps soon became a hobby as I found the process quite intriguing. I tried making them at home and all my free time was spent in a separate kitchen making soaps. While I was doing this, a friend of mine came back from Australia with a copy of ‘Lush Times’ for me, knowing well that I would be interested in these handmade exotic soaps. I asked my husband to bring some when he went to the UK. The product range that Lush offered was awesome and all I wanted to do then was to introduce this unique brand to India. Bengaluru became our first stop and thus, Amaltas Retail was born.

What kept you busy before you got involved with Amaltas?

I was involved in the marketing and administrative functioning of the family business, which is GCL India Pvt. Ltd. It’s being running for over three decades now. However, Amaltas is my first business venture.

How many outlets do you have at present? Also, tell us about your expansion plans?

At present, we have 10 stores across cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Bengaluru. ????STORM is available in Bengaluru., Mumbai and Delhi. At present, we are only focussing on expanding the footprint of both the brands across India.

Are you planning to franchise your stores? If yes, what would be your requirements from the franchisees?

Retail was very new to us when we started. Until now, we have not considered franchising because we were learning the finer points of retail. However, we are now open to the idea. Apart from the investments, the most important requirement from our franchisees will be 100 per cent passion for the products.

At what intervals do you change the visual merchandise of your store?

At our Lush stores, we don’t change the way the merchandise is displayed often because as a brand we have to follow certain standards. The visual look of all our stores is on the same lines, so every time a customer enters any of the Lush stores, he/she re-lives the same experience.

In Storm, we change the display once in 25 days.

Both you and your husband are involved in the business. To which segment does he contributes?

Harish has been the MD of GCL for the last three decades. His vast experience and knowledge is the backbone of all the strategic and financial decisions of Amaltas. It is his support and guidance which has helped to sail through all the initial hiccups and still does. It would have been very difficult to do all this without him.

What kind of research you conducted before bringing the international brand in India?

In the products that we offer, there is no research which goes into it. It’s pure conviction and passion for the product that we have. If I’m convinced that the product is good, then I introduce it in the market for others to enjoy as well. So far, it has proved right.

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