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Feb, 11 2013

HOMING IN ON PROFIT, ELEGANTLY

With an elegant ensemble of the modern and the rustic, the avant garde and the exotic, the cosmopolitan and the flamboyant, Marina Home brings a new realm of design co-existence to India. In an interview to Namita Bhagat, Khurshid Vakil, Co-Founder & Exec

With an elegant ensemble of the modern and the rustic, the avant garde and the exotic, the cosmopolitan and the flamboyant, Marina Home brings a new realm of design co-existence to India. In an interview to Namita Bhagat, Khurshid Vakil, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Marina Home Interiors Retail Network, speaks about the brand's foray into India.

Tell us about the concept of 'Marina Home'.

Conceptualised in 1998, Marina Home is a successful Dubai-based home furnishings company. Launched to present a world of inspiring choices for those who live a certain lifestyle, the brand has grown from strength to strength all along, evolving carefully yet staying ahead of customers' expectations. It is perhaps the most desired brand in the markets it operates in and has a large aspirational proposition for the end users. Marina stores can be found in top locations and shopping centres in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Oman, Cairo to name a few. Our large format flagship stores are present in the world's largest The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Mirdif City Centre, Abu-Dhabi Mall, Bahrain City Centre, Cairo Designopolis, etc.

What inspired Marina to enter India?

The brand's success in various markets coupled with the socio-economic growth and lifestyle in India was a natural 'next step' to enter India. As an offering, the brand will be presented in its original concept in India; however, we will study our findings and keep on learning as we move forward to plan ahead accordingly. The main focus is not to dilute the success story.

We have recently opened our first flagship showroom in New Delh, a 40,000 sq ft footprint, making it India's largest premium home décor store. It is a testimony to our belief that the Indian consumer is quite vary of global trends and fashion elements at home and is desirous of owning a beautifully yet distinctively designed interiors. Hence, the potential is unlimited. We boast of unparalleled quality, design, comfort and thematically created settings that deliver total home solutions and offer a wide assortment of never before seen products under one roof.

What are your expansion plans for India?

To begin, we will target the metro cities followed by tier II cities. Some locations have already been identified while scouting for others is already on. Given the scale and size of the Indian market, franchising becomes an intelligent tool to build the brand faster. We will study that option as we believe that there are cities where franchisees would understand the market dynamics better.

What are the capital and area required from a franchisee's end?

These would depend upon the size of each state or area of development. In tier II cities we are looking at a store size of 10,000 sq ft and in tier III cities boutique size stores of 5,000  10,000 sq ft would do. The franchise fees and royalties would be designed accordingly. Importantly, that would not be a deterrent to move the franchise model forward.

How does the brand view competition?

Our core strength is our in-house design team, sourcing capabilities, market knowledge, infrastructure, etc., that has helped develop a unique range of products that embodies sophistication, individuality and high quality.

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