With a garment industry background and passion for fashion, he has become the second generation entrepreneur hailing from a family with business interests in retailing of saris, wedding trousseau and embroidery. In a tête-à-tête with Yamini Sunwar, Punit
With a garment industry background and passion for fashion, he has become the second generation entrepreneur hailing from a family with business interests in retailing of saris, wedding trousseau and embroidery. In a tête-à-tête with Yamini Sunwar, Punit Agarwal, Owner of VEMB Lifestyle Pvt Ltd and Marc Cain master franchisee for India and the UAE, shares his journey so far.
Share with us the inception and growth of the brand.
In August 2003, I formed VEMB Lifestyle Pvt Ltd (formerly known as Vaishali Garments Pvt Ltd) and managed to make inroads into some of the leading fashion houses of Europe by doing embroidery for their garments. Later, in 2007, we forayed into retail with the launch of Marc Cain (a German fashion label) in India, followed by the launch of VEMB Fabrics in 2008, in Mumbai, under the company, Tanaya Enterprises Private Limited. Then, to increase threefold the business of the company, we formed a company in the UAE, VEMB Lifestyle LLC, and forayed into retail in the UAE with the launch of Marc Cain in Dubai, in 2010.
Why did you choose the franchise model for the brand's expansion?
In my opinion, franchising in India is at a nascent stage. The industry has been growing at about 25% y-o-y, wherein the spending power of the middle class has substantially increased over the last few years. Apart from Indians being very entrepreneurial, franchising as a way of doing business has been well accepted in our country.
Having the master franchise of Marc Cain for two countries i.e. India and the UAE, what challenges do you face in its operations?
We have the master franchise in India and the UAE. The responsibility for making the brand a success for a master franchisee is way higher than a franchisee. The investment, risk and responsibility of a franchisee are comparatively lower than a master franchisee. We believe that in order for a master franchisee to grow, he must pay attention to the fact that the franchisee needs to make profit.
Discuss the market size and potential of the clothing industry in India?
According to Technopak's Textile and Apparel Compendium 2012, the Indian textile and apparel industry presently stands at $89 billion. It is also expected to grow at 9.5% to become $221 billion by 2021. According to recent estimates, the Indian luxury market is estimated to touch the $30 billion mark by 2015, and the country is aiming to become the world's fifth largest consumer market by 2025.
Talk about your current presence in India. What are your future expansion plans?
We are present in Mumbai (Bandra and Juhu) and will be opening another store in Mumbai by December at Napeansea Road. These are standalone stores and we plan to expand in metro cities, including Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore. We are also eyeing international markets like Kuwait and Qatar to expand operations and reach out to the elite strata of society.