W is a modern avatar of ethnic wear. The brand's distinct design language and right fit sets it apart from any other competing brand. In a candid talk with Amanpreet Kaur, Anant Daga, CEO, W, expresses the brand's intent to be the most relevant player in
How did your brand originate?
W was launched in 2003 by TCNS Clothing Co. which is part of a leading export house TCNS. The brand grew out of the need to offer the contemporary Indian woman, innovative ready to wear that combine fashion and functionality. With a unique design sensibility, the Indian Salwar-Kameez was transformed into its chic and urbane - yet comfortable form. This was the first such attempt at reinventing Indian fashion.
Do you think franchising is the feasible route for expansion?
We believe in the entrepreneurial ability of the businessman who knows his market and consumers better than anyone else. If unleashed the right way, there can be no substitute to a franchisee. A good franchising business model also reduces company's dependence on internal resources and organisational limitations. It also provides an opportunity for faster scaling up of operations and unleashing the power of numerous business partners in form of franchisees. We firmly believe that franchising is a strong route.
What kind of training and business support is involved?
We do a lot of handholding as far as our franchisees are concerned. It's a business of details where you need to get involved. All store layouts are developed by the brand and extensive project execution support is extended. VM guidelines along with all customised POS material are deployed for all the stores. Data analytics support is extended to facilitate better buying and replenishments. We have one of the strongest recruitment, training and incentivisation programmes for the front end sales staff. We have stringent SOPs set for the stores and follow up with robust mystery shopping exercise to ensure high standards of operations. All in all, we have a very close working relationship with the franchisees and that's what makes our business a complete win-win for all.
Is your brand following any other retail distribution channel for expansion?
We are a pan- India brand and are present across channels. Apart from our 125 EBOs, we are present in over 600 touch points across retail formats like large format chain store, multi-brand outlets and e-commerce sites. As a women's wear brand, we were amongst the first ones to have presence in most of the e-commerce sites.
What plans have you set for future expansion?
This year we would be opening 50 stores, of which 70 per cent would be opened through the franchise route. Apart from metros, we are looking to expand in over 15 more cities in tier II and III towns. Moving further, international foray is also on our expansion radar. We are exploring Middle East, the SAARC countries, Singapore and Malaysia.