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Kavindra Mishra, the 40 year old, Chief Executive Officer of Pepe Jeans India is very confident about his brand and sees a dazzling future for denim franchising.
In a chit chat, he spoke to Ekta Sharma Verma about Pepe Jeans strategies for India to open 50-60 stores by 2014-15 and also the current trends of this chic industry.
Tell us about your strategies for Indian market? How different are they from the International market?
Pepe Jeans is one of the oldest international brands in India that is recognised for its jeans wear. Unlike other brands, we have an edgy fashion for youth. If we talk about Europe, 60 per cent of the business comes from women's wear but in India in western wear men's wear category is still dominating the market. Women's wear is also picking up strongly but not like men's wear. Since manufacturing is done in India, we focus more on providing the best product to the consumer. We are a complete lifestyle brand now and the best part of the plan is that Pepe will be coming up with the Pepe Kids wear by 2015.
Current number of total outlets and out of them how many are franchisee run?
We have around 200 Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBOs) and all are franchisee-run. Also, with this we have around 700 Point of Sale (POS) at Multi-Brand Outlets (MBOs) and we have made it to 125 cities in India.
What is your target group?
We target youth in the age group of around 20-35 years. We focus both on men and women fashion.
Is denim franchising a wise decision to make?
The DNA of our brand is Denim. 50 per cent of our business is via denim and rest 50 per cent is non-denim. Denim franchising is without doubt a wise decision that one can make. We sell aspirations and denim never goes out of trend and it has got a higher value as compared to any shirt wear brand. India has traditionally been a market that always had a lot of shirt wear brands but now even after very few players in the denim market; the consumers have accepted Denim and its trends.
Any comment on the E-commerce trend taking over the offline stores fad?
E-commerce is a great thing fundamentally. It helps fashion to reach out to people everywhere. It is a trend to stay. For Pepe, it holds a good traction and practically, we cannot open stores everywhere, so via e-commerce we can give an experience of Pepe Jeans wear to consumers anywhere across the globe.
We do not see many factory outlets for Pepe Jeans. You don't believe in the factory discounted price outlets idea?
(With a smile) This shows that we are running our business quite well! On a serious note, we don't believe in discounted prices. We have a few factory outlets, but our major presence is via MBOs.
Any recent trend.
Yes, a very strong trend is that people are now buying lots of expensive pair of denims and wearing them in the office. It is a good sign that denims are now a part of office wear on weekends.
So, any prerequisites for prospective franchisees?
My brand's franchisees are just like our partners. After handling so many brands and having an experience of 16 years in the industry, I can confidently say that apparel brands don't work on RoI. It is all about finding good partners. For Pepe, we do not look for investors instead we seek excellent partners with local expertise and one who understands retail, fashion and who can add value to the business.
Any cities on expansion radar?
We plan to make a strong grip in the south and northern market.