New Delhi: Promod, the French boutique women’s ready-to-wear retailer, is aiming to quadruple its business in India by increasing its retail presence, supported by e-commerce, by 2025. The French retailer entered India in 2006 in a joint venture with Mumbai-based The Major Brands Group but, has, so far, opened only 22 retail outlets. On her first visit to India, also the first outside France, after taking over as Promod’s global managing director, Nadine Caux said that the French owner has identified India as one of its top five priority markets. Edited excerpts from an interview:

Promod has a very limited presence in India even after 12 years. Is it a difficult market?

Past is past. I can’t move on that. What is good for me is what I can do in the future. Yes, we had a slow-paced journey. But we have been very successful in the past—small (22 stores), yet beautiful. In the last 10 years, many retailers came to India and things became difficult. But that’s the life of retail. On the other hand, consumers have been educated about global fashion. Options are more now. We need to do more than what we did when we entered the market. We need to tell our story and work on differentiation.

India is a market that is huge, maturing and growing. This is one of the biggest markets in the world. We’ll have to do very precise business and that’s different for each of the 50 countries we are present. You can’t have one recipe-suits-all formula. In every country, I need to know her (woman), I need to be true to her. 

Indian market is very different. Indian women are following the style that is very free, cool, relaxed, colourful, fresh and feminine. India is a market of colours and light fabric. We have our own design team designing every piece of cloth which is similar to the psyche of Indian women.

I have been with the brand for one-and-a-half years. I know the potential of the brand. We need to bring something that has meaning for the customer and that’s my challenge for the years to come.

Will you fuel expansion?

India is among the top five markets in terms of priority. I strongly believe in the growth of India. See, we are not in China, and we do not intend to enter that market. What I follow is: aim, focus and deliver. I am already in 50 countries. I am aggressive about India and that’s where we want to focus.

We plan to have 100 retail doors by 2025. We have about 20-22 now. This would include shop-in-shops, stand alone stores and e-commerce. For us, it’s not how many. What matters is a strong network builds a really strong bond with our customers. More than classic marketing, word-of-mouth, social influencers and social media have always worked for us.

What’s your revenue target by 2025? 

We have crossed Rs100 crore in sales in India. Given the way we have planned our retail expansion, it should be four times at least by 2025. While I can’t say if India will be among top five markets in terms of revenue by 2025, I can assure that India will be one of our strongest markets in future. And, it’s not just a dream, it is a reachable goal.

How big is e-commerce for you?

We sell through Myntra. But we still have to consolidate the model. Besides, we are starting promod.com, our own e-commerce portal. By 2025, e-commerce should be more than 25% of our business in India. However, I believe in physical retail. To buy garments, we need to touch, see and experiment.

Do you make clothes specifically for Indian women, besides the global offering?

Yes, about 20% is specific to India, depending on local customer feedback. What defines brand Promod is being affordable, stylish, quality and value fashion. And, my mission is to make Promod the brand that is cool, fresh, colourful, multi-cultural and affordable. And, we focus a lot on design and sizing it right. 

However, with internet penetration and more exposure to global fashion, women across the world are open to the same dream. That’s a good thing because it expands the market.

Do you make garments in India?

About 20% of global requirement is made in India. What we make in India or buy in India, are for the whole world. At present, we source light fabric, cotton, embroidery, embellishments, from India. Some blouses, dresses, and T-shirts are produced here. Over a period, India can be a sourcing hub. 

Besides, we are working on our investment plans for India. A specific number is being finalized.

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