by Anjori Grover Vasesi
12-April-2019 | 8 mins read
Taking advantage of the festive season in India, Patanjali Paridhan unveiled its first store last November in New Delhi with exciting store-exclusive markdowns. The opening received an overwhelming response which led to customers queuing up for hours to gain entry into the store at Netaji Subhash Place.
Patanjali Paridhan aims to be a one-stop solution for all consumer needs by housing three sub-brands under its umbrella, namely: Astha which caters to women, Sanskar for men and Livfit which is their activewear, innerwear, footwear and accessories segment. These are further divided into formal, ethnic and casualwear categories in apparel, as well as home, fitness and sportswear and accessories.
Built on the cornerstones of Patanjali, the brainchild of Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, the brand prides itself on being completely homegrown, in touch with its roots and being recognised as a Swadeshi (made in India from materials that have also been produced in India) company. It aims to integrate technology and fashion together, to create merchandise that is at par with global competitors at competitive price points.
THE DOMESTIC TAKEOVER
The Indian retail scenario has been massively evolving at every stage post-independence and after globalisation. Currently, our market size is massive, but ironically, we also have a huge population falling below the poverty line. Patanjali Paridhan wants to aid employment opportunities for people belonging to such communities, and help elevate their living.With this, Patanjali Paridhan aims to convert a larger section of the population into prospective future customers, thus promoting the concept of ‘Fashion for all’.
“Almost 20 years ago, Khaadi and Handloom used to occupy at least 30-40 per cent market share in both organised and unorganised format. State Handloom Corporations also ran business and used to run many stores, but all this observed a steady decline in the past few years which led to massive unemployment for certain communities practising specific crafts traditionally since generations.The trend in retail before and after independence and after globalisation at every stage has kept on changing. Presently, the situation we are in, our market size is very big and a huge number is also below poverty line and as their situation gets better and they get more employment opportunities, they will convert into consumers. Government is also putting in a lot of effort to maintain the GDP.”
An aggressive market entry-point and state-of-the-art fabric specifications entail Patanjali Paridhan to leverage its entry into the domestic market with a bullish stride.
“Our basic motive is to reinvigorate and support our country’s traditional handlooms which have been dying out from the market,” said K.N. Singh, CEO of Patanjali Paridhan. He further added, “The youth of today wants and is getting global exposure. We, as a homegrown brand, are trying to encourage them to purchase from their homefront in order to decrease their dependency on international products.”
With SKUs exceeding 4,000, the brand is priced at an aggressively competitive price point without compromising on quality and fashion trends. Men’s shirts start from Rs. 699 – Rs.1,499, whereas cotton trousers range from Rs.1,299- Rs.1,999. In womenswear, the Indo-western range starts from Rs. 399 and goes up to Rs. 1,999.
Keeping in mind the international norms around quality, Patanjali Paridhan has tried to exceed the existing industry benchmarks by incorporating bamboo fibres within its fabrics, along with antimicrobial and moisture-wicking immersions at reasonable rates.
“If you compare our brand to others like FabIndia, you may find that Patanjali Paridhan is almost 25-30 per cent cheaper without compromising on quality, fashion and fit,” Singh stated.
“The retailing taking place at malls, or online is helping international brands increase their sales. The clothes manufactured in India are exported with stamps of various international brands and then sold back to Indian customers. We are trying to make similar garments available to the population at fair price points with better quality and fashionable prints.”
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT & SOURCING
Patanjali Paridhan operates on a set vendor matrix plan to outsource its products across various product categories. Critical measures are taken to ensure that the right set of vendors are associated with the brand, including, verifying their SOPs and buyer base, delivery commitments, social compliance and financial capability.
“All our products are nickel-free and all our garments, except ethnicwear, are Azo-free, APEO-Free and NEEO-free. Even our fashion jewelry range is nickel, lead and cadimum-free. Furthermore, our AQL level hazard for the body is zero, with major 1.5 and minor-4 per cent defects. Rest of the competitors follow 2.5 AQL, whereas we target 1.5 AQL,” Singh corroborated.
FUTURE EXPANSION PLANS
With an aggressive expansion plan based on the franchise model, the brand aims to open 500 stores pan India in the coming months, including Tier-1 and Tier-2 towns and cities. These will be operated on three types of business models- 800 sq.ft stores for smaller cities which would initially house one sub-brand; 1,200-1,500 sq.ft stores, where all the brands will be featured but shelf area will be limited; and 2,000-3,000 sq.ft stores which will house a complete range of Patanjali Paridhan products.
Patanjali is also accepting request applications from interested and qualifying parties having 2,000 sq.ft. of commercial property to open its stores. The only prerequisite remains that the location should be in a lively spot and those who own the property will be given priority, However, brand is also open to those who take leased property.
Apart from its physically operated stores, Patanjali Paridhan will also retail via e-commerce channels including Amazon and Flipkart, post launching its own online platform.
Commenting on the opportunity area provided by online platforms, Singh elucidated, “Cash transactions are getting reduced as an increase in the number of users of online retail is observed. There will be challenges and bumps but all online retailers need to take a sustainable path and move forward. Lot of brands are ignoring quality control and selling items by initially introducing their products at higher MRPs and later discounting them, which is not a sustainable practice. Value comes from valuations and only realistic businesses will be able to sustain in the future.”
In the organised sector, retail brands mostly operate in few cities and don’t have a reach all throughout the country. With the advent of technology, online platforms give you information and access within seconds.
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