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Draping the World

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<p>For over 50 years, (KBSH) has successfully integrated the individual tastes of India&rsquo;s distinctive women with traditional craftsmanship. Sanjhi Agarwal caught up with Sanya Dhir, Brand Director, KBSH, about the brand&rsquo;s foray into the online space.&nbsp;</p> <p>Located in the heart of one of Delhi&rsquo;s busiest shopping areas, (KBSH) was established over 50 years ago. Just beyond its glass doors, endless exquisite handmade saris await one&rsquo;s attention, even as the decades-old staff instinctively picks the right one for you. KBSH is now ushering in the 21st century with its online brand, kbshonline.com &ndash; a translation of their ambition to promote the sari as an essential womenswear the world over.</p> <p>Being one of the oldest fashion houses established in 1947 in Delhi, the brand has carved a name for itself over the years. &ldquo;KBSH believes there&rsquo;s a sari for every woman and for every occasion. Celebrating the traditional Indian attire and giving it a contemporary edge, KBSH is here to break the stereotype and create saris that define the revolutionary woman of today,&rdquo; states Sanya Dhir, Brand Director, KBSH.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>A Sneak Peek</strong></p> <p>KBSH manufactures and designs its own saris and other products. For this, it has six production units located in Lucknow, Kolkata, Gurgaon, Gujarat, Jaipur and Mumbai. The brand has an in-house team of 10 designers under the guidance of Dhir. The target audience for KBSH is women in the age group of 18 to 45 years. &ldquo;We dress lady entrepreneurs in our Corporate collection and young brides in our Royal Renaissance collection. In addition, we have a Youth collection made of special saris with ganjis, T-shirts, denims and more,&rdquo; says Dhir.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>The New Venture&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>Kbshonline.com was introduced in January this year. The objective of launching an e-commerce platform for KBSH was to give access to the numerous customers residing in other cities who cannot visit the physical store. The online platform has provided a great bandwidth to the brand, thereby promising extreme comfort to the customer. The website is majorly focused on offering customisation to the customers. &ldquo;The two USPs of the brand are geographical expansion and customisation. KBSH can stitch any six-yard sari in any style one desires as per the requested size. We also offer ready-to-wear matching blouses; hence, we provide a complete solution to our customers. Another USP is the geographical expansion. The brand can deliver throughout the world, at the customer&rsquo;s doorstep,&rdquo; shares Dhir. &nbsp;</p> <p>She adds, &ldquo;Qualities that help drive more sales online are added experiences such as product customisation, affordable product, good product display, easy navigation and a complete shopping experience.&rdquo; Putting this into practice, KBSH offers complimentary fall and petticoat with every purchase. It also offers stitched blouses to add to the customer&rsquo;s convenience.</p> <p>The core product categories on the website include traditional saris, readymade saris, half and half designer saris, digital printed saris, hand-dyed saris, embroidered saris, woven handloom saris, contemporary and ethnic blouses, bridal couture ensembles, scarves and dresses. The price range starts at Rs 695. As of now, there are no plans to introduce any more product categories. Currently, it is the saris, blouses and scarves that generate the maximum revenue on the website. To make online purchases, the buyers can either pay online via credit or debit cards, through PayPal or &nbsp;they can pay cash on delivery.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Directing it Well</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;We have integrated marketing plans and strategies. We strongly believe it is essential to have both in place for successful brand awareness. The brand has a budget of&nbsp;</p> <p>Rs 1.5 crore for its marketing initiatives,&rdquo; shares Dhir. In order to increase visibility online, KBSH is using assistance of Google Ad words&rsquo; Pay Per Click; a strategic alliance with Google to handle its pay per click account. Says Dhir, &ldquo;Our focus is on international markets as the cost of customer acquisition and overall earning over customer lifecycle is likely to be higher. Also, conversion rates are higher. We are a glocal brand and that&rsquo;s how the entire site&rsquo;s positioning and vision works. We are also using search engine optimisation as a focused for some markets.&rdquo; KBSH has been able to tap markets including Chandigarh, Orissa, Kerela, West Bengal, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bihar, Pune, Malaysia and Singapore successfully.&nbsp;</p> <p>The brand does not have any discount policies except the seasonal sales that are put twice a year. &ldquo;We are a specialty online store and do not operate on a discounted model,&rdquo; clarifies Dhir. The sales figure for one day at an average for KBSH is approximately Rs 10 lakh, including online and offline sales.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Expansion Plans &nbsp;</strong></p> <p>KBSH operates on two distinct business models &ndash; online and offline (retail, wholesale and exports). KBSH has one standalone store in Delhi and plans to open one more boutique in South Delhi soon. Franchising plans will be announced in this financial year.&nbsp;</p> <p>Currently, the annual turnover of KBSH is close to Rs 25 crore with an average growth rate of 26 per cent. Talking about the expansion plans, Dhir says, &ldquo;As far as the portal is concerned, we are already delivering saris in almost all the countries across the globe. We are also focusing on the franchising model domestically and internationally besides foraying in tier -II cities. Five years down the line, we see ourselves as the pioneers in branded Indian ethnicwear segment by positioning the sari like any mainstream apparel category, thus making it more wearable and accessible.&rdquo; KBSH already exports its collection in markets including the U.S.A., U.K., Canada, Australia and Middle East.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Online Business&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>&ldquo;E-commerce as a platform is the need of the hour for any brand to sustain today. By offering extreme convenience to the customers as well as giving them the facility of exchange and customisation, KBSH definitely is taking an edge over its counterparts. The only disadvantage is that customers cannot experience the products before making the purchase; however, our exchange policy surpasses that aspect as well,&rdquo; says Dhir. Talking about smart delivery, she says, &ldquo;Tie-ups with the best logistics companies such as , Blue Dart and First Flight allows us to ship in one day and ship worldwide with free shipping services for the domestic market and a nominal fee charge for the international customers.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>KBSH credits 8 to10 per cent of its sale to its newly launched website. Regarding the website&rsquo;s outlook and navigation, Dhir says, &ldquo;Kbshonline is well curated with latest fashion and various options in Indian ethnicwear. It is an Indian design platform for those who want to be in touch with the best of Indian fashion.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>To new start-ups in e-commerce, she suggests, &ldquo;Know your costs; ensure per sale profitability or profitability over customer lifecycle; and focus on optimising conversions using up-selling or viral marketing and other innovative marketing techniques.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>KBSH introduces a new collection every four months. Elements by Sanya Dhir is the latest Spring Summer 2013 collection which is dominated by a play of embellishments such as sequences, cute pipes, beadwork and more. Crafting a heady mix of hand-paints, nets, laces, and others, the collection is inspired by the five basic elements of life, namely, Earth, Fire, Water, Sky and Soul.</p> <p><strong>To make it easy for online shoppers, kbshonline offers:&nbsp;</strong></p> <ul> <li>Easy to choose sizes, size guide and descriptive products,</li> <li>Easy navigation, simple checkout, elegant design</li> <li>Superfast site with high-end servers for a great browsing experience&nbsp;</li> <li>Extensive product catalogue scroll to ensure higher visibility for products that feature towards the end of the catalogue</li> <li>High-end and alluring fashion shoots</li> <li>Simple one-page checkout&nbsp;</li> <li>Advanced filtering to make it easy to reach a product</li> <li>Auto currency change as per country&nbsp;</li> <li>Fully integrated experience by email or SMS confirmation or COD confirmation</li> <li>Automatic shipping status updates&nbsp;</li> <li>Live chat support&nbsp;</li> <li>Dedicated call centre support with IVR and voicemail&nbsp;</li> <li>Easy payment options like credit and debit cards, net banking, PayPal and cash on delivery&nbsp;</li> <li>Professional product packing and delivery</li> </ul> <p><strong>Custom Made</strong></p> <p>Kbshonline.com also offers bespoke services, such as custom tailoring for blouses and saris. It also has extended services such as complimentary fall and under-skirt (petticoat) stitching for all its clients. &ldquo;The website will soon be launching a personalised styling and bespoke tailoring options for couture as well as pr&ecirc;t collections,&rdquo; informs Dhir. KBSH also has handpicked designers and stylists from acclaimed fashion schools to help its customers create their own signature style statement. Fashion consultants on call personalise the experience for the buyer through detailed product briefing, fit information, customisation of blouses, ready-to-wear products, and complimentary offering of ancillary products. &nbsp;This makes it easier for fashionistas looking for places where they can ask for what their heart desires and carry the exact look that they want.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>