The name Savile Row brings only one thing to mind, an elite clothing line for the rich and famous. We caught up with Mr. Jeffery Doltis, Managing Director, The Savile Row Company, on the sidelines of Indian Fashion Forum (IFF) 2007 at Mumbai.
Q. What do feel about the event?
A This is a great event I think that all the retailers across the world should participate in this event, irrespective of their plans for Indian market. There were some presentations that I especially liked.
Q. How do you see the Indian fashion market growing?
A. The market in Indian fashion market will grow at a very rapid pace. There is place for every player here.
Q. How would you rate the success of your company?
A. We came to India in 2004, but last year has been particularly well for us. If the growth during the first half and second half of 2006 is taken into account, all I can say is that our growth has been approximately 350 per cent.
Q. Do you think that the Indian consumer is ready to buy your clothes? What is your USP?
A. Our USP has always quality clothing. Savile Row product offers what no other product offers in the world, which is luxury clothing at affordable prices. If a consumer buys our product he will come back to us again for a simple reason that our clothes are so well made the fabric that we use is the best that one can get. A consumer may not understand the technology that goes in making the clothes, but the feel of the cloth say for example, a shirt will make him come back to us for more.
Q. What are your plans for India?
A. We are planning to open 3 flagship stores by the end of this year. Other than this we are selling our product through 30 stores across the country.
Q. Many foreign brands are entering the country with a bang. Most of them roll out huge outlets? Are you planning anything on these lines?
A. We have a very different strategy in this regard. Our flagship stores are going to be around 2,000 sq.ft. Our forte is the quality it doesn’t matter how big our store is. All that matters is the experience that the consumer enjoys using our product.
Q. Who do you feel are your main competitors in India?
A. I feel that Zodiac and Louis Phillipe are the main competitors.
Q. In your presentation at the IFF’07 you mentioned about intrinsic value and perceived value. Can you elaborate this?
A. I will illustrate this with an example. If you buy an Armani or a Hugo Boss what you get in nothing which is out of this world! The clothes that they sell is same as many others. So, the value attached to these sorts of brands is the perceived value. On the contrary if you wear a Savile Row, what you get is great quality and comfort. Our main aim is as I have said before, ‘luxury at affordable price.’
Q. What segment of consumer are you going to target?
A. I would like to explain this with another example, Jaguar, the car manufacturer is known across the globe as a luxury brand, but it makes luxury cars for GBP 10,000 as well as GBP 20,000 to 200,000. This is how we are going to target the Indian consumer. Our strategy is to target the middle class to the upper class. We will have a clothing line from shirts to suits catering to these economic strata.
Q. Savile Row has been known to be a brand for men. Do you have any plans to come out with a clothing line for women?
A. (Laughs) We are coming out with women clothing line which will consist of shirts and business formals. This range for women will be launched simultaneously in Europe and Asia Pacific for now; we have no plans to launch this range in the US.
Q. Like many other foreign brands, have you planned to open outlets in shopping malls?
A. We are talking to different malls in the country but for us the positioning is of utmost importance. With our flagship stores we are going to target Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore initially, and as the business grows we have plans to expand.
Q. Any particular reason to choose Forbes as a company to enter India?
A. We researched around 60 companies which later we short listed to 10 and which further got short listed to 3. Forbes is a very committed company and all I can say in this regards that I personally liked the way they work, their vision and their ideology. We are very happy with the kind of results that we have got so far. The association with them has been fruitful for us.