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    The jury is not out yet on the issue of Indian retail space: Ashish Dikshit

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    In his capacity as newly appointed senior executive president of – Lifestyle Brands, spoke to Indiaretailing in an exclusive session on the sidelines of the launch of EDC store at , Saket, New Delhi.

    EDC is a brand from Esprit. Madura Garments is Esprit’s India partner, responsible for its positioning and retailing in the country.

    Asked if the company finds it difficult to find desirable locations for the bouquet of brands in its portfolio, Dikshit said: “Selling is all about location and the positioning of the store. The way the real estate prices are going up, it is tough for a brand to afford a desired location. Notwithstanding the hype about the growing Indian retail industry, the solution to the realty problem is not known; we do not see anything positive happening on this issue, at least in near future.”

    When quizzed if the company is in race with , which too is rapidly tying up with foreign labels, Dikshit said: “It’s not about how many you have, but how well you nurture the brands in your portfolio. We are not in any race with anybody, but are focused on bringing in the best of international experience to the country.”

    Madura in future: for youth; kidswear in consideration

    Talking about the company’s future plans, Dikshit confirmed that the company is not in talks with any international brand at present, though he did not decline the possibility of the same in the future. Dikshit also hinted that Allen Solly will soon have a sub-brand for the youth segment.

    The company recently introduced Lp targeting the youth, under its premium label Louis Philippe.

    “Last year we had introduced Van Huesen Women, and this year has already seen the launch of Lp, a brand for youth, under Louis Philippe. By end of this month, we are hoping to launch a youth brand under Allen Solly as well.

    Asked if the company is looking at launching kidswear, Dikshit said, “Looking at the potential of this segment, we cannot rule out the possibility. Kidswear is definitely in consideration, though it’s quite a distance away. We have to arrive at a viable business model first. However, Esprit do have a line for kids.”

    Answering the query on Madura Garments’ plans to expand into tier II and III cities, Dikshit said: “We are already there in various parts of the country through various formats and wish to be wherever our potential customer is present. The boom in small-town India is perhaps part-hype, but one has to remember that it’s also about starting the process of establishing one’s identity from the onset. You have to make investments in many markets.”

    Ashish Dikshit recently assumed his new post at Madura Garments. Earlier to that, he was chief operating officer, international business and retail. An Electronics and Electrical Engineer from IIT Madras and a Postgraduate diploma holder in Management (PGDM) from IIM Bangalore, Dikshit has worked in diverse roles across industries and functions including sales, marketing, supply chain and strategy over the last 15 years.

    – Ranjan Kaplish