With introduction of Canadian juice brand Booster Juice, under his new venture Brand Caculus, and a lot more on the cards, Fazle Naqvi, one of the renowned veterans of fashion and lifestyle industry, has come back in the business of retail.
Brand Calculus is the India franchisee for Booster Juice.
In an exclusive revelation to Indiaretailing, Naqvi said, “The talks are on with various foreign brands, and we shall be introducing some new food brands in India. We are also considering introducing quick-service restaurants soon, and are exploring possibilities in other segments like health and wellness, and fashion and lifestyle. Some new brands in these categories will be launched, probably by next year.”
Naqvi did not name the brands that are expected to be brought under the Brand Calculus portfolio, and nor did he share investment details. However, if industry sources are to be believed, for expansions, the company is raising funds through a private equity. This is Naqvi’s second brush with venture capital as he had floated Indus-League funded by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and ICICI Ventures in 1999.
Commenting on the scope in the food business, Naqvi said, “The size of the food market is about Rs 10,000 crore, and a maximum chunk of it is unorganised. Certainly, there’s business opportunity in organising this fragmented segment.”
Talking about impediments to retailer’s growth, he said, “The rentals are very high and are a major concern. The retail industry cannot grow in an environment that is dominated by realtors. Retailers and realtors should come on a common platform to discuss this issue and try to formulate a profit-sharing model to create a win-win situation for both.”
As of now, the company’s focus is on establishing Booster Juice, which is targeted at the 18-35 years age group in SEC A and B. Initially, the juice will be retailed through standalone stores and kiosks in 10 cities. The standalone stores are expected to be operational in next six months in cities including Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Naqvi has considerable industry experience as he has been instrumental in building brands like Louis Philippe, Van Heusen and Allen Solly in the 1990s, and during his stint at Landmark Group, he had set up LMG Brands, the company that introduced premium fashion brands like Bossini, Kappa, Springfield, Josef Siebel and Vincci in India.
– Ranjan Kaplish