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    Gearing up for sports


    Realising the growth potential of the budding modern sports gear market in India, SPORTXS has created a well organised and energetic retail environment offering a one-stop shop for sport lovers, enthusiasts and professionals alike. In an exclusive interaction with IndiaRetailing, Monica Laliwala, MD, Xsis Promotions India Pvt Ltd, which runs SPORTXS, talks about the company’s expectations and growth plans.

    What is the market size of the modern sports gear market in India?

    There is no specific data published on the size of the sports gear market. But the size of sports apparel and shoes is estimated to be around Rs.10,000 crore and based on that, we estimate the sports gear and equipment market to be worth around Rs.5,000 crore in India.

    What is the USP of SPORTXS?

    This is a sporting destination where one can find sports gear, equipment, apparel and shoes and also the maintenance of the gear under one roof. Spread across 5,000-6,000 sq.ft, SPORTXS is a high energy sports gear and equipment destination. It creates a holistic experience for customers by allowing them to feel the product, experience it and even get information on the technology used in the product from the ‘Educate Panels’ placed in the store. Using these panels, customers can connect to the internet for more information on the product such as the original manufacturer. One of the attractive propositions is that SPORTXS retails all the products at the MRP giving consumers great value for money.

    Business leaders talk about the importance of innovation in growth. What is your view on this?

    Innovation can often be a differentiator, especially when you are targeting a growing market such as India. This automatically gives you an edge in the market. To put things in perspective from the retail standpoint, innovation can also lead to the right location at the right price – the most important parameter for success of a business. People often like to work with innovative concepts and it gives them an opportunity to pursue their aspirations.

    Consumers from lower income groups generally perceive modern retailers as expensive. Do you see the possibility of attracting a large number of customers from all walks of life to modern stores?

    I don’t think this statement holds true anymore. Kishore Biyani, for instance, has mobilised the masses with his most successful venture Big Bazaar. The pace at which the Indian retail market is growing drives people from all income groups, and price points of products are the same as governed by the rules on MRP.

    Most consumers have begun to understand this very well and they prefer to visit malls and modern retail environments as they are assured of fair prices. Also, modern retail environments today deliver all kinds of entertainment facilities under one roof – shopping is increasingly tending towards shoppertainment with the inclusion of multiplexes and gaming zones.

    What was your turnover in FY ’10. What are your expectations for the current fiscal?

    Our turnover was Rs.4 crore in FY ’10. We have opened three SPORTXS stores over the course of this year and we will close at Rs.10 Crore in the current year.

    Please tell us about your expansion plans. Where will tier I and II cities be positioned in that plan?

    As part of our growth strategy, we intend to open 75 stores in the next five years. We will be covering southern and western India during our first phase of expansion; in 2011, we will open four more stores in Bangalore and a few stores in Hyderabad, Kochi, Mysore, Chennai and Mangalore. In the western region, we will be looking at Pune and Mumbai. Our store in Ahmedabad has been in operation since August this year.