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“Around 30 per cent of our stores are profitable”

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Brand Holii began its journey in 2009, with a drive to represent India at its colorful and glamorous best. Almost six years down the line, the brand continues in its endeavour to capture the masses and their hearts with its unique designs on real leather, handcrafted to human perfection. Presently, the brand offers handbags, wallets, clutches, travel bags and small accessories. In an exclusive conversation Nikhil P. Jain, Operations Manager – India, Holii provides more insights of the brand:

Current footprint

Footfalls increase considerably during the EOSS period

Through its unique designs, Holii as a brand always strives to bring new waves of innovative, Indian-centric fashion based on the heritage and craftsmanship that is still alive in India. “We do not have any franchise stores. Holii is currently available through 17 exclusive boutiques across India and over 50 multi-brand outlets like Central and Shoppers Stop in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Kolkata, Cochin, Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Raipur, Lucknow, Amritsar, Coimbatore, Bhubaneswar and Chandigarh. One can also access Holii products through e-commerce channels like the brand’s own website, www.holii.in, and through our partners Jabong, Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and Snapdeal,” says Jain.

Holii has managed to establish itself as an exclusive fashion brand in several countries like Russia, Germany, South Africa, Chile and Poland. “We often receive overseas order requests. Over the years, Holii has acquired customers who understand our creativity and appreciate the brand’s differentiation. We have had over 100 per cent growth and we proudly embrace the fact that we are the market leaders in Indian inspired bags and accessories. We are certain that Holii will continue to grow at the same pace in future,” informs Jain.

Market share

Holii has formed a niche of its own. Says Jain: “At Holii, we celebrate India and aspire to bring all that we love about India through our designs. We are rapidly expanding our footprint into tier-II and -III cities and also across all important airports in India.”

Target audience

The brand aspires to serve the new breed of Indian women in the age group of 25–35 years, who are looking for the perfect fusion of Western and Indian design sensibilities and want to make a bold style statement. The Holii customer is one who loves the urbane Indian lifestyle with all its chaos and colours and is an ardent fashion follower.

Strategy on counterfeit market

The Indian accessories market is filled with counterfeit products. Hence, the brand has adopted a proactive approach so they do not fall prey to any malpractice. “We are well aware of the presence of counterfeit products in the market. We ensure strict monitoring of infringements wherever they occur in order to be able to react swiftly and decisively against them,” highlights Jain.

Holii emerges from the delightful chaos of modern India, meant for the country’s fashion-conscious women. The brand prides on its uniquely modern Indian appeal.

On creative side

“Our creative head and product designer, Rashi Agarwal, is an alumnus of London College of Fashion, UK and she interned with famed milliner Victoria Grant before joining us,” informs Jain.

At Holii, novelty in designs is top priority. The brand emphasises on making bags using Indian motifs and giving them a contemporary twist using a modern colour palette and innovative surface treatments. The product designs at Holii are inspired by the culture and heritage of India and are unique to the core.

“We have our manufacturing facility in Pondicherry, called the Hidesign Factory. Holii bags and accessories are made from premium leather. The bags are handcrafted and painstakingly constructed and glued together before they are assembled and stitched. There is no bulk production and no assembly line; every bag is individually numbered, hand-cut and pieced together. Holii marks a strong rebellion against the ‘Made in China’ flow of products that sweep not just the street stalls but also high-end stores. The intricate surfaces of our products are created by embossing and hand dyeing the leathers, which brings alive the beauty of our creation. We have tanneries near Chennai and three production units in all; two in Pondicherry and one in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh,” quips Jain.

Store profile

Holii store size varies between 230 and 500 sq.ft. The interiors of all the stores are done by the brand’s internal team. “We do not put up stores looking at the size of the city. What matters is the buying culture. Malls have become the centre of shopping culture of all metro cities as well as smaller cities. Therefore, these are a viable place for Holii to engage with its customers. In both metros and non-metros, it has been observed that the buying capacity of consumers has increased and they have a variety of options to choose from. They are making more informed purchases and settle for nothing less than the best,” says Jain.

“Looking at our online sales, the brand sees a lot of orders coming in from tier-II and -III cities, which means that there is an upsurge in the usage of Internet. E-commerce is becoming huge and even smaller cities are becoming very brand conscious,” he adds.

Break-even

According to Jain, around 30 per cent of Holii stores are profitable. “Breakeven point depends upon the location, size and footfall of the stores, ” he says.

Take on hybrid retailing

Consumers these days are informed purchasers. They research about products offline but prefer shopping online. The e-retailers who have adopted the concept of hybrid retailing are doing so because they are on the look-out for the right opportunity to grow besides bridging the consumer gap. “It is an evolutionary step for modern retail. It is important for brands now-a-days to leverage the reach and advantage of all the channels to reach out to consumers,” shares Jain.

Looking at the current trend, online is one of the most important channels of reaching out to consumers. Brands today aim at maximising their reach through the e-commerce space. “The most important thing here is that a brand must reflect the same brand philosophy and experience online as it provides to its offline customers. And that is exactly what we try to do through our e-store,” he adds.

On growth

“We are coming up with our men’s collection soon. As for the stores, we are expanding and looking to enter more and more cities whether it is through exclusive stores or multi-brand outlets,” highlights Jain.

Product folio and bill size

The brand always aspires to offer unique designs and styles to its customers, hence they come up with a range of new products every month. Holii has always tried to reflect the ever-changing lifestyles of the modern Indian women through its designs. A variety of fashion leathers and exquisitely woven textiles are constantly developed by their designers and research labs for these ranges.

Bags: Holii handbags define the mood of a range. Each one of the finished designs has behind them hours of research and many a pages of drawings. The Holii customer can pick from a wide range of shoulder bags, totes, cross bodies and clutches. Newer shapes like cross body-cum-clutch, bucket totes and satchels ensure that a Holii woman is always in fashion! The average price range of a Holii bag is Rs. 2,500.

Wallets: Each range of Holii handbags are complimented by equally colourful wallets like bi-folds and zip-arounds that are perfect for everyday practical use. The wallets at Holii start at Rs. Rs.1,200.

Travel: Travel necessities like trolley bags and iPad cases follow the trademark Holii style and are always exclusive and in demand. The average price range of Holii travel bags is Rs. 10,000.

Accessories: Pencil cases, make-up pouches, coin pouches and card holders are beautiful extensions of the range. One can pick up accessories at Holii from Rs. 800.

Gifts: Holii’s newly launched gift boxes are available in varied combinations and are perfect as souvenirs and for gifting on special occasions.