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Vismay to reach 100 stores in 2-3 years – Joseph Paul George, ED

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Joseph Paul George, executive director of Vismay shares insights on the trajectory of the ethnic wear brand, strategies for growth, and targeted objectives

Bengaluru: Vismay’s journey dates back to 2004 as it emerged under the umbrella of Novelty Textile, a wholesaler housing an  array of over 13 clothing brands today. Since launching its initial retail outlet in 2016, Vismay has expanded its presence, currently boasting a network of over 35 stores spanning across 30 cities nationwide.

In an exclusive interaction with IndiaRetailing, Joseph Paul George, executive director of Vismay, shares insights on the trajectory of the ethnic wear brand, strategies for growth, and targeted objectives.

Edited excerpts…

How was the journey of Vismay since its inception?

Following the conceptualisation of Vismay in 2004, the brand officially launched in 2013 and during the initial years, we exclusively specialised in sarees. Subsequently, the brand expanded its offerings to include unstitched salwar suit materials, laying the groundwork for the first physical store in 2016, spanning approximately 500 sq. ft. in Kochi.

As consumer demand gradually shifted towards kurtis, Vismay underwent a strategic transition, becoming an exclusive kurti brand. Recently, nine months ago, we also diversified our product range by introducing a lingerie line.

Top three strategic priorities for now?

Currently, our primary focus at Vismay is refining our customer segmentation strategy. While we have traditionally targeted women aged around 30 and above, our new plan is to reposition ourselves to appeal to a younger audience demographic.

Our secondary focus is on continuously enhancing our product offerings, leveraging analytics and customer feedback. Over the past two years, we have been actively engaged in intensively upgrading our products.

As an inventory-light company, Vismay places a strong emphasis on leveraging robust analytics. This year our main objective is to fine tune the analytics and make our inventory rotation faster. We introduce 4 to 8 new styles every week, ensuring a dynamic and constantly evolving selection for our customers.

Tell us about the manufacturing infrastructure…

The vast majority, approximately 95%, of our product line consists of materials such as cotton, linen, rayon, and their derivatives, with only a minimal portion comprising polyester blends.

When it comes to sourcing raw materials, a significant portion is procured from Gujarat, particularly through suppliers in Surat and Ahmedabad. Additionally, we also obtain materials from various other regions such as Mumbai, Salem, Erode, Bengaluru, and Jaipur. Jaipur serves as a key hub for handiwork and printing processes, while embroidery is predominantly carried out in dedicated units.

Our manufacturing operations are currently outsourced to third-party units located in Bengaluru and Jaipur which handle processes under contract. However, all aspects of designing, sampling, creating tech packs, and finalising products are managed in-house. Once the final tech pack is prepared, it is forwarded to the respective manufacturing units based on the specific requirements of the product.

Who do you target?

Our target demographic primarily comprises individuals aged between 23 to 40 years, constituting the lion’s share of our customer base. Our product range spans from Rs 999 to Rs 5,000, with the majority falling between Rs 1,799 to Rs 2,799, representing our average selling price.

What is Vismay’s employee strength?

As of now, our team comprises around 100 individuals, and with the addition of franchise personnel, this number will increase to approximately 130. The majority of our team is based in Kochi, where our headquarters is situated.

Do you franchise?

Yes. Even though the larger share of our stores are company-owned company-operated (COCO), comprising approximately 70%, the remaining 30% are operated as franchises.

From a geographical perspective, nearly 40% of our stores are located in Kerala, with Karnataka and Tamil Nadu following closely behind. These stores are spread across various cities including Mangalore, Mysore, Bangalore, Erode, Nagar, Goyal, and Chennai. We have recently expanded our presence to Hyderabad.

Our focus is on metropolitan cities, however we are also actively exploring opportunities in tier 2 cities.

Tell us about the brand’s financial goals…

As of last year, our revenue in the Vismay division was approximately 30 crores. Moving forward, we are projected to experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 80% to 100% year on year from now. Our immediate goal is to achieve a revenue range of 45 to 50 crore by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2025.

Expansion plans for the future…

We are set to open two more next month in Kerala, specifically in Thrissur and Calicut. Moreover, we have set an ambitious goal to open approximately 100 exclusive brand outlets and 50 multi-brand outlets over the next two to three years.

Our immediate focus will be on expanding our presence in the high-potential markets in the southern region, with a focus on states like Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Following this phase, we will be evaluating opportunities in other markets such as Northeast India.

We also aspire to establish our innerwear segment for women. Our objective is to expand our reach to approximately 3,000 retail touchpoints within the next two to three years.

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