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Complicated Legistlation & import rules have been one of the bigger challenges for us: Manish M Sanwal

In an exclusive conversation with Manish M Sanwal,MD, DFS India Pvt.Ltd highights the growing opportunities of airport retailing.

Tags: Dior, Chanel, duty free, Delhi International Airport, travel retailing,

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  February 08, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Manish M Sanwal

How do you see current travel retail is growing in India ? How do you see where this market will stand in next two years? 

The Travel Retail in India is currently being affected by two counter forces. On the good side, the aviation as an Industry is growing in double digit. The travelers using the domestic as well as international airport are growing. This trend is expected to continue in near future. On the other hand, the sector is globally affected due to global sluggishness leading to an intense price competition. On the domestic travel retail, the web based companies are competiting strongly leading to price erosion and value for customer.  

These two are pushing the market in opposite directions. We are growing in double digit as we have been focusing on being innovative and provide value to the customer. The existing trend would continue and the market would grow in low double digits in the next couple of years. 

What would the average percent of non-aeronautical revenue earned by the Indian airports? As per your estimate which Indian airport earns maximum amount of non-aeronautical revenue? 

As a Duty Free operator, we cannot comment on revenues of the airport. We estimate, Delhi International Airport to be the biggest non – aeronautical revenue earner. Mumbai International airport is a close second.

How many duty free stores you have in India as well as international?

Globally DFS has a footprint into multiple countries with well know airports like Singapore, Hong Kong, Abu Dhabhi, Los Angeles, New York to name the few.  In India, we have operations in Mumbai International Airport and in New Delhi International Airport. 

What is the size of DFS store located at Mumbai international airport? How many categories you are retailing via this store? What sort of brand mix is introduced to this store? What  is your starting and existing price point? 

We have 55,000 Sq Ft of Operation in Mumbai International airport across 5 stores ( 4 in International Departures and 1 in International arrivals ) . We do all leading Duty Free Categories like Liquor, Tobacco, Perfumes, Cosmetics, Food & Confectionary.  The Price points would depend on various categories of the above but we are conscious of the fact that all kinds of customers use the airport and therefore its important for us to sell something for everyone. We therefore a vastness In price points for e.g we would have a Scotch Whiskey at USD 7 ( INR 500 ) to a Scotch Whiskey at USD 3000 ( INR 2.1 Lacs). Similarily in the beauty world, we would have luxury brands like Dior / Chanel. We would also at the same time retail deodorants at USD 2. 

How you are looking to expand your retail spread at other airports in India?

We do only Duty Free Business. Duty Free contracts are concessions which are longer in duration. The retail spread at other airports for us depends on the right opportunity and right concession being awarded by some airport authority.

How you are planning to expand your brand  portfolio for duty free shops? Which brand is turning best seller for you?

Mumbai Duty Free has been proudly marketing our Liquor store to have more than 100+ Malts and our Beauty Store to be the “Biggest Beauty Store in Town”. We would continue expanding our products and offering to be true to our claims. 

We would expand on categories which are growth drivers for us. In Liquor, Single Malts have been the growth driver, In food and confectionary, high end imported choclates are getting us the growth, In Beauty, it’s the Fragrances which have been the growth drivers. 

What are major  challenges associated with travel retailing in India?

Complicated Legistlation & import rules have been one of the bigger challenges for us. Duty Free stores operate in International arena and directly compete with other International airports and their duty free stores. To be successful, We need to have the same product range, same price points and international look & feel. It’s important that government supports us to ensure that we can compete with bigger airports like Dubai and Singapore. 

At last, kindly mention your growth  plans? 

As mentioned above, Growth plans depend on availability of airports tendering out. We are keeping an eye on the growth of the aviation industry in India and seeing the trends to capture any opportunity which emerges of our interest. 

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