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India is an emerging market for ‘Artisan’ shoes: Nipun

In an exclusive interview with Nipun Mishra, Director, Wayne Wright sheds light on growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: handmade, artisan, footwear, Wayne Wright

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  December 07, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Nipun Mishra

Tell us about your product concept. How your offerings are different from contemporary footwear brands?

We are affordable luxury brand; our products are 100% handmade. Artisan is the concept which is going towards extinction in this country, though Indian market has huge potential for artisan products. This concept is nearer to the customization, but this is purely an artisan work which requires the support of various industries such as cottage and small scale development. The method we are using is very niche and with this method we are able to produce hardly 80-90 pairs a day, otherwise other factory made brands easily make 2000 pairs a day. The shoes we produce are made of real leather and textile with no or minimum work of machinery involved.

How many categories the brand is operational right now? Also shed light on your starting and exiting price point?First, our strategy is to establish our self in men’s category; however, the concept is ready for women’s segment as well and by March next year we plan to launch women’s category.  Our starting and exiting price point ranges between Rs. 5,999 to Rs 14,999.

What is the rationale behind going into franchise expansion? What are the basic pitfalls while working with local distributors over franchise partner as far as touch point expansion is concerned?

We are already there on all major marketplaces. We are keen to expand exclusively on high streets and mall locations; also we are keen to establish an exclusive identity of the brand. That is the reason; we are exploring suitable channels of distribution.

There are many pitfalls while working with local distributor like a distributor can be partial towards the brand which offers the maximum incentive without thinking about the quality. Also, this is not very organized way of brand expansion.

What kind of distribution the brand has right now in online as well as offline space?

We are start-up as far as the brand is concerned; our only distribution for now is online marketplaces.  

Since it is not standard factory made product. How do you plan to support your franchisee so your brand identity remains intact?

Handcrafting is the most intricate element of our entire business. Promoting and supporting a franchise is just an extension to our overall operations. We have sufficient stock from the stock point of view to promote and support the franchisee.

 On other hand, we are ready to give them training to their sales and operation staff. We are ready to educate them about leather myths. We are ready to promote them from much point of views not only from keeping the stock; in fact, we are ready to provide post sale advice as well.

Moreover, we already have five designers in house among them one is based out of Iran and other one is in Italy. Also, we keep on exchanging designs to stay updated with ongoing trends of current world.

So, are you also keen to open large format stores?

No, we would be keen to open boutique kind of format because look and feel will be like VIP boutique, high fashion series. We only require space anywhere between  400 sq.ft. to 600 sq.ft including the display area.

Would you interested in collaborating with modern footwear chains such as Metro Shoes or alike?

No, we would not be interested to expand via MBO right now. We are looking to grow meaning fully. We wish to impart five start cultures from quality point of view. We wish to take every single shoe as our first shoe.

We you continue to focus on lifestyle shoes or may expand in other categories as well such as sport?

For now our core focus is lifestyle. For sport sneakers, we don’t have any planning and projection right now.

How many stores you are looking to open?

Initial planning is to expand in Delhi/ NCR with six stores, among these four stores would be in Delhi and two stores in NCR. The idea is to remain near to customers so we can serve them with all means.

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