Companies in India have been transitioning from family ownership to more professionally run operations. Kolkata-based Rupa & Company too has decided to jump on the bandwagon. The company is inducting professionals to boost topline in the increasingly competitive market.

The knitwear-maker has already inducted four professionals in the management. The new strategy is being termed as Rupa 2.0 internally. “While Vinay Maheswari was roped in as export head last November, Dinesh Lodha joined as chief executive officer in February 2019. Subsequently, Saurabh Bajpai was roped in as vice president - IT and Jaitilak Majumder as vice president sales in August 2019,” a company official said.

"We are targeting a topline of Rs 2,000 crore by 2022 from Rs 1,108 crore revenue and modern retail will play an important role in the journey," said Lodha, CEO, Rupa & Co.

Modern retail trade includes exclusive brand outlets (EBOs), large-format stores and e-commerce. The share of modern retail to its total sales, which currently stands at around 3 %, is likely to increase to 10-12% in the next two-to-three years.

As part of the corporate strategy, the company is looking to strengthen its retail presence by setting up 150 EBOs across the country and making its brand available in 300 large-format stores over the next two years. It is also looking to ramp up sales through the e-commerce route, including its own website.

The company currently has five EBOs – Rupa Comfort Store – primarily in the eastern region. While all of these stores are currently company-owned and company-operated, it is looking to adopt the franchisee model for setting up its stores, going forward.

Lodha said EBOs will help outerwear’s contribution to the company's growth from the existing level of 7-8 %. "EBOs will help higher sales of outerwear and we expect it to be doubled by 2022," he added.

Despite presence in traditional channel through distributors, Rupa & Co is toying the modern approach to improve brand perception through direct engagement with the consumers.

The company, which had posted about 4 per cent growth in business in FY19 over FY18, is hopeful of being able to achieve double-digit growth in sales this fiscal backed by its retail expansion.

Published On : 22-10-2019

Source : Economic Times

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