Why did you choose a franchise business? Throughout my career, I have been involved in business development in small start-up companies around the world: Northern Ireland, UK, India, Canada, Brazil, Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, UAE, Turkey and Nigeria. I have long wanted to start my own business - to do what is interesting to me and what there is a need in the market. After the birth of my daughter, I noticed that in India (where I have been living for 8 years) it is difficult to find a children's clothing store, where the price and quality would correspond to each other. There are a lot of brands on the market, but mostly they represent casual clothes. If you want to dress a child in something elegant, then a number of problems arise: either the very high price of collections from local designers and world brands, or the beauty of the products is preserved until the first wash, or the material from which the thing is made is not suitable for children's skin and the local climate.
Why is the Choupette franchise interesting to you? I have known the Choupette brand for over 5 years. I really like the design, the quality, and the price. When I once again bought clothes for my daughter and went to the site, I was interested in the offer of a franchise, and especially that the brand is popular not only in Russia, but also abroad. After getting to know the Choupette team and talking to existing partners, my desire to work with the brand increased. I realized that this is exactly the brand in which I like everything both as a buyer and as a seller.
I'm a beginner in this area, so I really liked how thoroughly the brand approaches new partners and provides full support at the start. I am now actively studying training programs on the Choupette University platform, which are available in three languages - Russian, English and French, which is very convenient for me and my English-speaking team.
How do you assess the clothing market in India? What are his prospects for the next year? Should you go out there with new brands? It is very difficult to predict how the market will behave next year, since this year was very unpredictable. However, I can note that in India, and especially in its northern part, consumers are very interested in new foreign brands: their entry into the market is perceived positively and with interest. This is due to the fact that many residents of the states of Panjab and Delhi have traveled abroad at least once. The older generation can increasingly be seen in Western stores: the recent appearance of brands such as Replay, Uniqlo, Onitsuka Tiger, Ted Baker has received great success with local consumers. Children in everyday life wear exclusively Western brands and wear traditional Indian clothes only for national holidays or weddings.
Are Choupette clothing prices comparable to Indian brands? What audience are you targeting? Prices in the Indian market are very different. Mass market stores such as Gini & Jony, Lilliput, H&M and Gap are the most affordable and affordable. Slightly more expensive items are offered by Chicco, One Friday, UCB kids and Mothercare. Tommy Hilfiger and the Kids Around multibrand are even more expensive. The luxury segment includes Les Petits and local designer boutiques.
We plan to take the price position medium + (medium premium). There are only 2 Tommy Hilfiger (sport / casual) and Kids Around (premium casual - DKNY, Billieblush, Hugo Boss, Karl Lagerfeld) players in this segment, so I'm sure the Choupette collection will be in good demand.
When and where is the launch planned? We are currently working on a website as we first want to launch online sales in India. Since now, due to the pandemic, this is one of the most demanded sales channels. We plan to start with an online store in early December 2020. We plan to open a brand store in the mall in March 2021.
Tell us about your business development plans? The Choupette brand has existed for over 13 years and has taken one of the leading positions in the Russian market. However, in India it is practically unknown, so first, I want to do brand promotion through social media, mainly Instagram and Facebook. Early next year, I plan to open my first retail store in Delhi. I understand that when choosing children's clothing for customers, its quality is very important: you need to come, look and touch the product for an informed purchase, so opening a store is a necessary next step. I want to make the most of my professional ambitions and international experience. Namely, I claim to represent Choupette exclusively in the Indian market through all possible distribution and promotion channels.