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'We Are Filling A Void Between India And Luxury Brands'

The Indian luxury market today is $35 billion market growing at a 30 per cent per year, says Priya Sachdev, founder and creative director of RockNShop

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Priya Sachdev, founder and creative director of RockNShop, talks to BW Businessworld about luxury brands and their appeal in India

How do you make available international luxury brands in India via RockNShop?

We are a global community of visionary fashion boutiques of over 115 brands and still growing, offering an inspirational shopping experience to fashion-forward consumers. The independent boutiques, within our community have been carefully selected for their forward-thinking attitude, unique approach to merchandising and diversity of brands. Our community also consists of independent boutiques that have an offline or online store, omni channel boutiques, independent brands and designers directly from around the globe. They are located everywhere from Paris, New York and Milan to Dubai and India, but united in one e-commerce website which is a market place.

Why did you incorporate EMI option in luxury shopping?

EMI as an additional service is for customers who do not wish to part with their cash flow in one go but want to enjoy their purchase immediately. We have EMI options with 6 to 7 banks online with 4 payment options. This is especially there for the aspirational consumer. We are making a difference in the way premium to luxury lifestyle products are purchased in India and it is being received very well across country.

Do you believe the increased excise duty on luxury brands will affect your business in any way?

Yes, it would. We make international brands available in India and increased excise duty on them will affect our cost bearing of that product. From the business point of view it will surely affect our profits but we will make sure that our consumers do not have to pay that extra money which will increase the overall cost of the product. We are hoping to bear that cost on our own and will provide all those products to consumers at the same price.

How important India is for the luxury apparel brands?
The Indian luxury market today is $35 billion market growing at a 30 per cent per year. Indian consumers are spending $85 million on international online websites for shopping. This data clearly depicts the size of Indian luxury apparel market. Consumers these days are smart and know what they are looking for and lay their hands on exactly what they want from themselves.

How do you perceive India and Indian brands in global fashion scenario?
There is a bright future for Indian luxury e-commerce. There are about the 250 million android and 1.5 million iPhone users in India. This is our direct target market, which is also growing exponentially. We are focused on creating a premium to luxury lifestyle online marketplace for the Indian consumer. Apparel, accessories, jewellery, watches, kids merchandise, home decor, luxury cars and gizmos and art, there are ample categories wherein consumers are vouching to own premium products.

I believe Indian brands today are at par with global brands, and have huge potential to be successful in the global fashion scenario. The talent plus the artisans in India are enriched with our culture, heritage and history. Indian brands are global. Indian brands are special as they have their own unique DNA, which is beautiful, intricate and vibrant and can only be created in India but with a global appeal.

Do you believe Tier II and III cities are your consumers? What do you think is the reason behind that?
Yes, definitely. We get our major percentage of traffic from cities like Surat, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Ranchi and many more. Indian consumers are evolving and awareness levels are going up. The only drawback is availability and access to these brands and therefore, RockNShop is trying to fill this void.

What were the challenges earlier and your expectation for the future?
The initial challenge was to completely understand and creatively use the digital platform to our best interests. Our current challenge is to constantly innovate since nothing run-of-the-mill can be applied onto our marketing strategies. We have to ensure that we are a step ahead of our consumer who is well-travelled and equally well-versed with fashion. Building strategies that keeps all consumers, old and new, engaged for long is a challenge that keeps us on our toes every day. Authenticity and marketing to the target audience is one of our crucial points of concern. RockNShop is not a discount site and don't believe in large discounts or offers. In fact this makes the customer weary of the authenticity of the merchandise. Therefore, our challenge has been in creating the awareness and authenticity of our brand and products.

What will be your marketing strategies to popularize your brand?

We are investing a lot in digital marketing and also doing a lot of intelligent collaborations with like-minded companies in order to reach out to the right target audience.

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