Hong-Kong based apparel major Giordano, which had its very first outlet in Chennai, has rejigged its business model. The brand is planning a relaunch nationally this year, said a top official, who is confident about getting the mix right this time.
Ishwar Chugani, MD, Giordano Middle East FZE, who has been with the brand for 25 years says, “In India, we had taken a step back. We were here for a while, but our approach of having an import-based model (involving high duties) was not right. We are now in the final stages of working with a local firm on a licensing arrangement where they will be allowed to manufacture and distribute Giordano products. A lot of the back-end work and production is happening right now. We hope our customer can’t tell the difference between a Giordano product made anywhere in the world. We have manufacturing units in China, Bangladesh and Vietnam. We did some test sourcing from India. So, we feel there is potential here.”
Chugani was here to speak at a meeting organised by Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO), a global non-profit forum that aims to engage and build an influential community of entrepreneurs. He admits that brand Giordano had looked at India as just another branch. And that one cannot manage a market like India from the outside – one needs to be present here. While he declined to commit to a timeline, he said, “We will be coming back to India this year. We will follow a 100 per cent licensing and manufacturing based model in the country. Once we have the production and range in place, we might selectively opt for shop in shop (SiS) and exclusive brand outlets (EBOs). These details are being ironed out, an MoU has been signed and we are going to take it to the next level from there. India is a mature market. So, we had to rethink our processes. We had our very first store in Chennai and we are confident of coming back and getting it right this time.”
Talking about the retail footprint, Chugani informs us that in India, the brand is present with licensed products like watches and travel gear which has done very well here. All these items being marketed and distributed by a local company and they sell it in SIS format.