‘Hidesign brings back romance of the “Orient Express” travel’

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Dilip Kapur

Dilip Kapur, President and Founder, Hidesign

The Indian travel luggage segment is experiencing a lot of action that has transformed boring travel gear into trendy travel wear. Hidesign India, too, is looking at the luxury category aggressively by launching a slew of products in the category. Pitchonnet tries to find out from Dilip Kapur, Founder & President, Hidesign India, the company’s strategy to further push growth in the industry. Excerpts…

What is Hidesign’s marketing objective in the travel luggage segment? How have you positioned the same?
Our marketing objective for leather travel luggage is to make it exciting, romantic and adventurous for the customer. Hidesign brings back the romance of the “Orient Express” travel. Hidesign is a premium luxury brand and our products are categorised as affordable luxury.

Who are you targeting and what is the price range for your TG?
For the travel collection, we are targeting 20-45 year olds, business executives on both business travel and leisure. Price range for travel collection lies between Rs 5,000 and Rs 14,000.

What all new is in the offing? How many products does the company currently offer?
Hidesign launches three collections a year and travel luggage is an integral part of the collections. We normally have 5-10 new travel pieces per collection, with additional 10-12 work-travel pieces, such as cross body bags.

Akin to that what has been the company’s distribution strategy? Also, what are your expansion plans?
Internationally, Hidesign is sold through 18 exclusive stores and over 800 points of sales in 23 countries. Hidesign’s retail operations in India at present stand at 70 exclusive brand boutiques, 40 SIS, and 93 MBO’s, adding up to 203 points of sale across India. Capturing exclusive and strategic retail spaces across all major metros, Hidesign is now targeting smaller towns (tier-II cities) that display a growing consumer profile. Our travel collection is distributed amongst all boutiques across India.

Since Hidesign has a greater recall for its handbags and professional laptop bags etc, how are you planning to create market demand for the travel luggage?
Hidesign is recognised as the leader in the art of handcrafting leather. Our vegetable tanned leathers are eco-friendly and not harmful on your skin and these established values are recognized by our customers. Hidesign has a loyal, strong and niche market which identifies its lifestyle as being in sync with the brand. The travel collection therefore falls in sync with the lifestyle demands of the consumer base.

The market is dominated by established players like Samsonite and VIP. How is a relatively new entrant like Hidesign ready to compete with them?
The market is full of synthetic, mass produced products which lack character. Hidesign fulfills the need for the upper end demands of market with products that are unique, fashionable and of high quality, which sets it apart from the crowd.

What are the challenges in the highly price-competitive market in India?
Hidesign caters to the upper end of the market where the consumer is less price-oriented and far more concerned about the quality and brand identity of the product.

What is the company’s current share in the luggage market and how much of that do you aim to capture next year?
Hidesign holds about 5 per cent of the branded luggage market, overall. However, Hidesign is the leader in leather luggage where it holds about 40 per cent of the market.

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