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‘The Biggest Challenge Is To Keep Reinventing Yourself’- Dilip Kapur, Founder, Hidesign

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Shubhodip Pal, chief marketing Officer, Micromax Infomatics

What started as a hobby 40 years ago for Dilip Kapur, Founder, Hidesign has now become a brand that is synonymous with luxury and leather in India. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Kapur was among the first to be credited with starting a luxury brand in the fashion and lifestyle space in the country. Today, Hidesign has 84 exclusive stores, with plans to launch another 12, and is distributed in 23 countries. Kapur tells us that it was Tier II cities that led the growth of Hidesign, how brands benefit any time they make customers happy and betting on a 20% growth this year.


Q:What are the biggest challenges you face?

The biggest challenge is to keep reinventing yourself. Just as you do something amazing and you think everything is going well —-you are at risk of becoming the next dinosaur. The challenges always fit into the constant need for keeping track of the lifestyle of your customer, what their aspirations are , how you can be an asset if their search for looking attractive and upmarket.

Q:How would you describe the TG of your products?

The Hidesign customer is young mainly between the age group of 25-35, well educated and working professionals, who are well travelled and care for their appearances.

Q:Which are the biggest markets and what is the response from Tier II and III cities?

Traditionally Hidesign grew in popular towns such as Goa, Cochin, Pondicherry etc, Tier II spaces and not Tier I cities. While metro cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore get huge chunk of business for Hidesign, but smaller cities like Guwahati, Jaipur, Varanasi etc, are playing a major role, especially at the airports.

Q:What has been your growth like? Looking ahead, what is the growth opportunity you see?

We grew a little slower last year than expected both due to demonetization and GST. We grew about 15-16%. This year we hope to grow above 20%.

Q:What is your core marketing strategy? What are the key elements when deciding your media mix and which are the preferred mediums?

We were a manufacturing focused company led by exports in the initial years. Hidesign has now evolved into a retail driven company seen at all points where the customer is present such as company run exclusive stores, airport stores, shop-in-shops and wall racks in multi-brand outlets, website, e-commerce partners, corporate sales, gift voucher sales and international distribution. Hidesign primarily has a strong presence and is available on five platforms – Exclusive Brand Outlets (EBO), Multi Brand Outlet (MBO) with Shoppers
Stop, Central, Lifestyle, then E-commerce partners like Amazon, Jabong, Tata Cliq, corporate sales partner and then
our website- www.hidesign.com.

The Indian market goes through a generation every five years! We have decided to treat every platform as equally important and to always speak the same language on every platform, tellthe same stories, run the same campaigns, and in the products to always use the same quality of materials and craftsmanship. The three major changes are the
Indian Consumer is international, e-commerce has changed the way we market and sell the product and there is a strong consumer interest in what is genuine, natural, healthy – in short an ecological-human culture that reacts against mass production and heavily processed artificialness.

Q:How important is experiential marketing for the brand?

Experiential marketing embodies messaging that we can touch, feel, or view in a physical space. Experiential marketing is about designing a sensory experience that brings a person into a lasting and meaningful relationship with the brand. When a consumer is attached to a brand and associates it with beneficial, fun, and memorable emotions, they’re more likely to stay loyal. Brands benefit any time they make customers happy, and experiential marketing gives consumers the feel-good emotions needed to cultivate true brand loyalty, and ultimately influence
purchase decision.

Publishesd in the November-December 2018 issue of Pitch Magazine

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