The bag-making company says it might start its apparel brand in China.

Purvita Chatterjee

Mumbai, March 13

The Pondicherry-based Hidesign brand is moving beyond bags. The bag-making company has plans to enter the apparel segment in the future under its existing Hidesign brand name.

Overseas markets

According to Mr Dilip Kapur, President, Hidesign, "There are plans to stretch the brand to apparel, especially in overseas markets such as China."

Having forged joint ventures in Dubai, Malaysia, South Africa, Russia and more recently China, the company plans to stretch the equity of its bag brand into more such areas, beginning with apparel. "We might start our apparel brand in China since there is demand from the local partner to get into new segments in the country," says Mr Kapur.

At the same time, in India, Hidesign is considering options of roping in a JV partner who could be investing in the company.

"We would like to partner with an international company with experience in luxury retailing," states Hidesign. Without any imminent plans of entering the capital market, it hopes to enter into a partnership arrangement with an international company, which could bring in funds in the future.

Marking an investment of Rs 17 crore for its international forays, which includes forging JVs in various companies with its existing distributors, Hidesign intends funding the same through internal accruals. "We need JVs to get the job well done locally. After all retail is all about being there,'' Mr Kapur adds.

In the recent past, Hidesign entered the Chinese market with its first shop at the Hong Kong airport.

Its next outlet should get launched in Shanghai with the help of its distribution partner, Ray Chan. Other recent local JVs forged include one with the Jashanmal Group in Dubai.

It also recently appointed distributors for entering countries such as Denmark and Sweden. Meanwhile the agency has decided to make all its international campaigns by itself.

In-house campaigns

"In the past we had appointed bigger agencies such as O&M and Contract but now all our campaigns are done in-house. Most agencies find it difficult to understand mass luxury brands, we feel'' says Mr Kapur. Besides, Hidesign has also taken a step towards segmenting its brand and its latest offering - Salsa is targeted at the youth segment.

The Rs 84-crore Hidesign brand expects to grow at 25 per cent and cross a turnover of Rs 100 crore this year.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 14, 2006)
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