Sreeleathers looks to expand its exclusive stores

Shobha Roy Kolkata | Updated on December 26, 2018 Published on December 26, 2018

Satya Brata Dey, Managing Director, Sreeleathers Ltd

Footwear company also plans to tap e-commerce segment

Sreeleathers Ltd, the home-grown footwear and leather accessories company, has firmed up aggressive expansion plans.

According to its Managing Director Satya Brata Dey, Sreeleathers will focus on exploiting demand by expanding its geographical footprint through exclusive stores, both company-owned and franchisees. The Kolkata-based company has a well-established presence in the East and the North. It would now look to ‘aggressively pursue’ expansion in western India.

“Post listing, our share prices were on the rise but we focussed more on consolidation. This organisation is run like a family and our employees consider this as a family business. So I wanted to keep it small and well knit. But now we are thinking (of expansion) mainly because my next generation – my daughter - is coming into this and she is interested in the business,” Dey told BusinessLine.

The company, which has been registering close to 30-40 per cent growth in turnover on a year-on-year basis, is expecting its revenues to grow manifold supported by a strong demand and its expansion plans.

Plans are also afoot to tap the e-commerce segment in a big way. The company intends to sell through its own website first before latching on to e-tailers.

Capitalising on demand

The ₹140-crore Sreeleathers Ltd, which is known for offering ‘value for money’ products, is just one part of the Sreeleathers Group; a brand created by Satya Brata Dey in 1987. The group currently has more than 30 retail outlets – a mix of exclusive stores, wholesalers and dealers.

Demand for branded footwear has been on the rise, especially with growing disposable income. But the company “did not pay much attention to this (tapping demand),” Dey confides.

In fact, though the company continues to get a number of enquiries and requests for dealership and franchises, it prefers a ‘conservative’ approach and does a thorough check — including family background — of applicants before zeroing in. “The process of selection is quite stringent. People end up waiting for several years (to get our dealership). But now we plan to efficiently utilise opportunities and protect our stakeholders’ interest,” he said.

Cost control

Despite being so conservative, the company has managed to make profits mainly because of cost control measures, which Dey claim is distinctly different from competition. While discounting may be the buzzword in retail trade, Sreeleathers begged to differ.

“Year-end sales and stock clearance sales are a norm in retail trade. (If not done), it leads to overstocking or de-stocking. But we do not give any discount anytime,” he said.

According to Dey, a majority of the stores are on its own premises so rental expenditure is on the lower side. Moreover, being a zero-debt company, it does not incur any cost on finance.

Road ahead

Dey is, however, confident that his daughter, Rochita Dey, has the leadership skills to steer the company forward.

“We have been training and grooming a number of people in-house to take on responsibilities. At the same time my daughter has proved her leadership capabilities and has been accepted by all my employees. So I feel the moment is right to look at expansion. Otherwise, we cannot justify ourselves to the employees who would feel their growth and expansion will also get restricted,” he said.

The company, which has been exporting to Europe for the past 25-30 years, albeit on a small scale, is looking to tap the overseas markets in a big way. Plans are afoot to explore markets in Myanmar, Thailand and Dubai.

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Published on December 26, 2018
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