Inditex to launch Bershka and Zara Home in India this year


April 15, 2024

Sagar Malviya, Economic Times
Mumbai, 15 April 2024

Spanish fashion company Inditex said it will launch youth clothing brand Bershka and Zara Home in India this year.

“Bershka will open its first store in Mumbai Palladium, and Zara Home will open in Bangalore,” it said in its latest annual report.

Inditex had launched fast fashion brand Zara in 2010 and premium clothing brand Massimo Dutti eight years ago. Its new offering, Bershka, will pitch it directly against Reliance Retail’s Yousta, which too targets the younger consumer segment.

Being the world’s second most-populous country, India is an attractive market for apparel brands, especially with youngsters increasingly embracing Western-style clothing. Fast fashion brands such as Zara and H&M became runaway successes soon after they entered the country.

Experts said Bershka’s target consumer profile is mostly teens to mid-20s, slightly younger than that of Zara, which is pitched at 20-40-year-old fashion-driven customers.

“The product assortment is different, with a higher share of knits, fewer dresses and more casual overall compared to Zara, keeping in line with the lifestyles of the customer group. So in that sense it wouldn’t cannibalise Zara in any serious way, though some of the younger set among Zara buyers could migrate some of their purchases to Bershka,” said Devangshu Dutta, founder of retail consulting firm Third Eyesight. “The biggest question is, can they hit the price points that young Indian fashion consumers want as with domestic brands such as Zudio, Yousta and others, or will consumers overlook higher prices for the style mix and a European brand pull in significant numbers to make the brand viable.”

According to a recent report by Motilal Oswal, the ₹2.5 lakh crore value fashion segment accounts for 57% of the total apparel market and is one of the largest and fastest-growing segments. A substantial untapped opportunity beyond the metros and tier-1 cities, driven by better demographics, higher incomes and greater customer aspiration, has compelled several big players to enter a market that was previously dominated by regional and local operators.

Since its inception in 2016-17, Zudio has seen considerable expansion and reached nearly 400 standalone stores, outpacing most apparel brands primarily due to its competitively priced products with an average selling price of ₹300. Following the success of Zudio, a unit of the Tata Group’s Trent, the segment has seen the entry of national retailers in the affordable youth clothing segment such as Yousta by Reliance Retail, Style-Up by Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail and Shoppers Stop’s InTune.

(Published in Economic Times)

Fashion 2024 & Beyond: Adapting to Changing Innovation Dynamics (VIDEO)


February 21, 2024

The ability of fashion businesses to endure and thrive in the face of stiff competition and changing market dynamics is all about adapting to innovation, customer-centricity, and strategic planning. The correlation between high performing fashion business and product innovation is undeniable.

This panel discussion brings Design and Business Heads together to brainstorm on how fashion companies can devise strategies to drive innovation to remain competitive, meet evolving consumer expectations, and stay ahead of the race.

Moderator: Devangshu Dutta, Founder & Chief Executive, Third Eyesight


  • Anshu Grover Bhogra, CBO, Forever New
  • Diksha Bhatia, Founder, Gioia Co
  • Mansi Lohia, CEO, Black Watermelon
  • Rohit Aneja, Director- Grapevine Designs, CEO be-blu! Lake Como
  • Sean Ashby, Founder & CEO, Aussiebum
  • Swikruti Pradhan, Founder, Rustic Hue
  • Yogesh Kakar, Chief Product Officer – Tommy Hilfiger & Calvin Klein, PVH Arvind Fashion

Explained: How is direct selling different from pyramid scheme and why has ED attached Amway India’s assets


April 24, 2022

Written By Devika Singh

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on April 19 accused Amway India of running a “multi-level marketing (MLM) scam” and attached its assets worth Rs 757.77 crore. This is not the first time that Amway India has been accused of running a ‘pyramid scheme’. Read on to understand how direct selling is different from pyramid schemes and why has the ED attached Amway India’s assets?

The direct selling industry is again under the regulatory scanner in India with the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) move to attach the assets of the Indian unit of US-based direct selling company, Amway. The ED has accused the company of running a “multi-level marketing (MLM) scam” and attached its assets worth Rs 757.77 crore.

According to an ED statement, the attached property includes Amway India’s land and factory building at Dindigul district in Tamil Nadu, plant and machinery vehicles, bank accounts and fixed deposits.

“Immovable and movable properties worth Rs 411.83 crore and bank balances of Rs 345.94 crore from 36 different accounts belonging to Amway attached,” the ED said. The seizures, the ED said, have been made under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

This is not the first time that Amway India has been accused of running a ‘pyramid scheme’. The company faced accusations on similar lines in the US in the 1970s and has been under government scrutiny in Karnataka and Kerala in the past. In fact, in 2013, Kerala police arrested then Amway India chief William Scott Pinckney and its directors, accusing them of running a pyramid scheme.

Direct selling has come under scrutiny time and again, as over the years, consumers have been duped by fake sellers hawking defective products and services in the garb of direct selling. To discourage such schemes, the government had proposed a draft policy last year, which aims at regulating the direct selling market segment.

Read on to understand what is direct selling, why the ED attached Amway India’s assets, what is Amway’s stand on the issue, how is direct selling different from pyramid schemes, and what are government regulations around direct selling in India?

What is direct selling?

Direct selling firms deploy agents who buy products from the company and then directly reach out and sell to consumers at their homes or other places instead of through a retail format like a store. The direct selling entity and the agent share the profits made through the sale of products. According to industry estimates, there are about 60 lakh agents in the country, who pursue direct selling as a means of earning additional income.

The direct selling industry, as per estimates, is pegged at Rs 10,000 crore in India, and has been growing at 12-13 percent per annum over the last five years. Experts say multi-vitamins, and home care and personal care products are the top-selling categories through this channel.

Beside Amway, companies such as Avon, Oriflame, Modicare and Tupperware operate in the direct selling segment. Some of these companies have been in India for decades now.

What is pyramid scheme and how is it different from direct selling?

Pyramid schemes are defined as a form of investment in which a paying participant recruits further participants and gets rewarded for it. Over the years, consumers have been duped by fake sellers hawking defective products and services in the garb of direct selling, often bringing the direct selling industry too, under scrutiny.

“Pyramid scheme is a scam to make money for a few people and it is based on selling an empty promise, multiplying it through recruiting people,” said Devangshu Dutta, CEO of retail consultancy Third Eyesight.

However, he added, it has to collapse somewhere because you are selling a product or service that does not exist.

“As opposed to that, in direct selling, the companies are selling products and at the end of it there is a tangible exchange of goods or services. So, even if you have downline distributors, as long as at the end of it the customer is getting something of value, then it’s not really a pyramid scheme,” he added.

Why has ED attached Amway India’s assets?

According to the ED’s press statement, Amway India runs a multi-level-marketing scheme or pyramid scheme, which “induces the common gullible public to join as members of the company and purchase products at exorbitant prices.”

The ED said the prices of most Amway products are “exorbitant as compared to the alternative popular products of reputed manufacturers available in the open market”. The new members, who are asked by the company to join it, are not buying the products to be used by themselves, but to become rich by becoming members as showcased by the upline members, said ED.

“The reality is that the commissions received by the upline members contribute enormously to the hike in prices of the products,” the ED said.

And this, indicated the ED, makes Amway’s operations similar to a pyramid scheme, where new members are recruited by existing members with claims of amassing wealth and becoming rich.

The agency claimed that between FY2003 and FY2022, Amway collected Rs 27,562 crore, of which it paid commissions worth Rs 7,588 crore to affiliate members and distributors in the United States and India.

What is Amway’s stand on the issue?

Amway, however, claims that it does not offer any incentives to new members to join the company and the members are only paid once they make a transaction or sell the product, and hence they are not operating a pyramid scheme.

The company has released a statement saying that the action of the authorities is with regard to the investigation dating back to 2011 and since then Amway has been co-operating with the department and has shared all information as sought from Amway from time to time. Amway said it will continue to cooperate with the government authorities for a fair, legal, and logical conclusion of the outstanding issues.

“As the matter is sub judice, we do not wish to comment further. We request you to exercise caution, considering a misleading impression about our business also affects the livelihood of over 5.5 lakh direct sellers in the country,” it said in a statement to media.

In an conversation last year with Moneycontrol, Amway India CEO Anshu Budhraja had said that Amway India does not charge any registration fee to its agents.

“There are no charges for joining Amway business. Further, to ensure that the customers have a satisfying experience with Amway, our products are backed by a money-back guarantee for 100 percent satisfaction of use,” Budhraja had said.

What are the regulations around direct selling?

The government last year included Direct Selling under the Consumer Protection Act (Direct Selling) Rules, 2021. These new rules prohibit direct selling companies from charging registration fees from their agents, and bars them from charging their agents for the cost of demonstration to prospective buyers.

The rules also forbid direct sellers from engaging in pyramid and money circulation schemes. The rules mandate that the companies operating in the segment would have to appoint a Chief Compliance Officer, a Grievance Redressal Officer, and a Nodal Contact Person. The companies would also need to be registered with the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade and must have an office in India.

They would also be mandated to maintain a website with all relevant information.

“Every direct selling entity shall establish a mechanism for filing of complaints by consumers through its offices, branches and direct sellers through a person, post, telephone, e-mail, and website,” as per the regulation.

“Every direct selling entity shall establish a mechanism for filing of complaints by consumers through its offices, branches and direct sellers through a person, post, telephone, e-mail, and website,” as per the regulation.

It adds: “Every direct selling entity shall ensure that such registration number is displayed prominently to its users in a clear and accessible manner on its website and each invoice issued for each transaction.”

In addition, such companies would have to maintain a record of direct sellers working with them, including their ID proof, address proof, email ID, and other contact information.

Source: moneycontrol

Game of chicken: Jubilant FoodWorks launches US chicken brand Popeyes in India


January 24, 2022

Written By Devika Singh

The entry of Jubilant FoodWorks will intensify competition in the fried chicken segment, where KFC so far has maintained its stronghold.

Popeyes, founded in 1972 in New Orleans, Louisiana, has over 3,400 restaurants in over 25 countries around the world. Popeyes (Wikimedia Commons)

Jubilant FoodWorks, the franchisee for Domino’s Pizza, will launch the iconic US-based fried chicken brand Popeyes, known for spicy New Orleans-style fried chicken and chicken sandwiches, in India on January 19 with the unveiling of the first outlet in Bengaluru.

“Popeyes was founded in 1972 and has been one of America’s most popular and fastest-growing chicken brands. Popeyes aims to delight Indian guests with the bold and delicious flavours of its Louisiana-style chicken,” the company said in a filing to stock exchanges.

“The success of the brand lies in its traditional and unique technique of hand breading, battering, and marinating its fresh chicken for 12 hours in bold Cajun seasonings,” the company added.

Popeyes runs over 3,400 restaurants in 25 countries.

With the entry of Jubilant FoodWorks, the competition is set to intensify in the fried chicken segment, where KFC has maintained leadership in the country so far.

“KFC has enjoyed a free run in the fried chicken market. There are some local players in this segment but no large QSR (quick service restaurant) player had a presence in it until now. With Popeyes as a competitor, now Jubilant FoodWorks is stepping into that opportunity,” said Devangshu Dutta, chief executive at consulting firm Third Eyesight.

While launching its initial public offering (IPO) last year, Devyani International, the largest franchisee of Yum! Brands (which owns KFC), had stressed the advantage it has over other QSRs in the country.

“We have no competition for KFC in India,” Ravi Kant Jaipuria, chairman, Devyani International, had said at the time. Devyani International runs 284 KFC India stores across 107 cities and the brand contributes more than half of its revenues. Sapphire Foods, which too launched its IPO last year, is another major franchise for KFC in India.

Both the companies already compete with Jubilant FoodWorks in the pizza segment as they also operate Yum! Brands-owned Pizza Hut in India. Jubilant FoodWorks with Domino’s Pizza, however, has clear leadership in the pizza market. Sample this: Pizza Hut currently has 500 stores in India, of which 317 are run by Devyani International; Jubilant FoodWorks, on the other hand, already has 1,335 outlets of Domino’s Pizza in India.

Now with the launch of Popeyes, Jubilant FoodWorks, it seems, wants a chunk of the fried chicken pie too.

Westlife Development, which holds the master franchise for McDonald’s in southern and western India, also has set its sight on the fried chicken segment in India. In an interview with Moneycontrol in September last year, Smita Jatia, managing director of Westlife Development, shared an ambitious plan to become a market leader in the segment. The company has already introduced fried chicken in its 125 stores in South India and plans to soon launch the food item in the western region too.

Clearly, the fried chicken market is certainly headed for interesting times as several new QSR players vie for a share of it. According to experts, the segment also offers the next avenue for growth for QSR players. “While fried chicken was the first to take off in Southeast Asia, in India, pizza and burgers found takers given the preference towards wheat-based cuisine in some parts of the country,” said Rajat Tuli, partner at global management consulting firm Kearney.

“However, as Indians become more experimental with food and trying out different cuisines, the fried chicken segment offers the next arena for growth to QSR companies,” he added.

Tuli also believes that the segment has enough space for a couple of players. “The QSR space is poised for over 20 percent growth in the next five-six years and hence there is enough headroom for multiple players to grow in it,” he said.

‘Veg options and no MSG’

The Popeyes India menu will feature the signature Cajun-flavoured Chicken Sandwich and Popeyes signature Chicken in Classic and Spicy flavours. The Indian menu will also feature an array of vegetarian options and will also have rice bowls and wraps. The entire India menu has no flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG), and the chicken is antibiotic-free, said Jubilant FoodWorks.

In a statement, Shyam S. Bhartia, chairman, and Hari S. Bhartia, co-chairman, Jubilant FoodWorks, said, “We are excited to introduce the Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brand to chicken-loving Indian consumers. We are confident that Popeyes will not only delight guests but also strategically complement our portfolio and fortify JFL’s leadership in the QSR domain.”

Popeyes will start with its flagship store in Bengaluru’s Koramangala on January 19, followed by stores in New BEL Road and Kammanahalli soon thereafter. The brand will have its own app (Android and iOS) and mobile website.

To ensure a smooth and seamless delivery experience, Jubilant FoodWorks has built its in-house delivery fleet with e-bikes to enable zero-emission delivery. The company is also taking precautions given the pandemic situation.

“Safety protocols like daily temperature screening for all employees and frequent sanitisation of the restaurant are being implemented and frequent sanitisation of bikes will be conducted. All delivery riders will be compulsorily wearing face masks and gloves while following the frequent hand sanitisation protocol,” it added.

Source: moneycontrol

Ikea’s big ‘small’ plans


December 20, 2021

Written By Vaishnavi Gupta

The furniture brand’s retail roadmap includes city stores in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru, followed by tier I and II towns

For the Ikea model to succeed, adequate demand-concentration is crucial, which is being currently provided by the bigger cities in India.

After launching two large-format stores in India in a span of three years — one each in Hyderabad and Navi Mumbai — Ikea opened its first small-format store in Worli, Mumbai, to become “more accessible and convenient”. About 90,000 sq ft in size, these ‘city’ stores are already present in markets such as New York, London, Paris, Moscow and Shanghai.

The furniture market in India stood at $17.77 billion in 2020, and is expected to reach $37.72 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 13.37%, according to a Research and Markets report. Godrej Interio, UrbanLadder and Pepperfry are among the big players in this space, all with a significant online presence, too. Godrej Interio has 300 exclusive stores in India, while Pepperfry has more than 110 Studios.

Spread across three floors, Ikea’s first city store has 9,000 products in focus, of which 2,200 are available for takeaway and the rest for home delivery. “We have observed that it is not easy to find large retail locations in cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru. The small store offers convenience and accessibility for consumers to experience Ikea products,” says Per Hornell, area manager and country expansion manager, Ikea India. This launch is in line with the company’s aim to become accessible to 200 million homes in India by 2025, and 500 million homes by 2030.

More launches are being planned: another city store in Mumbai in the spring of 2022 and a large-format store as well as a city store in Bengaluru by the end of 2022. For its retail expansion in Maharashtra, the company plans to invest Rs 6,000 crore by 2030. “We are on track to exceed the investment commitment of Rs 10,500 crore made for India in December last year,” adds Hornell. Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru are the three cities on its radar at the moment, which will be followed by tier I and II towns.

Furthermore, Ingka Centres, part of Ingka Group that includes Ikea Retail, is coming up with its first shopping centre in Gurugram (followed by Noida), which will be integrated with an Ikea store.

In India, unlike its organised furniture market competitors, Ikea doesn’t have a pan-India online presence yet. It has been following a “cluster-based expansion strategy” for its online offering, but the company insists this is not a limitation. “At present, 30% of our overall India sales come from online channels,” Hornell informs. Through its e-commerce website and mobile shopping app, the company currently operates in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Surat, Ahmedabad and Vadodara.

On the other hand, players like Godrej Interio and Pepperfry have big plans to tap new markets. The former aims to add 50 exclusive stores each year, while Pepperfry aims to achieve the 200 Studios mark by March 2022. In September this year, Pepperfry forayed into the customised furniture segment with the Pepperfry Modular offering, which focusses on modular kitchens, wardrobes and entertainment units.

Good start?

This is a good time for Ikea to establish its presence in the Indian market, says Alagu Balaraman, CEO, Augmented SCM. “Earlier, people used to rely on carpenters for furnishing their homes; now, they prefer to buy ready-made furniture. The market is moving towards acceptability, making plenty of headroom for growth for these companies,” he says.

Ikea’s cautious expansion approach in a market like India where several local dynamics are at play, is tactful, analysts say. Devangshu Dutta, founder, Third Eyesight, says, “In the past, Western businesses have made the mistake of simply copy-pasting formats and strategies in emerging markets from their more developed markets.” He believes there is “nothing wrong” in being incremental while growing footprint. “There’s no sense in carpet-bombing the market with stores, when many may end up being loss-making or sub-optimal,” he adds.

Getting the product mix and pricing right would be key in realising the full potential of this market. Balaraman says Ikea will have to balance its global portfolio with what it is doing locally, and make sure it is profitable.

For the Ikea model to succeed, adequate demand-concentration is crucial, which is being currently provided by the bigger cities in India. Given its global popularity, the furniture giant, analysts say, is poised to see traction in the metros and tier I cities.

Source: financialexpress