RETAIL INTERFACE PVT LTD was co-founded by Arun D’Silva and Jayanti in march 2003. Starting as a retail store management agency, that managed over 50 unique stores across diverse product groups like garments, accessories, watches, cosmetics and artificial flowers.
In 2005 Retail Interface developed a unique retail model for rural marketing, and KALPVRUKSHA was born. This unique concept provided existing “mom and pop” stores with centralized sourcing, packaging and marketing services that allowed the owners to focus on their business. The model was so successful that soon Kalpavruksha was a chain of over 1000 small stores in the Mysore region of Karnataka INDIA. Of these stores, close to 70% were managed by women. The supply chain was supported by the Metro Cash and Carry of Germany which eventually took over the entire program.
From Rural marketing to High end luxury watches was a short journey for Retail Interface, showing its adaptability and strong entrepreneurial instinct. In Dec 2006, Retail Interface became the first Indian retail consulting firm to be exclusively retained as strategy consultants for Raymond Weil of Switzerland. This association resulted in the Raymond Weil brand being successfully established as a premium watch brand in the Indian market. It also made Retail Interface a preferred business partner for other Swiss brands wanting to enter India.
In Dec 2010, Retail Interface was appointed exclusive India agents for Frederique Constant Geneva, a luxury watch brand having a presence in over 100 countries.
In 2014 Retail Interface was awarded the Best Market Growth Award for the brand world-wide, for the growth recorded by Frederique Constant in the Indian market.
Retail Interface is quite easily the best brand management firm in India today. It offers a comprehensive suite of services that include:
- Market Analysis and Entry Strategy Recommendation
- Brand Positioning and Business Plan options for 12 to 24 months.
- Implementation of approved Business Plan
- Marketing activities
- Re-order processing
- POSM storage and replenishment
- Collection of payments
- Reports and information
- Service Center appointment and coordination
- Customer Relationship Management
- Liaison with media.
- Event planning and supervision
- PR, Advertising and Social Media
Now a bit about the founders:
Arun is a management graduate from XLRI Jamshedpur with over 30 years in Indian industry. He has worked in leading organizations like Eicher Goodearth Ltd, Oberoi Hotels, Guest Keen and Nettlefolds, HCL Group, Royal Enfield Motors, and BPL. His core competencies are in the areas of marketing strategy, brand management and HR.
After a successful career in the Indian corporate sector Arun co-promoted Retail Interface Pvt Ltd, in 2003 with the vision of providing world class retail related services to brands wanting to enter the Indian market. Over the past 13 years, Retail Interface has worked with leading domestic and International brands, providing services in the areas of Market analysis, Product positioning, Pricing strategy, network expansion, marketing strategy, advertising, store management, Service delivery Audits, imports and distribution.
Leading brands like Titan, Weekender, Allen Solly, Louise Phillipe, Café Coffee Day, Bulchee, Prestige, Indigo Nation, Scullers, Crocodile and many more have been among the clients of Retail Interface.
Arun is fully committed to sports, and is an excellent horse rider, long distance cyclist, golfer, swimmer, and motorcyclist.
He places strong emphasis on social responsibility, and has raised lakhs of rupees by cycling thousands of kilometres in support of Aarohi, which is an NGO located in the Kumaon Hills. Arun’s very strong belief is that if it’s not fun to do…it’s not worth doing!!
A pioneer in the retail industry, Jayanti knows and understands the industry in depth. She started her journey in 2003 and currently, she is the India Director, Frederique Constant, a luxury watch brand from Geneva. She is specifically responsible for the finance logistics, operations, growth and strategy. She uses her analytical bent of mind to take on cost reduction measures, create a culture of data-oriented decision making and to drive business excellence for the brand across India.
She has been instrumental in leading a number of organizational wide activities to improve existing department processes and create a smooth work culture that is gradually helping the brand to create brand awareness among competitive luxury market. Jayanti has streamlined the operations with a focus on increasing the company’s bottom line.
As a first-time entrepreneur, an alumnus of ISB Hyderabad after successfully graduating from a sixteen-week program for Women Entrepreneurs sponsored by Goldman Sachs. She started a project named – KALPAVRUKSHA, the project was a success and was awarded as the best project award and is now being studied by Kellogg School of Business-University of Wharton USA for being made into a case study in rural retailing.
Some of her key strengths are Strategic Planning, Revenue Management and Brand Development. When she is not seen juggling with the brand operations, Jayanti is found in the kitchen. She loves cooking and according to her cooking is an art.
THE INDIAN MARKET
The Indian market is quickly maturing, and with increased number of Indians travelling overseas, there is a growing awareness of international brands. With purchasing power going up, the demand for good quality and environment friendly products is also increasing.
While the image of India is slowly changing, it remains a “black box” for many international brands. They see an apparent potential, but are just not sure how to tap into it.
They normally start looking for distributors who will buy their products with an outright purchase, and then they hope for the best that the products will be good enough to build the market for them. Unfortunately, most of them fail. The ones that succeed are the ones who invest time and energy in understanding the Indian market.
Some brands have tried to set up Joint ventures in India. This is a high-risk possibility, since the brand has to depend totally on the Indian partner. Also, there are very few Indian partners who have the conceptual capability of building a brand in a complex market.
Another option could be to set up an office in India, but with the complicated Indian law, it is not a very good option.
Retail Interface has therefore developed a unique ‘Partnership” model that allows brands to select the service it needs and to gradually increase its exposure to the market when it gets adequate information and sees results.
OPTIONS FOR ENGAGEMENT WITH RETAIL INTERFACE
The engagement with Retail Interface can be structured in different ways to suit the brand’s need:
Retail Interface will do a comprehensive market analysis and generate a detailed report covering all aspects of the market including the overall market size, the segmentation, the pricing strategy recommended, the competing brands, terms of trade for different types of trade partners, likely number of trade partners to be set up in 12 months, likely sales volumes overall revenues achievable.
2. IDENTIFYING POSSIBLE TRADE PARTNERS
Retail Interface would identify and have a detailed dialogue with potential trade partners who would be interested in becoming distributors or retail partners for the brand. The outcomes of these discussions would be communicated to the brand, and meetings of Skype communications can be set up for taking the association forward. Retail Interface would commit to identifying at least four such trade partners in the initial phase.
- RETAIL INTERFACE PARTNERSHIP MODEL
(This is the comprehensive services model which we use with brands who have decided to address the Indian market seriously after they have studied the market through the Consulting and Partner Identifying services.)
Retail Interface will take responsibility to build the brand in the Indian market by providing the comprehensive suite of services listed at the beginning of this proposal. This would include:
- IMPORTS, WAREHOUSING and DISTRIBUTION
Retail Interface will act as the importer and distributor. It will arrive at the India Core Range of products that would be offered in the Indian market. Pricing would be comparable with the international pricing policy of the brand.
- BRAND BUILDING
Brand Building involves a constant contact with each trade partner. The other elements will include:
A) Brand Visibility
- Ensuring that the products and the Point of Purchase (POP) material are well positioned in the display windows.
- Ensuring that product displays in the counters are according to the specifications of the brand, ensuring that counters are clean, and well lit.
- Ensuring that product catalogs are well maintained, and up dated with the latest models and prices.
- Ensuring that the product range is well represented at all times.
- Ensuring that supplies are dispatched to the POS in accordance with the purchase order.
B) Visual Merchandising
- Positioning POP material at every outlet according to the specifications of the Company.
- Clearing unwanted POP material and disposing it such that it is not misused or recycled.
- Continuously changing the visual appeal of the counters to ensure that there is newness in the presentation of the brand.
Retail Interface will do the product training specified by the brand for all the staff at the trade partner. This training will be delivered by the Retail Interface brand executive every time he visits the sales location. In addition to the standard product training, other training will cover Merchandising according to brand guidelines and selling skills according to brand attributes.
D) DEVELOPING THE SALES STRATEGY
India is a huge market and international brands have limited access to information on the various opportunities available in the country. Retail Interface has the experience and exposure to recommend a national sales strategy for a brand, based on the features, pricing, and style of the watches. This strategy will be unique for the brand, and Retail Interface will also ensure implementation.
The sales strategy will be accompanied by a sales plan, which will clearly state the number of POS and likely monthly sales.
E) SCHEMES FOR RETAILERS AND SALES STAFF AND CUSTOMERS
There is a need to continuously develop schemes to push sales. Retail Interface uses its understanding of the market to develop short term schemes that allow the brand to focus on different aspects of the brand building process.
F) MARKETING AND ADVERTISING STRATEGY
India has a wide range of options for marketing and advertising. Proper selection of media and a good campaign are essential to position the brand in the chosen segment. Also, the campaign needs to be monitored locally, and changes need to be made if necessary. Retail Interface has excellent partners for advertising, PR and Social Media initiatives. The campaigns planned by Retail Interface and executed by its partners are the most effective and economical strategies in the market.
Retail Interface has excellent connections with Indian socially prominent personalities and celebrities, and therefore it can organize endorsements or co-branding possibilities for the brand.
G) SELECTION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF POINTS OF SALE
Retail Interface has a comprehensive understanding of the Indian market. This market understanding allows Retail Interface to select suitable trade partners. Retail Interface has connections with large departmental store chains and would work directly with these chains.
The model for the Sales organisation therefore is as follows:
- Retail Interface would be the distributor and take responsibility for managing the brand in India and also would also maintain the inventory of stock at the warehouse in Bangalore.
- The brand will supply stocks to Retail Interface on suitable credit terms.
- Retail Interface will in turn supply the retail chains on the terms of trade agreed.
- Retail Interface will make collections and remit the invoice value to the brand against the import invoices.
- All marketing and local costs will be managed by Retail Interface.
H) POSM AND IN-STORE VISUALS
Retail Interface takes responsibility for all POSM and visuals in the POS. Working through its associates, Retail Interface can execute regular work across India in 48 hours. Special projects may take a little longer.
I) MONTHLY REPORTING
Retail Interface will send a weekly report to the brand in the formats provided by the brand. A weekly review on telephone or skype is also recommended. The report includes:
- Monthly sales report for each POS
- Stock report at each POS
- Stock at warehouse
- Returns or quality related issues
- Status on shipments
- Payment collection status
- Marketing expenses
- Events conducted
- Travel Planned and concluded
- POSM stock and utilisation
- Training done with names and e-mail addresses of staff trained.
- Photos of displays visited and arranged.
- BACK OFFICE SUPPORT
- Excellent back office staff who are fluent in English
- Bonded warehouse
- Storage space for POSM
- Good logistics support
- Comprehensive insurance for stock and material
- Tele-Marketing services
- STORE MANAGEMENT SERVICES FOR BOUTIQUES
If a brand would like to have its own BOUTIQUE, Retail Interface can do the following:
- Identify suitable space in a relevant location
- Ensure that all documentation for lease of the property is done in accordance with Indian law.
- Ensure interiors are fitted out in accordance with the specifications of the brand.
- Recruit suitable staff for the POS
- Manage the BOUTIQUE on behalf of the brand.
- BUSINESS ASSOCIATES
Retail Interface has a network of business associates that include advertising agencies, PR firms, publishing houses, trainers, retail consultants, distributors and import and export agents. This excellent contact base, allows Retail Interface to provide comprehensive services to the brands it deals with. It also allows brands to get the best rates possible.