Daniel Lopez, executive vice-president of MANGO, the Barcelona-based fashion major, to Karan Choudhury on their Indian arm's next phase of growth. Edited excerpts:
When MANGO forayed into India, there was a dearth of international brands. Now, things are different. How do you think your brand would do now?
We're having a terrific run in India. The world has changed, retail has changed and we are transforming as well. The answer to the world changing is our omni-channel strategy which we have with Myntra. MANGO's expansion plan consists of 25 store openings in India over the next five years. The new stores are equipped with advanced technology to provide a seamless shopping experience.
Are you looking for foreign direct investment in single brand retailing?
No. We have a distribution agreement with Myntra. We are focused on this and are not going to open our own stores. Others might have taken that route to growth but we are focused on our franchise-based, omni-channel approach.
Compared to other brands, where do you see yourself in India? How is the market doing for you?
In 2014, MANGO chose Myntra as a partner to develop its online business in India, as it is the largest and most reputable online retailer in the country. In less than three years, MANGO has become one of the five top-selling women's Western wear brands on Myntra, with annual growth rates in excess of 100 per cent. After opening of the five stores we have planned this year, we will grow even better.
What led to getting into a tie-up with an e-commerce player and not a company with brick & mortar store experience?
We believe we will have to have a distribution system where all our line is available to our consumer, on online and offline. The system needs to be seamless, with no friction between brick & mortar and online. The only way to do that is having an omni-channel strategy, in coordination with an online company which has been playing this game for a long time.
By when do you see yourself as a top brand in the pecking order?
We are among the top five brands sold on Myntra. In brick and mortar, the way to look at expansion and supremacy in the pecking order is the number of stores. By the end of this year, we will have five; obviously, we would not be on top. But, this is no longer our concern; we are thinking online and brick & mortar. It is no longer in our interest to think of only one medium. We expect in the near future to have half our sales from brick & mortar and the rest from online. After four to five stores are operational, we will see how the sales go.