US-based Leatherman, the world leader in multi-utility tools segment, on July 27 announced its arrival in India. The company, which enjoys a 54 per cent share of the global market in its category and is present in over 100 countries, will be distributed by Young India Films in India.
The range, which has been launched in Chennai in the first phase, will be available in Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kolkata by the end of this year.
Speaking to the media at the launch, Vivek Bhasin, Director, Young India Films, said, “Leatherman products command a premium worldwide. A client who knows a Leatherman asks for a Leatherman, and the loyalty factor is extremely high. We will be creating awareness about the brand through an ad campaign shortly.”
The campaign is expected to be carried out through select lifestyle magazines and local dailies, besides auto and travel magazines. Bhasin added that the ads might even be customised locally, with the consent of Leatherman USA.
A ‘Leatherman on Call’ phone number will be operational soon, starting with the Class A cities and moving on to the Class B cities. The brand is also planning to launch an exclusive retail outlet in Chennai in the next two months, besides which it would be made available at select retail outlets in tune with the exclusivity of the brand. Retail outlets across all major cities would be the next step.
The products are priced between Rs 2,500 and Rs 9,500 in India, which, according to a spokesperson, was only 15-20 per cent higher than the pricing in the US. Bhasin added, “We have worked back on the price points to ensure that the severity of the duty (40 per cent) is not passed on to the customers in India.”
The auto and defence segments would be focus areas for the brand, which is targeting a first year turnover of Rs 10 million. The auto segment would be a focus not just for marketing its products, but also for co-branding opportunities, Bhasin added.
Founded in 1983, the Leatherman brand accounted for 2.7 million tools sold in 2003. By the closure of the financial year, this number was close to 3.4 million. In India, the primary targets for the brand be adventure seekers, travelers, engineers, IT professionals, besides the Defence and home-user segments.
A series of events and promotions starting with Chennai are being planned to establish the brand. The product range is demarcated as ‘lifestyle products’ and ‘specialist products’, and is sold under the range names of Wave, Squirt, Juice, Core and Super 200 – the same names Leatherman has made famous the world over.
All products will be sourced from abroad, and the Indian distributor would also handle other countries in the region.