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We are expecting double-digit growth in this current fiscal year: Executive Director, Relaxo Footwears

21-May-2018
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We are expecting double-digit growth in this current fiscal year: Executive Director, Relaxo Footwears

Relaxo went for re-branding last year and came up with a new logo and identity to give itself a much-needed fresh and modern look. According to Gaurav Dua, Executive Director- Relaxo Footwears, the re-branding was done in a subtle way so that the familiarity of the brand did not get lost.

“At a point in time we became outdated and wanted to reinvent ourselves. We thought to give the brand a new look and have gone in the right direction. We tried to introduce it gradually, so that people could still stay connected to the brand. The ethos of the brand is still what it was 40 years ago,” Dua says.

Relaxo, which is known as one of the largest producers of footwear in India today, started off with just one brand under its product portfolio—Hawai slippers. Later, it added sub-brands Flite, Sparx, Bahamas and Schoolmate. The company also has high profile brand ambassadors such as Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Shahid Kapoor. Previously, Katrina Kaif and Sonakshi Sinha have also been associated with the brand.

Relaxo has expanded its footprint in the Indian market. According to the company spokesperson, they are present in 25-26 states. Sparx enjoys a good penetration in the southern and western market, whereas Flite has a strong foothold in the eastern market. The brand plans to cater to the regional market with specific brands for specific states.

Relaxo is seen as a mass brand and it competes with the unorganized players with its ‘economy’ range of footwear. However, its sports shoe brand Sparx pitches itself against big foreign players such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok.

“Our brand Sparx is targeted towards consumers who have big aspirations but cannot spend much. Sparx prices vary between Rs 1500 and Rs 3,000, a range that is suitable for masses. Nike, Reebok or other big brands are priced much higher. Sparx is doing well in terms of profits and revenue. Only eastern market has been the challenge till now,” he said.

“Premium brands such as Clarks, Nike, Adidas or Reebok have presence only in the urban market. India is a huge market and being a regional player, we have penetration in rural market as well as urban cities. These big brands are going for niche and not masses. Our strength lies where they are not present. Our target consumer is different from their target consumer. Our volumes continue to come from the mass market. Slippers are daily need items and are recession-free,’’ explains Dua.

Talking further about competition in the market, Dua asserted, “Competition has always been good for the industry. It makes you improve your services and products. It helps you to understand what exactly consumer wants. It teaches us.”

Relaxo currently has 300 outlets and the company plans to add 40 more by the end of this fiscal year. The brand is also working aggressively to be active on e-commerce platform as well.

Flipkart and Amazon are the biggest buyers of Sparx. After Puma, we are the biggest. We have observed that the youth is buying more from e-commerce, rather than physical stores. Right now, our revenue comes from traditional outlets, but digital is also showing positive results, especially for Sparx. We are pretty much sure it will surpass traditional outlets in the coming years,” explains Gaurav.

In terms of revenue, the company clocked INR 2,000 crore last year and is expecting a double-digit growth in this current fiscal year.

Last year, the brand has also included franchise stores in their business model. Till now, it has 5 franchise stores but the company is aiming to have 20 more by the end of 2020.

Talking about future plans, the Executive Director said, “The brand has not been very active in the kids category. But now we are planning to focus more on kids and women sections to increase the market share.”

On the marketing strategy, he said, “We will be launching more TVCs and now the company has taken a 360-degree approach. Our marketing spends have also increased in the last two years and we will keep investing more.” Dua, however, did not disclose the marketing spends.

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