Vrinda Oberai : VO: What is your take on the licensing activities in India? Where do you see India five years down the line? Michelle Minieri : MM: On one hand, entrepreneurs and manufacturers in India are not well aware of the benefits of licensing though a handful of them have embraced the concept. On the other hand, there are Indian brands that are ready to sell licensing rights to the rest of the world, for instance, IPL and Bollywood stars. Their success has changed the perception about Indian brands and certainly there is opportunity for them worldwide. We think that in five years, the licensing scenario in India will be significantly different than what it is now. The awareness level will go up as more and more licensees get exposed to events, trade shows and conferences like License India Conference. Entrepreneurs will gradually get interested and embrace licensing understanding its benefits in contributing to their business. It will be something that will be on top of every bussinessmen’s mind. Vrinda Oberai : VO: What factors are you considering for bringing in licensed products to India? Michelle Minieri : MM: Every time a business is set up, baby steps are taken to build it. We will consider our previous experiences and lessons learnt and put them to practice in the Indian market. We also will be looking at the pricing structures in India since we know that this market is very price sensitive. We want to have flexible programs to appeal to all potential consumers. For instance, Pepsi in China has a very different program than what it has in Brazil. We might be reaching a younger consumer in China and probably have a low price point whereas in Brazil, we have a higher price as we reach more to the mid-level consumer. Vrinda Oberai : VO: Which product categories do you find promising or where do you see the maximum potential? Michelle Minieri : MM: We believe that the apparel market is strong. The potential is huge as consumers are exposed to brands from across the world. Also, our success in other markets has taught us that this is a potential category to start a licensing program. We entered China 10 years ago when the market was relatively new to licensing. We started with apparel and accessories together and have managed to launch a very successful licensing program. Now, there are about 600 stores for sports apparel in China. However, we see the maximum potential in the whole industry. It will be very early to say where the growth will be. The idea should be to build the licensing industry as a whole. Some of the categories that we are planning to work upon with our clients are electronics, footwear, apparel, toys, games and publishing. Vrinda Oberai : Vrinda Oberai (VO): What prompted you to venture India? The market is nascent, what's your plan for this growing market? Michelle Minieri : Michelle Minieri (MM): Bradford is a global trademark licensing agency, so we work around the world. India is one market that we have not yet tapped. As part of our research to expand our business in newer markets, we noted, India was a great market to enter into. We do understand that licensing as a concept is new here but we would like to become a part of its growth and work in its niche markets, expand our brands into categories like apparels, accessories etc. Vrinda Oberai : VO: Tell us about your clients and the initiative that you have taken with respect to brand licensing? Michelle Minieri : MM: We work with many global brand owners and some of our clients are PepsiCo which includes Pepsi, 7 Up and Mountain Dew; Denise Richards; The Wannabes; Sherlock Holmes; Marilyn Monroe by Shaw Family Archives; The City of Beverly Hills; Aspen; Pez Candy and Happy House among others. We are about to bring five licensed brands to India. We are to extend our deals with international clients to sell and market merchandise-sporting global brand names in India. We want to work closely with License India and together we will take the first steps that are needed.
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