Started off as a corporate gifting brand, Swiss Military has scaled up by leaps and bounds and is looking to become lifestyle brand in affordable luxury segment through brand licensing, told Anuj Sawhney, MD, Swiss Military in a candid interaction with License India.
Talk to us about the brand Swiss Military.
We are a global brand available in 27 countries. We have 1900 plus SKUs available at about 1000 retail points. We have been in Indian market for last four and a half years so we are the corporate gifting forerunners in India. We are #1 in flight sales partners with companies such as Indigo, Go Air, Spice and so on. We have around 600 multi-brand shop-in-shop stores pan India with likes of Shoppers Stop, Planet M, Landmark, Crossword, Om Books etc. Now we are at this exhibition launching our complete franchising exclusive brand stores. We are planning about 400 stores pan India. The brand is one-stop-shop primarily for men. We have categories as travel gear, sunglasses, electronics, leather, accessories, tools. We have recently launched apparel also. Now we are coming out with whole new brands and range for women under the name of Swiss Miss. We have already launched sunglasses and shortly, by January, by the time our stores are launched, we will launch handbags, clutches, wallets and footwear.
Talk to us about your expansion plan.
The plan is to be the most visible in India. The brand USP is that it is extremely affordable luxury brand for the masses so people are extremely surprised when they listen to the pricing of the products. We are looking at supporting the franchisees exclusively. While the impulse buying factor or the person walking in the store and actually buying the property is highest in the world at about 77 per cent which means that more than three out of four people are coming into store and buying the product. It is because of three reasons – one it is a one stop shop (practically everything under the sun for premium lifestyle), two it is extremely affordable and the third and foremost point is that everything is differentially designed. The brand invests a lot of money in research and development, akin to what a pharmacy company does where we run a lot of patents across processes, packaging. Every product is unique in the way it is done and it is catering to only demands & needs of audiences which no other brand is looking at. So if we have a travel charger, it is one stop solution for all your charging needs.
Off late you have licensing in your retail model. What are the segments that you have licensed out?
Presently we have two major licensees in the Indian market. Globally we have 70 plus franchisees for all our divisions. So licensing is a recent introduction where we have Firefox Bikes and Hero Cycles as licensee for bicycles and we have Flipkart as the footwear licensee for online space. We are in talks with three major companies for further segments. Therefore it is a synergy that comes across from the visibility and awareness point of view. Whaever is not our USP as far as the brand is concerned, is being outsourced to the major players and that is how the brand is looking at making inroads in the Indian market and again being the most visible brand that has come to India,
What made you adapt brand licensing especially when you have a global presence?
Licensing is a win-win for all! Licensees get a premium brand which has extremely high perceived value, as not many brands command that kind of price where a brand like Swiss Military dies. From licensors perspective, this strategy propagates the brand everywhere. Going forward, we are looking to foray into footwear offline. Also we are looking to enter white goods category.