In an exclusive conversation with Biswajit Sarkar, Partner Shabis Marketing LLP sheds light on emerging Brand Licensing Opportunities in Men’s Personal Care Category in India.
Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey. Also how do you see brand licensing as an effective retail strategy?
I started my entrepreneurial stint almost more than two decades back. The first licensee brand that I handle was MTV and from there we made many other brands such as Formula1, Spider Men, Frozen and No Gas Body Sprays. Gradually, as the licensing business flourishes in India we did see tremendous business opportunity. ManCity FC has never collaborated with any perfumery brand in India so we are the pioneers to give a very Sporty and up market feel products at affordable Price .
Shabis Marketing operates in personal care segment. Why do you think that personal care is an ideal category for brands to extend through licensing especially with IPs such as football clubs which have rich history of collaborating with sports brands?
Men’s grooming industry in India is growing tremendously in personal care segment. In facts, brands such as L’Oreal have completely revolutionized the men’s category over last decade. Wedo see an immense opportunity not only for us but any wellness brand to expand via licensee route; hence we are taking this forward. Currently, we have only introduced a perfumery range, and gradually we would be introducing shower gels and Body Washwhich would be complementary to enter gifting segment. Before expanding further we shall wait for market response.
Apart from ManCity FC, what else licensing agreements do you have?
We are already into kids Segment , working with Doraemon for their Shampoo range and other product line . With ManCity FC we have introduced men’s adult line for the first time by Coming out with Perfume Body Spray in 3 SKU …. Ultimate Kick …. Hattrick …. &Heros .
What would your marketing initiatives also what kind of retail distribution you are looking for ManCity FC perfumery?
We would be keen to work with retailers who are already engaged in retailing up market deodorant brands, for example, for initial year our target is to concentrate on retailers who are extensively engaged in retailing imported range from Dubai.We will start with key cities Mumbai Delhi Ahmedabad Kolkata Guwhati before expanding pan India as the part of distribution strategy.
Being the manufacture what would be your retail strategy? Also shed light on your price points?
For our kids range we are already present with more than 25000 outlets. For ManCity we are just starting in terms of retail presence. We aim to have healthy distribution by January for men’s line as well. Also our target is to have 10 SKUS from existing three before we will go to large format retail chains such as Shoppers Stop, Central amongst others. Getting into right retail format is our immediate challenge because of steep competition from different brands having similar products. We have started Rs 225 price point and our highest range will go upto Rs500.
According to you what are the biggest challenges when you develop a licensed merchandise line?
The biggest challenge is getting the right R&D and design of the product. It won’t receive well in the market until and unless there is some unique proposition value about the product. For example, the body wash line that we would be introducing shortly, has soap like features and unlike to premium body washes our range won’t leave moist/wetting feel post application. We have developed a unique formation to achieve the same. .
What kind of business you are projecting for ManCity FC?
Our target is to sale 3 lakh units per month by 2020.