While Baahubali has been smashing all records and is touted as the first tentpole franchise in the history of Indian cinema's box office, it has already set foot in retail industry, courtesy brand licensing agreements with Status Quo for a range of men’s T-shirts. Available at close to 1100 retail points, Status Quo is aiming at retail sales of 4-5 crore through its line of Baahubali apparels, revealed Bobby ARora, MD, Status Quo in a candid interaction with License India. What is the nature of the deal for Baahubali? ‘Status Quo Baahubali 2 collection’ is targeting 4-5 crore of retail sales. The initial line is comprised of T-shirts and features a range of designs combined with Status Quo’s signature style. The limited edition collection will also feature seasonal line updates. The collection will be priced at INR 899/- onwards. How different will be the entire range from other Baahubali licensees operating in fashion space? The Status Quo Baahubali 2 collection is launched with an aim to bring to life the Indian Epic, Baahubali, through its popular and lead characters like Baahubali, Bhallala Deva, and Kattappa among others. Moreover, innovations like HD Prints, ombre prints have been introduced in the range Talk to us about Status Quo's retail presence. Started in 1998, Status Quo began with an aim to create a whole range of impressive and vibrant apparels for the youth, now a well-known brand of choice for self-directed youngsters. Sufficed with an installed capacity to produce 2.5 million pieces annually, the brand is available through 1100 plus MBOs across the country and has a presence across all large format stores like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle and Central with 140 touch points. We also retail through Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, ABOF, Snapdeal and Tata CliQ etc.
Apart from Baahubali, Status Quo is also the official Licensee to sell apparels for Emoji, Garfield, and Archie.
Back when all this started, we felt sure that there were no boundaries. We are even more-sure of that today. What made you step into brand licensing? Was it a planned strategy or happened impromptu? With new emerging trends, an organized retail structure and the willingness to take brands to the next level, licensing space in India has a lot of breadth. We realized that today’s youth are looking at quirky and fun apparel designs and the demand for merchandise like Baahubali, Emojis, etc. is very high, hence we step into brand licensing to grow our business and to be in sync with today’s fashion trend. We have received a great response for our licensed apparel so far! The collaboration with brands for licensed merchandising is an example of how we differentiate our brand in the market and this approach puts us in a strong position to expand the Status Quo Collection into new territories. Why Baahubali, especially when movie merchandise has comparatively short retail shelf life? The response for Baahubali as a film franchise has been tremendous and we are expecting a similar response for the apparel range especially since South India is a very important market for Status Quo. In a competitive landscape of apparel industry, this association marks a key milestone in our growth story. We associated with Baahubali because it is the second installment of an already established brand.
It is also an effort to extend the cycle of the brand beyond TV, through different merchandise and, most importantly Baahubali is India’s biggest movie franchise. It is noteworthy that for a prolific film making nation like India, there has not been any franchise yet that has managed to outlive its single film existence while making its presence felt at retail shelves.
Brief us about your expansion plans. Status Quo, in the last year has consciously grown both vertically and horizontally. We are planning to partner and launch more licensed apparel like Baahubali, Emoji, Garfield, and Archie. Besides this, we also want to strengthen our hold in the Tier II and Tier III markets, which will require sustainable yet aggressive expansion plans. We had revenues of INR 100 crore. We expect revenues of INR 140 crore for 2017-18 and INR 200 crore for 2018-19. We want to continue investing in data, technology and people who are the pillars for our business! What other properties you may look at for similar association, after Baahubali? There are talks on with different production houses but at this time we will not be able reveal any names.