In the ever-evolving landscape of Indian fashion, one brand stands out as a beacon of contemporary style and sophistication — Madame. Founded in 1993, Madame has embarked on a remarkable journey, establishing itself as a leading name in women’s fashion across the country.
A Rich Heritage
Owned by the Jain Amar Group (one of India’s multi-brand fashion conglomerates), Madame’s journey began over three decades ago, and it’s a story deeply intertwined with the evolution of Indian fashion. Over the years, the brand has witnessed and adapted to changing trends, consistently delivering high-quality clothing and accessories that resonate with the diverse tastes of its clientele.
At its core, Madame’s mission is clear: to empower women to express their unique style and confidence through fashion. The brand believes that what you wear has the power to boost your self-esteem and personality, and they aim to provide women with the means to do just that.
The brand engages over 2,50,000 women every week, across 500 retail touchpoints, including 150 Exclusive Branded Outlets (EBOs), Large Format Stores (LFS), and other leading retail outlets. Aside from these, Madame products are also available on leading fashion portals and its own online store www.glamly.com.
The Madame Aesthetic
One of Madame’s defining characteristics is its extensive product range. From elegant dresses to versatile tops, comfortable bottoms, denims, stylish outerwear, festive edits and work and vacay wear, the brand offers an array of choices that cater to various occasions and style preferences. Accessories, such as handbags and jewelry, complete the ensemble, making Madame a one-stop destination for fashion-conscious women.
Madame’s designs are a testament to their commitment to modernity and chicness. Their collections blend elements of global fashion trends with a touch of Indian aesthetics, creating a unique and appealing style. Whether you seek classic elegance or the latest trends, Madame has something to offer for every taste.
In an exclusive chat with Karan Nangia of IMAGES Business of Fashion, Executive Director, Akhil Jain shares insights on brand’s retail journey and building a robust e-commerce presence.
How do you view India as a market for Western wear?
India has proven to be an incredibly dynamic and evolving market for Western wear. Over the years, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in fashion preferences among Indian women, with a growing inclination towards Western-style clothing. This trend is a reflection of changing lifestyles, global exposure, and a desire for versatile fashion choices. Madame recognized this changing landscape and positioned itself as a brand that understands and caters to the evolving preferences of the modern Indian woman. We’ve seen an enthusiastic response from our customers, which reaffirms that Western wear is no longer just a trend but an integral part of Indian fashion culture.
How was the idea of your brand conceived? What year did the brand start its journey and how has it been so far?
Madame was conceived out of a passion for providing young, fashion-conscious women with a platform to express themselves through their clothing. The brand embarked on its journey in 1993 with a vision to offer the latest international fashion trends at affordable prices. Since then, our journey has been nothing short of remarkable. Madame has become a beacon of style and self-expression for women across India. We’ve witnessed our brand grow and evolve with the changing fashion landscape, always staying true to our commitment to quality and trends. Our success is a testament to the resonance of our offerings with our audience and the dedication of our team. From our inception till now, our journey has been characterized by innovation, creativity, and an unwavering dedication to providing the best in Western wear to our customers.
Your brand has a good presence both offline and online. Which one generates more revenue and why?
Madame enjoys a robust presence both offline and online, with each avenue contributing significantly to our brand’s success. At present, our physical retail stores, including Exclusive Branded Outlets (EBOs) and Large Format Stores (LFS), generate a slightly higher revenue share. These stores provide a personalized shopping experience that many customers value, enabling them to interact with our products directly.
Simultaneously, our e-commerce platform has emerged as a transformative force in the industry. It offers the convenience of shopping from home, along with a wide range of choices and sizes. With e-commerce currently contributing 8% of our turnover, we expect it to grow to 10% by 2024. This projection reflects the increasing shift towards online shopping and our commitment to providing seamless digital experiences.
Your products are available on Glamly and other websites. Tell us more about this.
Madame has strategically expanded its online presence through its own e-commerce website, glamly.com and collaborations with renowned marketplaces, namely, Amazon, Myntra, Tata Cliq, Shoppers Stop, etc. This approach has allowed us to reach a wider audience and provide convenient access to our diverse range of fashion offerings. Madame’s own exclusive website, glamly.com, ensures that customers can explore and purchase our products seamlessly. This approach aligns with our customer-centric philosophy, focusing on delivering fashion experiences that resonate with the dynamic preferences of today’s women. Through these collaborations, we aim to maintain a strong online footprint and provide our valued customers with a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience.
What is your brand’s total store count and how many stores do you plan to open in the next 3 years? What about EBOs and retail touchpoints?
Currently, Madame boasts a network of over 150+ exclusive stores across India, and products are available at 500+ Multi-Brand Outlets (MBOs) and Large Format Stores, strengthening our brand’s on-ground presence. Looking ahead, we are set to strategically expand our footprint by opening more stores over the next 3 years, both Exclusive Branded Outlets (EBOs) and in other retail touchpoints. This planned expansion aligns with our commitment to offering our esteemed customers an accessible and immersive brand experience.
Tell us about your international presence and demand? Which countries are your best markets and which new countries are you eyeing?
As of now, Madame’s focus is primarily on the domestic market. While we currently do not have an international presence, our brand continues to explore opportunities for potential expansion into global markets. Our priority remains delivering exceptional fashion experiences to our valued customers in India.
In which parts of India do your products enjoy the highest demand and why? What about Tier 2 and 3 cities? Which new markets in India are you eyeing?
Our products witness the highest demand in the northern part of India, where our fashion resonates deeply with the local tastes and preferences. Notably, Tier 2 and 3 cities like Rohtak, Patiala, Bhatinda, and Saharanpur show significant demand, as our brand offers accessible and stylish options that align with the aspirations. Looking ahead, we are strategically focusing on expanding into new markets, particularly the vibrant regions of South and Western India, to bring our unique fashion sensibilities to a wider audience.
Tell us about your best-performing products/segments and design process?
Our top-performing segments include versatile products like Tops, Dresses, and Outerwear, reflecting our deep understanding of fashion preferences. In terms of the design process, it begins with comprehensive trend research and analysis. Our creative teams collaborate closely, merging global inspirations with local influences to craft unique collections. The designs then undergo rigorous refinement, material selection, and prototyping stages. Attention to detail and innovation drive our design ethos, ensuring each piece resonates with our brand’s essence and customer aspirations.
Please tell us about your raw material supply and manufacturing units. What kind of challenges do you face in marketing, production and sourcing and how do you overcome them?
Madame sources raw materials from diverse locations, both domestically and internationally, including China, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. Our three advanced manufacturing units support production. Challenges like dynamic trends and supply chain complexities are met through agile supplier networks, trend monitoring, and efficient processes. Sustainability and ethical sourcing are paramount, reflecting our responsible fashion commitment.
Recently your brand tied up with Bollywood actress Tara Suturia how this does take your brand ahead in the market and any more such collaborations in the pipeline?
Our collaboration with Bollywood actress Tara Sutaria has been a significant step in elevating our brand’s visibility and resonance in the market. Tara embodies the essence of Madame – she’s stylish, confident, and represents the aspirations of young women today. Her association with our brand not only reinforces our commitment to staying relevant in the fashion landscape but also establishes a deeper connection with our audience.
As for future collaborations, we are consistently exploring opportunities to partner with individuals who share our brand ethos and values. Recently, we proudly announced Shanaya Kapoor as the face of our Fragrances division. This move aligns with our aim to diversify our offerings while bringing in fresh and innovative approaches to our brand marketing. Our goal is to continue these collaborations strategically, resonating with our target audience and further solidifying Madame’s position as a trendsetting fashion brand.
India is home to several international high-street brands. How do you view the competition and stay ahead?
India’s fashion market is indeed dynamic, with the presence of international high-street brands. At Madame, we see competition as a catalyst for innovation. Our focus has always been on understanding the pulse of our audience and staying ahead by consistently offering trendsetting designs, quality, and affordability. Our collaborations, strategic marketing, and brand ambassadors also play a crucial role in setting us apart.
What factors do you consider while opening a store? Please tell us about your retail strategy.
When it comes to opening a store, we meticulously evaluate factors like footfall, location demographics, and proximity to our target audience. Our retail strategy involves creating a unique shopping experience that resonates with our brand’s identity. We blend contemporary aesthetics with a touch of elegance to offer our customers an immersive and personalized shopping journey.
What is your brand’s take on being sustainable and eco-friendly?
Sustainability and eco-friendliness are integral to Madame’s vision. We are dedicated to embracing responsible practices across our value chain. From using sustainable fabrics to reducing plastic usage in packaging, we are committed to minimizing our environmental footprint. Our initiatives also extend to ethical sourcing and promoting conscious consumption among our customers. We believe that fashion can coexist with sustainability, and we are actively working towards making a positive impact on both our customers and the environment.
With AI becoming common these days, what retail technologies has your brand adopted to enhance consumer experience?
Madame is committed to harnessing the power of retail technologies to elevate consumer experiences. We have integrated AI-powered capabilities that not only streamline operations but also enhance customer engagement. By predicting customer behavior through predictive analytics, we ensure that we provide timely and relevant offerings. Our ability to personalize experiences at scale ensures that each customer feels uniquely valued, even as our brand continues to expand. Additionally, automating routine tasks improves efficiency, enabling our team to concentrate on innovation and strategic endeavors, ultimately enhancing the overall shopping journey.
Since its inception, how much has the brand grown in terms of turnover and how successful it has been in terms of financial viability? Please provide figures.
Since the establishment in 1993, Madame has experienced remarkable growth and financial stability. Our consistent pattern of doubling turnover every five years underscores our strong market presence and effective strategies. Looking ahead, our expansion plan includes launching 50 new stores within the next two years.