‘I think that one single line makes a whole lot of difference between the competition and us’
Rahul Vira is the CEO of Skechers South Asia since April 2015. He has 20 years of experience working with high-paced organizations across Lifestyle, Luxury and Online industry in India and Middle East.
Vira started his career with India’s leading retail chain working across various functions of buying and merchandising, marketing and operations. He has also worked in the Middle East with an American chain.
During the first round of Internet action globally, Vira joined India’s leading media house in their Internet division setting up e-commerce. This was one the leading few online shopping activities in India. He further moved to working with leading jewellery brand of India in the leadership role.
Skechers India plans to carry forward the legacy of the global brand and establish the brand as a performance and lifestyle-oriented brand that caters to all age groups. Currently, the brand presence is a mix of metro cities and Tier II and Tier III cities and we wish to adapt an Omnichannel approach by integrating online and offline for our distribution channel-department and specialty stores (more than 2,305 Skechers company-owned and third-party-owned retail stores). The brand is also launching a portal- Skechers.in which will have the stores integrated to it, in order to cater to 10 per cent revenues that come via e-commerce.
Skechers is one of the largest sports and lifestyle footwear brand in the US, known for its performance based shoes. The brand has a diverse range of high quality product range that meets day to day needs of the millennials. The products are categorised as -‘Performance’ for running, training, golf and walking, ‘Casual’ for leisure and regular wear. The brand also offers a huge range of kid’s shoes in attractive designs. Keeping in mind the importance of fashion in person’s daily life, these shoes are designed to offer the perfect mix of comfort and style.
Skechers footwear are designed and engineered to the highest standards. We have a team of world-class athletes who bring experience, knowledge and passion to the product creation process and fulfil the goal to provide the best and most innovative footwear in the market. Skechers upped their game by bringing in the Goga Max® insole technology, the next evolution of the athletic walking shoes. This provides more cushioning thereby offering better durability, stability and protection. Designed with the Memory Foam insole and a stretchable top fabric that conforms to the shape of your foot, Skechers leaves no space for tensed and edgy walking. The innovative 5th GEN cushioning, the next generation of Resalyte® Midsole makes highly flexible training and running shoes extremely light-weighted and provide memory retention that avoids lurching from the ground and helps absorb impact.
Our product range can be broadly divided into Performance and Lifestyle. Performance refers to shoes that are suited for physical activities such as running, walking, training and golf. The Lifestyle segment provides casual wear that are more centred towards the look and feel of the product that the athletic benefits. Our core TG is from 16-40 years belonging to SEC A, although we cater to an audience between the age group of 4-40 years.
India is a huge market with a wide scope. The sportswear/ footwear product segment is growing in the country currently. We have experienced high acceptance in the market by the consumers not only in sports footwear but also lifestyle.
The main challenge is to build portfolio and depth in range, and we are working on it.
The brand has 100 stores across 45 markets, MBOs and EBOs distribution leads to 130 markets and 800 retail touch points.
The brand is adopting Omnichannel approach by integrating online and offline. In the next couple of months’ time the brand will go live with www.skechers.in. We shall then have a better clarity on the path towards the omnichannel aproach.
The footwear segment in India is huge and it’s difficult to cater to all types of needs. Our goal is how to reach a large chunk of the market thus we have distribution channels through independent networks. We establish a strong presence through strong product portfolio, extensive and effective marketing campaigns and wide retail presence.
Is been five years that Skechers entered the Indian market and we have reached the 100th store mark. We are growing at a rate of 100 per cent year-on-year and thus we aim to have close to 400 stores in India over a period of next 5 years.
We shall look at local production once we have the volume required. We are expanding in apparel business, which is fairly new in India. We are currently in the pilot phase and will continue till we get some understanding on the market. Our aim is to first build the confidence in our consumers mind.
At present we are on the pilot stage. By mid-next year, we aim to start with apparels and accessories like caps, socks, bags on large scale depending on the pilot results and other things such as infrastructure. Currently, our products are imported completely. Going forward we plan to do it locally once we have the scale and time and also if they match same quality as our international developers.
The last calendar year was closed at Rs 220 crore. This year, in the first 6 months, we have crossed Rs 300 crore.
Every foot should have a Skechers shoe on it – this is our aim. Currently we have achieved a decent amount of market share in the country, which seems extremely promising. The brand caters to all age groups starting from 4-50, through performance and lifestyle shoes giving eth brand a wide reach and penetration in the market.
To grow at the same pace as we are right now and maintaining 100 per cent growth rate year-on-year.