Not many know the Indian sportswear industry better than Lalit Kishore. Having established international sports lifestyle brands like Nike and Lotto in the country, he has 25 years of experience in the industry. Lalit, who started out as a licensee of Nike in India, went on to become the group’s CFO and vice-president. He was also the Founder and Managing Director of Lotto’s master franchisee Sports Lifestyle Private Limited (SLPL).
It was in 2011 that Lalit and his daughter, Aayushi Kishore, fresh from her post-graduate course at Delhi’s Sri Ram College Of Commerce, came up with the idea of Globalite.
They realised that there were not many indigenous sports footwear brands in India. “There were either the top few international brands that only a small fraction of the population could afford, or the local factories and private labels,” says Aayushi. “There were very few mid-segment brands that made products available at the right price.”
The father-daughter duo identified the huge potential in the market for an aspirational mid-segment sports lifestyle brand and floated Globalite Retail. Globalite is the only brand in the industry which is 100 per cent vertically integrated right from manufacturing to retail -- the reason why their products are priced much lower (Rs 499 -999) than industry standards.
Today, the company sells close to 7000 pairs of footwear per day online.
Transition from traditional to multi-channel retail
Currently, 70 per cent of Globalite’s sales comes from four channels--the web, app, TV channel and marketplaces. “When we started four years ago, close to 60 per cent of our business used to come from traditional offline channels. Today 70 per cent of our sales are online and 20 per cent come from other modern wholesale offline accounts and chains,” says Aayushi.
As television commerce is booming in India and has a current market of over Rs 5000 crores among the existing few players, it is a crucial retail channel for Globalite. “About 30 per cent of television commerce comes from footwear and lifestyle, so there is a huge market for Globalite to exploit,” says Aayushi.
Over the last three years, Globalite has made over Rs 100 crore in sales and has set a target of making Rs 60 crores by the end of this financial year.
Manufacturing a competitive edge
Globalite has vast integrated manufacturing facilities that make all types of footwear, ranging from sports shoes to casual shoes, sneakers, loafers, clogs, slippers and sandals. “We have about 500 people in the factories on our rolls and a dedicated product R&D team in China that works on world trends and designs, and helps in product commercialisation in sync with our Indian design team,” mentions Aayushi.
Building a brand in India is challenging as it is a largely brand-sensitive market. “It was initially hard to break through the brand loyal mindsets in tier I and II cities. But we were able to penetrate the market through the value for money we offered We also had thefirst mover advantage,” says Aayushi.
Local labels tried to follow suit, but with its competitive edge through own manufacturing, R&D and direct channels of sale, Globalite has been able to maintain a stronghold in the industry.. In the future, Globalite plans to scale up its direct-to-customer channels across all mediums like the web, app and TV.