Focusing on one segment: How Latin Quarters is thriving despite the competition
Delhi-based made in India brand Latin Quarters has grown by keeping its focus on women's western wear. CEO Rahul Bhalla reveals the mantra behind its success and the way ahead.
Wednesday December 21, 2022,
4 min Read
India’s fashion market for women is vast. From ethnic and casual to formal and everything in between, fashion brands—both Indian and international—have left consumers spoilt for choice.
But, while it is good to have a variety of options, diluting a brand’s offerings might distract the target customers. This has been Rahul Bhalla's strategy while building Delhi-based.
Speaking to SMBStory, Co-founder and CEO Rahul says that while Latin Quarters is bringing trendy apparel to women across the country, its focus is on one segment: western wear.
“We have been in the business for over 16 years now and are the go-to destination for women for their western fashion needs. And we want to remain that without diluting the brand’s core,” he says.
While Latin Quarters is famously known for its dresses, the brand boasts of 15 SKUs including tops, bottoms, shrugs, sweaters, skirts, jumpsuits, etc.
With a presence at more than 500 sales points, the brand has come a long way. The pandemic did hit business, but Rahul says the company’s revenue is up 20%, compared to pre-COVID.
So, what's the biggest reason behind Latin Quarters’ success despite competition from homegrown and international brands?
“Keeping up with time,” Rahul says.
Staying in style
Rahul believes “innovating with evolving time,” has kept the brand growing year after year.
Why the name Latin Quarters? Rahul says that the brand name resonates with an area in Paris, a city known for its fashion.
“We wanted to bring international wear for Indian women in premium styles at a good price point, and this name perfectly matched our vision,” he says.
In the year 2006, when Rahul, along with his Co-founder Saurabh Jhingan, drafted a strategy to run business, they came up with their first offline store in Square One Mall in Saket, Delhi, one of the busiest shopping destinations for premium customers back then.
Rahul and Saurabh soon realised that India wasn’t a luxury market. They forayed into Mumbai in 2008 to expand the brand's offline footprint.
In 2009, Latin Quarters partnered with Shoppers Stop and began its journey to Tier II and Tier III cities of India.
Latin Quarter’s penetration into smaller cities helped the brand understand women’s preferences and sizes. The company mainly sells dresses, but Rahul says it does not want to be known for one particular product range as the demand keeps evolving. That's why the focus on innovation in fabrics and styling across categories.
“You see, the kind of marketing new-age brands do now, highlighting the fabrics and the special features, we all have been doing that for years. The plus point is that, now people have more money at their disposal and the choice now is quality over price and that’s selling best now,” Rahul says.
While the brand has grown over the years, registering a turnover of Rs 65 crore in FY22, Rahul highlights that deployment of tech and hiring best talent in the industry has worked for Latin Quarters.
“Tech and digital adoption helped us understand our customers across regions better. We have been able to manage and plan inventory, one of the biggest challenges in any business,” he says.
Despite keeping up with innovations, Latin Quarters did not really explore ecommerce in the early days.
“We had a website but practically started our D2C business amid the pandemic,” the co-founder adds.
Rahul declined to share degrowth percentage during the COVID-19 pandemic but highlighted that the company opened two stores in one and a half years. Now, Rahul expects to close FY23 with Rs 115 crore turnover and six stores coming up.
The brand currently has stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, Kolata, and many more.
This Rs 320 Cr fashion brand sounds international but manufactures in Ludhiana
The way ahead
“In the women apparel business, if you stop innovating, the business will stop. Our vision is to keep innovating and bring in new apparel," Rahul says, talking about plans for the future.
Ecommerce is now an important part of the business. Talking about offline expansion, Rahul says India has a huge potential in offline market expansion as Indians love to shop.
“We have a presence in only 80 cities as of now. There are so many cities out there, we haven’t even scratched the surface."
When asked whether Latin Quarters plans to foray into the menswear segment, Rahul laughs. He says the women's apparel market is always a "win-win deal as they love spending on clothes even if it means experimenting with a product. Men don't do that. We are boring". he says.
Ending the conversation on an interesting note, Rahul says that if he had to rebuild Latin Quarters today, he would start with kidswear as the market has a lot of potential in India.
Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti