Britain's biggest footwear brand, Pavers, is a relatively new entrant in India but is ramping up aggressively. Stuart Paver, President & Chairman, Pavers England Footprints Ltd, spoke to BT'S Shamni Pande.
It's true that many footwear brands have gone back from India. This is because they have chosen to treat India as an outpost by dumping it with products that work in the European markets. The result is that Indian suppliers are saddled with stocks that don't move. Brands then do not ship new products until the old ones clear out.
We, on the contrary, have invested $3 million in our R&D plant in Chennai to respond to and predict market trends and demand. For instance, Delhi requires different styles compared to the south. The first year (2009) we realised that southern markets required sandals in winters — something that other imported brands could not have responded to as quickly as we did.
We intend to present our brands in all locations that offer visibility. People laughed when they heard about our plans to set up a shop at an airport, but that changed when they saw our offtake at Mumbai airport. We intend to have eight more airport outlets. We are already present at 96 locations through a variety of arrangements that include shop-in-shops.