Chennai: “We are all set to increase our business through online modes,” said T. R Sivaram, MD, Classic Polo at the 3rd Edition of MediaNews4U- Straight Talk.
“We started our business as a humble fabric exporter to Bangladesh in the early 90s with a capital of INR 5 lakhs. Slowly our garment export grew by 50% as European markets opened. We had launched the brand ‘Classic Polo’ in the year 2001 as a brand for Men”, he said further adding that from a brand supplying predominantly to family owned shops, the brand started becoming omni-channel by 2009.
Some of the key challenges he mentioned were that Tirupur being a hub for manufacturing, availability of skilled manpower for marketing was a challenge. “We did not want to move our base to Chennai or Benglauru. Another challenge was the CoCo (Company-owned and company operated) business model for us failed in 2008. We had burnt our hands with no profits and had to shut down the outlets which were not performing well”, he said. In 2011, the company ventured into FOFO (Franchise owned and Franchise Operated) which started performing and we have close to 100 stores now which would soon by 200.
According to him, even before the COVID Pandemic, the GST and Demonetization had the biggest negative impacts on the brand.
A make-in-Tamil Nadu brand
According to him, Classic Polo as a brand is no lesser than many national brands and international brands. Today his company doesn’t sell only T Shirts but various other men’s products including trousers, shirts and more. “Royal Classic is a INR 750 crore company. When many brands pay hefty royalty to MNCs, we are made in India for India and by Indian.”, he said and added that Classic Polo now finds its place in the key hotspots of all retail outlets from Imphal to Jamnagar and from Jammu to Kanyakumari.
Classic Polo is known for their branding and they have been present in all the national and international campaigns. The company is getting good vibes from the online sales which contributes 8% of their business and is still growing.