Please take us through the journey of Brand Lavie since its inception. What would you call your big learnings from its journey?
There is a small anecdote around the birth of Lavie. The idea of Lavie was born at a private family event when colourful handbags designed by Mrs Shobha Tainwala for the attending guests became an instant hit. Nudged by her friends to continue creating these chic handbags, Shobha approached her brother, to help her cope with the incoming orders. Finding a clear gap in the market for high-profile bags, the brother-sister duo decided to establish the brand. Inspired by the vibrant landscapes across Europe and Asia, using the finest materials and unparalleled Indian craftsmanship, Lavie was born to cater to confident and independent women. The name and brand colours are derived from the popular French phrase ‘La vie en rose’ which means ‘Life in pink hues’.
Today, Lavie is India’s largest and most loved handbag brand and has found itself in the wardrobes of B-town celebrities like Anushka Sharma, Kareena Kapoor, Malaika Arora, Athiya Shetty, Kangana Ranaut, Gauhar Khan, Jannat Zubair, along with many influencers like Aashna Shroff, Kritika Khurana, Juhi Godambe, Santoshi Shetty and others.
The big learning since its inception is that we must be able to deliver quality in every situation.
You joined Bagzone Lifestyle Private Ltd as Executive Director in 2015. What were some of your focus areas then that were imperative to growth of the business?
I worked in the fashion and apparel industry before I joined Bagzone Lifestyle Private Ltd in 2015. My goal was that the company should focus on sustainable growth, creating a brand which is vegan with a vision to support local employment. Now, our focus has moved towards the digital space as this era itself is digital, the consumers today not only want brands to align with their values and provide stellar services; they also want brand experiences to move, inspire and entertain them. This is an era where the customer experience has to be experiential and frictionless. Hence, we have remained competitive, shifted our physical presence to places that surprise and delight our customers. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are the new technology trends which have been incorporated to bridge the gap in the digital world. Omnichannel presence along with AR and VR is our focus to drive customer engagement and create immersive retail experiences.
Also, Lavie offers a wide range of sophisticated and global designs at reasonable and more competitive prices than any other brand. To create these handcrafted, innovative designs and highest quality handbags, Lavie has a 5-stage design and development process that includes deriving inspiration from culture, people and places, designing of bags followed by a digital version, globally sourcing the richest fabrics, products crafted by master craftsmen and a series of quality checks.
What did it take to build a market for Lavie in the face of competition from established Indian and global brands? What worked for the brand?
Lavie recovered faster than any of its competitors in 2020, to generate double the revenue since pre-COVID 19 with a hike in the customer loyalty rate. A sudden shift in the market compelled the brand to create products in India. Lavie today has a state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facility. It is spread across five acres, and 1,50,000 square feet built up area. For product development and quality assurance, Lavie is equipped with the latest machinery like fabric checking machine, mileage testing machine, colour cabinet, drop testing machine, etc., to enable a smooth production process in our own country.
What are some consumer insights and women’s handbag category trends that stand out, based on your customer data? What are your latest offerings?
Women are now looking for more designer brands to have unique style; the focus is more towards style rather than the designer or brand’s popularity. Also, consumers today look for a brand logo on handbags to be subtle. Lavie tote bags, satchel bags, clutches and potlis for occasions show increased demand among consumers compared to the previous years, and hence, they are our hero products. Recently, Lavie launched its exclusive Monogram collection inspired by trends of global fashion houses.
You entered the men’s accessories category with the launch of sub-brand 'Lavie Sport'. What is the uptake on that?
After a successful stint with women’s handbags, Lavie expanded its product portfolio by entering the men’s category with the launch of Lavie Sport. A decade of learnings has been used in building Lavie Sport with a vision to deliver superior, functional and convenient products which also create a style statement. The essence of the brand is to design products that enable an active lifestyle.
Lavie Sport backpacks and duffle bags are very uniquely designed and super lightweight, built for high performance, multi-functionality and durability. They have amazing storage capacity and multiple compartments, which make it more convenient and secure compared to other backpacks.
What is your vision for Brand Lavie? How have you charted its future plans and priorities for the next few years?
We have a vision to see Lavie as one of the global leaders in the fashion handbags industry and with Lavie Sport, we would like to create backpacks and duffle bags which suit everyday needs. We would also like to increase the blend of craftsmanship and electronic expertise for the manufacture of Lavie bags. In this regard, we foresee an increase in employment as one of our major aims, creating jobs directly or indirectly for more than 2,500 people.
Ayush Tainwala, CEO, Bagzone Private Limited |
In the coming years, we plan to launch a huge number of products. In 2023, we plan to launch 200+ products. We plan to open 500 exclusive business outlets this year. Investment to the tune of Rs 100 crore is on the cards as we strive to double our manufacturing and warehouse capacity. We expect 60% revenue growth in the fiscal year 2023-2024.
What are the key points of your marketing and advertising strategy? What is being planned by the company in 2023-24 from a marketing perspective?
We are present in all the online selling portals; Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart, to name a few. As mentioned, for 2023-2024, our focus will be towards experiential marketing.
Finally, tell us about Ayush Tainwala, the person beyond the realm of work. What is one motto that binds your life and work – something that you live by every day?
Ayush Tainwala, beyond the realm of work, is a go-getter. I have learnt from my father to constantly focus on core values and to be a firm decision-maker. It’s important to build a professional culture while you hire, fire, review, reward and recognize every person around your core values, the rest will take care of itself. I always dreamt of establishing my own company since I was a child. Soon, I realized my calling and took over the reins of my family business.
The motto that binds my work and life and motivates me is:
Always deliver more than expected. I strive to achieve this in both my personal and professional lives.
Anushka Sharma with brown Lavie bag |
On brand ambassador Anushka Sharma: Anushka Sharma has been very sporting and one of the best brand ambassadors to deal with. She adds a class to the brand and is the perfect face for the brand.
On size of the business: In 2022, we were about Rs 500 crore of customer value; we aim for at least 50% growth in the present year.
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