Starting in 1999 with 500 sq. ft. area and 4 employee owned by Mr. Puneet Jain & Mr. Yatin Jain, today, the Ethnic wear brand has 3 offline stores in Delhi of around 50,000 sq. ft. area along with a team of 300 dedicated people. The duo of Jain brothers are now eyeing to expand and reach 1000 Cr. by 2025.
Perfect Sourcing went tête-à-tête with the Jain brothers and found out their vision of Odhni.
PS: How do you describe Odhni?
Yatin: Odhni is a one stop solution for all your ethnic needs, where we make you feel like celebrity and you feel like home at the same time. We actually care for our customers and give the best offerings of price and product possible. In Delhi we have the highest stock and variety under one roof. We have dedicated studios for bridal shopping. And we have a price range comfortable for everyone. We have also opened an exclusive handloom section this May where you get all handloom products sourced from all across India.
Puneet: The ethics are very high at Odhni. We go on annual trips with our employees. We are also associated with social works and invest heavily for hospitality. The employers are taken care of like a family with blood and money literally. We have our own blood bank and money pool for any emergency of our employees. When demonetisation happened, we spent over 2.5Lakh to serve tea and water for people standing in the bank queues and we made sure it was nowhere around our outlets or associated banks.
PS: You have become an 80 cr. company is just 20years from 500sq to 50000sq ft. How has been the journey since 1999?
Yatin: The journey has been very beautiful and interesting. I was in school when I started to figure out what business to go with. I used to sell school uniforms at first and just dreamt to be the city’s No.1 and kept working and I couldn’t realise when the business became worth 80-85Cr. We kept working without worrying about the scoreboard and hard work paid off in turn.
PS: Why did you choose to get into indutvas or the ethnicwear segment?
Puneet: No good reason for it actually. Both I and my brother wanted to do something different and experiment with a new business. The plan was to do job for experience and join the family business later. But ultimately we bought a shop with whatever money my father had at that time. There were 4-5 options for the business. The saree and Indian wear business actually got finalised by lottery system that we applied being confused of what to do. Same was with the name Odhni as well. We just kept doing what god guided us for.
Yatin: Ethnic-wear is a huge market undoubtedly and something that never goes out of style in our traditional eco-system. It makes you look different and stand out in the crowd. With time, the ease of wearing the look may change; like there are readymade saree now that comes pre-draped etc., but the market segment will never die. The segment and retailers in it are actually benefiting even in the tough overall market.
PS: You have been working as the selling agent of multiple brands as per our information. Do you have plans to come up with your manufacturing unit and brand collection?
Yatin: This is a much unorganised sector so there are no brands as such to source from. We buy from vendors and sell under our name. We do not plan on manufacturing in any possible future. We are good at selling and want to concentrate on that only. But yes we might come up with a private label very soon; we will never go for manufacturing however. It just makes more sense to buy on credit and sell it on cash rather that doing the opposite.
PS: Do you have any plans for going in exports?
Yatin:In general exports start through friends and relatives being in abroad and as we do not have any such it is a bit difficult to penetrate the market for initiation. However we are open for exports but not for opening a store abroad all together. For now rather the plan is to grow organically in Indian market such as in Delhi and NCR. After that we would focus on stores for Tier II cities such as Rohtak, Karnal, Agra, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Ambala.
PS: What is the retail presence of your brand?
Puneet: We have 3 stores now that are in operation in Delhi; Pitampura being the oldest one.
PS: What is the return rate for online sales?
Puneet: We started online 5years ago and we do have the product support for that but we lack in enough technical support regarding that I feel. We don’t particularly know what is right and what is wrong for online selling. We are partnering other online brands and selling through other websites as well such as Ebay, Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra and many more as well. But we mostly get profit from offline only. As our product is not just a commodity but have emotions attached to it, the physical stores are able to provide the assurance and experience people look for. Say, someone is buying for their wedding garments or a saree for their mother; it is always the experience they get that they are drawn to.
Yatin: Shopping at Odhni is a very good experience and I feel the ethnic wear segment will be the last one to be dominated by the online space. The change in design is so frequent and there is no standardisation to be updated online.
PS: Shed some light on your partnership with WNW Kolkata.
Yatin: WNW is a premium brand from Kolkata who used to work with 20-25 retailers all over India. But they have stopped all their retail supplies and at present sale exclusively through Odhni. We have provided them space and all infrastructural support and basically they now have a shop-in-shop with us.
PS: What are the expansion plans for next 5years?
Yatin: 30 stores by 2025 is the target with 1000Cr. revenue. The plan is very clear. We aspire to be an automated custom driven company which provides a truly dream-shopping experience each and every time to all customers. Primarily we are planning to open in North India only and afterwards in central India one by one. Delhi itself has a capacity to have 10-15 stores without cannibalising each other’s sale and profit.
PS: How Odhni is going in technological way?
Puneet: We are putting a lot of money and effort for technologies to make our back-end process more efficient, technologies that make the inventory management easier. In today’s time technology is an integral part of any business. As most of our business is based on people’s emotions, so in the front foot we remain more personal than technological.
PS: What are the challenges that the Indian apparel industry is facing?
Yatin: It is a very labour intensive industry and even though we don’t manufacture, our vendors are very special to us and we take care of their perils always. Odhni has always kept the manufacturers ahead of even customers. The changes towards western culture, online penetration are the challenges no doubt as well.
Puneet: Still I think the market is so huge that there is no need to worry for Odhni. We still have very less share in the market so we are least bothered by the market fluctuations as well. We can still grow if we focus on our strength and growth.