International luxury brands, which were earlier the possession of the
travelling elite, now have presence across high streets malls and shopping
locales in India. However, among the Diors, Chanels, two Indian brands,
Hidesign and Da Milano have managed to carve out their niche place in the
luxury handbags market. Contrary to popular belief, both Hidesign and Da
Milano are home grown brands.
Da Milano Leathers Pvt. Ltd. was conceptualised in India in 1989 and opened
its first flagship store at Connaught Place in New Delhi. The company has its
design studio in Italy. Today, Da Milano has a remarkable presence across
India as an affordable luxury brand in leather wear and luxury accessories.
Founded in 1978 in Pondicherry, Hidesign is known for its exquisitely
handcrafted, all natural, eco-friendly, luxury leather goods and fashion
Notwithstanding the deluge of international luxury bags, both these Indian
brands have continued with the same brand values that they started out with
the plan to create products using the country’s strong heritage and now
stands apart from the crowd with their detailed craftsmanship.

While both of them score over the several unbranded players that throng this
premium segment of handbags which lies between the upscale designer bags
like LVMH, Gucci, etc and the other affordable brands, there is a difference in
the respective styles of the two.
Hidesign differentiates itself on its design sensibilities, contemporary styling,
clean silhouettes, and the use of vegetable tanned leathers, which add to its
positioning as a handcrafted, eco-friendly and natural brand. Hidesign’s

India.895. Da Milano has focused extensively within India since the start. is a young and trendy brand. which would appeal to mature women. they have been following different distribution strategies. Hidesign recently expanded itself into the luxury category with its new sub-brand ‘Alberto Ciaschini. catering to the educated and sophisticated urban professional. their foray into Indian retail in 2000 was a complete game-changer and has resulted in a shift of its consumer profile. The company has three design teams based in Milan. with a splash of bold colours like neons. it is planning to further expand its international operations and open stores in Dubai and Singapore next year. and Da Milano. Portfolio bags. They have the style quotient and the variety every woman would be looking for. shoes. impeccable style and the chic appeal are hallmarks of every signature product from Da Milano. According to the brand. targeting age groups upwards of 25 years. jacket . London and Puducherry that work together to create two new collections a year. blacks. and with 32 exclusive boutiques across the country. Sheer elegance. PRICING STARTEGY Both position themselves as affordable luxury. priced between Rs 8. every season. bags. with Da Milano priced from Rs 5. At present. airport retail is also a lucrative area of growth for both brands and their strategic expansion efforts are significantly concentrated at airport retail in both domestic and international realm. has 70 exclusive boutique stores with five of them being franchised outlets. accessories.995 to Rs 8. the iconic craft transpires throughout the range. belts Women: handbags. stoles. Interestingly. However.500 for ladies bags and Hidesign’s leather bags for women in the range of Rs 1. DISTRIBUTION STRATEGY While both brands stand for premium luxury with almost similar prices. to tap into the growing Indian luxury market. Handcrafted by Hidesign’. From Handbags. Da Milano takes pride on its uniquely Indian appeal and the quality of its products. to Wallets and Accessories. and beiges. shoes. Hidesign started out as an export-oriented company with sole focus on the international arena but over the years has achieved a balance between the international and domestic market.500 upwards to Rs 15.000. aesthetic focus has been on a classic contemporary look. PRODUCT RANGE Da Milano has consistently delivered luxury of the highest standards. contributing 65 per cent of its global sales. 40-50 per cent of its revenue comes from global exports. Travel Bags. Hidesign has more classic designs and basic colours like browns. Men: jackets. wallets.000 to Rs 25. year after year. made from Italian hide which is its foremost differentiating aspect. along with zippers and chains.

The growing demand for the fashion accessories is making the market in India both appealing and attractive.1% from 2008 to 2013. Every Hidesign product is uniquely handcrafted. passport cases. the management witnesses 85% of sales from the stores. Da Milano: With the completion of 25 years of business. SALES & REVENUE Indian Fashion Industry The Indian retail market is witnessing a year on year growth of 6%. Hyderabad. Da Milano and Hidesign are two Indian fashion accessory brands that are taking complete advantage of this rapid growth. key chains. Da Milano today owns 48 stores across tier I and tier II cities including Delhi. Pune. jackets Women: Handbags. Rapid urbanisation. card holders. It also claims that its airport stores receive a majority of international customers and plans on opening stores in the Banglore and Chennai airports.Luggage: travel bags. folders. The share of apparel industry from this is a whopping 8% or USD 40 million. which would shoot the current market size of USD 490 billion to USD 865 billion by 2023. dual income earners and lifestyle changes have contributed to the overall growth of fashion industry and these factors are equally responsible for the growth of Indian leather handbag market. sunglasses. Chandigarh etc. The online sales of handbags have proved it right with an increasing trend growing at CAGR of 43. sunglasses. 135 Crores with following spilt: . The company’s annual revenue for the fiscal year 2015 stands at Rs. Though the company has an online presence in the cities that do not have a brick and motor store. wallets. wallets are made from vegetable tanned “classic” leather and the oil tanned smooth “ranch” leather. The company plans on increasing the count to 60 stores by the end of the year. Out of this 10 stores are operated by the company. computer bags. Men: Bags. wallets. There is no mass manufacture at Hidesign. An increase in the growth of e-commerce with the facilities of online shopping is also expected to contribute significantly to the growth of organised market in the coming five years. belts. jackets Luggage: Travel bags. shoes. Hidesign classic range of briefcases. shoes. trolleys Business gifts: folders. Handbag promises a rewarding opportunity for fashion accessory brands. computer bags. passport cases. and the great traditional skills of their craftsmen are encouraged to be perfected over years. stationary. trolleys Gifts: Diary. handbags. Amritsar. card holders. belts. key chains.

it has a distribution network in more than 20 countries. in a joint venture with the Kishore Biyani-led Future Group. The biggest revenue earner for the firm is its range of bags.97. Hidesign’s aesthetic focus has been on a classic contemporary look.72 crore in financial year 2014. sometimes as much as 50-60 percent. briefcases.7 crore over the same period. they also offer huge discounts. The company has three design teams based in Milan. Over the last few years. brands like Lavie. clutches. Baggit. Not only are these brands cheaper than Hidesign (which plays in the Rs 3. while its net profit has risen from Rs. which as a category earned Rs. .1 crore in fiscal year 2014.3 crore in financial year 2010 to Rs. Hidesign forayed into the luxury segment and launched its range of ‘Ciaschini’ bags named after Italian designer Alberto Ciaschini who joined Hidesign as lead designer in 2004. wallets and belts.4. Da Milano. laptop cases.Ladies’ handbags: 36% Men’s bags: 19% Travel bags: 18% Footwear: 13% Belts: 9% Other accessories: 6% Hidesign: Hidesign’s products are currently offered across over 60 exclusive retail stores. Hidesign has a classic range of products that have seen minimal change for thirty years and continue to garner customer appreciation. London and Puducherry that work together to create two new collections a year.000 price range). In 2012.2.11. Caprese. Lino Perros and Esbeda have come up and are dominating the space. a brand aimed at bringing distinct Indian design aesthetics to bags and accessories along with high production standards. in 2009. The Hidesign group also runs two hotels in Puducherry: The Promenade and Le Dupleix.7 crore to Rs.000-8. catering to the educated and sophisticated urban professional. Its leather collection includes handbags. Hidesign launched Holii. Hidesign has seen its revenues grow from Rs.68. during the sales season. Besides its seasonal collections. according to RoC data. Apart from the flagship brand.

The employees have higher level of motivation as the managers treat employees with respect. including pay and hours of work We approached the store associates and asked them to rate Hidesign on a scale of 10 based on their individual experience.STORE ASSOCIATES Level of Motivation. give clear direction and set priorities. 1) Safety provision inside the workshop 2) Employee counselling 3) The medical services 4) The recreational and other welfare facilities 5) Fringe benefits and supplementary items 6) The attitude of the executives and managers towards their subordinates. shows interest in employees' personal lives . . Knowledge And Friendliness We interacted with the employees working in store of Hidesign in Pondicherry and found following factors to be important for keeping up the morale of the employees. allow them to gain ownership of their jobs by being part of the decision making process . establish an employee recognition program. 7) Working conditions. We found that most of the employees rated Hidesign on the above factors from 7-10 indicating Hidesign provides a conducive environment for its employees. create a pleasant work environment .

there is a high probability of the product to stock out due to high demand. belts and shoes for both men and women. The employees are capable of handling a very sophisticated customer who is quite demanding. How frequently do they worry about excess inventory and what do they do about that. How frequently they stock out of hot products and what they do about it. In such a scenario. They were well versed in the location of each inquired item in the store.Hidesign offers a wide range of bags. the employees in the store give an accurate timeline as to when can the product be replenished. The mix of the merchandise in the airport stores is different as compared to regular retail stores. belts. The store managers indicated that if a particular designer bag is newly offered in store. The stock in the stores is mostly updated twice in a week. This helps to clear the shelves and warehouses to stock up newly designed products. The employees can in addition send an update about the availability of the product to customers. wallets. sunglasses. . they are in the process of introducing a special line of luggage and gifting collection. For travel retail stores. suitcases. The airport stores have more merchandise of travel bags. EXECUTION: How frequently can you not find what you are looking for? A wide range of products are available in the Hidesign store and the shelves are mostly occupied. we found that employees had an updated information and knowledge about each of the available products. the employees communicate an expected timeline when the product can be made available to the customers. in 30% of the cases when we cannot find the required product in the store. expected date of arrival if in case some product is not available and the relevant attributes of the products. How frequently do they receive deliveries? What responsibility do they have for ordering? Hidesign faces the issue of excess inventory and to curb the same it sell those products on discounts and on various offers. Such a scenario occurs twice to thrice a month when the demand for a specific product is high. The price points are same for airport stores and regular retail stores. When we enquired the employees about specific products and product lines. wallets and more stock of men’s collection. In approximately 70% of scenarios. The employees were friendly to us and with other customers in the store. The store associates ensure that customer satisfaction is prime. the product is available.

. Hidesign has expanded by capturing exclusive and strategic retail spaces across all major metros and airports across India. The penetration level of modern retail (currently 5%) will increase six-fold from the current 27 billion USD to 220 billion USD in 2020. They understand the growing demands of the consumer in various and upcoming regions of India. They looked at tourist places like Pondicherry. They related well to the values Hidesign stood for and understood their vegetable tanned leathers better. Tourists and NRIs were first target market. They were among the first niche category players to start retailing online in 2009. Goa before moving to the metros. the retail market in India was at a nascent stage and there were not enough distributors who understood the brand and vision of Hidesign. Factors driving the organised retail sector include the following: • Higher incomes driving the purchase of essential and nonessential products • Evolving consumption patterns of Indian customers • New technology and lifestyle trends creating replacement demand In 1999.3 trillion USD by 2020. The Indian retail sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15 to 20%. then another and realized what they had been missing out on all this time – customer interaction and feedback. they foray into new sets of customer base. And as they start various brand extensions like Luxury collection by Alberto Ciaschini and Hidesign Sunglasses.Customer shopping behaviour in Hidesign The current estimated value of the Indian retail sector is about 500 billion USD and is pegged to reach 1. the upwardly mobile and discerning in its taste. Cochin. Hidesign is now targeting smaller towns (tier-II and III cities) that display a growing consumer profile. Hidesign opened one shop.

and the solid brass Hidesign ‘bull’ logo embedded onto the teakwood floor are true to their ethos of custom-designed exclusive stores. It was found that customers prefer traditional colors – black. wooden display shelves. . maroon etc. STORE LAYOUT The store layout is always simple with clean lines. travel bags. Since leather is looked as a high quality possession. Guwahati etc. the fixtures of the store are hand-made in natural materials such as wood. Hidesign stores are mostly located in tourist locations like Pondicherry. cream and white. cross body bags. The location of these stores attract tourists from different parts of the world. such as briefcases and travel bags. However. brass and leather. messengers. as well as the new range of sunglasses.Hidesign is perceived as a high quality and high customer service retailer. stone. creating the fresh and unusual designs that the brand is recognised for. the store is highly perceived. in keeping with Hidesign’s signature look. At airports. brown. An extensive range of small leather goods is also available at the new Hidesign store. and briefcases for men. laptop bags. The brand showcases an extensive collection of bags ranging from handbags for women. including wallets and belts. considering the corporate nature of airports. The Hidesign store at Pondicherry has distinct features such as a teakwood cash counter with a solid wood canopy that touches the ceiling. they offer more products that are work-oriented. the collection is the same in every store. particularly international airports the crowd is from a diverse background and is essentially into sophisticated window shopping. Glowing custom-made solid brass display racks is merged with the trademark warm and cheerful colour scheme of brown. In Hidesign stores. Essentially.

Da Milano strives to design in line with aspiration styles that are trendy and in an array of colour.As per Malik. and uses quality leather that is a signature .

Da Milano executes in a customer centric business environment. . Stores are outlaid in a manner that the ambience speaks of the products and the service provides a symphony that makes the experience a sublime and which has utility for both men and women. the offerings are in line with seasonal requirements and the array is holistic. where ‘amiability’ both with products and service is the key.