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John Bissell, founder of Fabindia Worked as a buyer in Macys New York Discovered Indian handicrafts and other products

in 1958 on a visit to India Saw a lot of talent and skill but no market knowledge or access to consumers Experience in retail helped him see an entrepreneurial opportunity Established Fabindia in 1960

Incorporated in 1960 as an export house in Delhi In 1965, moved out of John Bissells house to an office Primarily exporting rugs and home furnishing to western markets In 1976, opened Fabindias first retail store in Greater Kailash and Fabindia Overseas Private Limited came into existence In 1977, started incorporating contemporary designs in its products In 1980 ,ventured into ready to wear garments

In 1992, Fabindias main export customer, Habitat, in UK was acquired by IKEA leading to the cancellation of their contract In 1994, Fabindia opened a second retail store in Delhi Troubled times for Fabindia In 1999, William Bissell became managing director of Fabindia

Mission: To provide work and employment to Indian skilled rural artisans, protect traditional weaving and printing skills Fabindia believes in Inclusive Capitalism. The suppliers of Fabindia have grown with the growth of the company

Deregulation of Indian Economy Passing away of John Bissell; William Bissell,32, becomes the MD of Fabindia Adopts a retail strategy in the 1990s Changing consumption patterns owing to increasing disposable income 2003, Vision Plan 1- expand from Rs 360 million to Rs 1 billion in 4 years; achieved in 2 years Revenue of Rs 2 billion achieved by Mar 2007 Employee strength of 650 employees

Area between 500 and 8000 sq ft in area Premium: Wide range of products & significant proportion of their inventory consisted of high end items Regular: Like premium stores in the range of products but not in proportion of high-end products stocked Concept: Test stores in new markets with fewer stock keeping units Online platform catering to 33 countries

Entrepreneurial store managers Store manager is allotted a budget to order goods and meet operational expenses Central online catalogue to order more stock Difference between premium and regular products for Premium and Regular stores Mystery shopper to evaluate quality of service Store managers/ staff sent on field visits to supplying weavers and for training programs 155,000 SKUs- not all SKUs in all stores

Historical buildings chosen for stores Company owned/ leased stores not necessarily located in the CBD Natural materials used for the furniture and shelves inside the store Store Personnel wear clothes than match the Fabindia ideology or Fabindia uniform Best Indian Retail Award in 2005/2006 by The Economic Times No money spent on ads

Garments- Women's wear mens wear, Accessories, Infants, kids, teens wear, Maternity wear Home Furnishings- Upholstery & curtains, Bed linens, Table & bath linens + floor coverings, Furniture, lighting, home accessories Western model of off-the-shelf furnishings Wooden/ Metal Furniture Timber sourced from sustainably farmed plantations Body care- Body wash, Shampoo, Soap Organics- Cereal, Honey, Preserves, Jams, Relishes, Coffee Organic products sourced from regions practicing agriculture without chemical fertilisers


HOME FURNISHINGS Upholstery and Women's wear Body Wash Cereal Curtains(30%) Indian (30%) Bed Linens(30%) Shampoo Honey Table and Bath Linens+ Floor Western(20%) Soap Preserves Coverings(20%) Furniture, Lighting, Home Men's wear(28%) Jams Accessories(20%) Accessories(15%) Relishes Infants, Kids, Coffee teens(7%) Maternity Wear


Two levels of suppliers- weavers/ artisans and fabricators Designers work closely with the weaversspecify the fabric weave, colour , print New suppliers only through referrals from existing suppliers Arrangement of working capital loans for suppliers from local banks No written contracts as most of their suppliers are rural and uneducated

No restriction on who the suppliers can sell their goods to Collaborative relationship with suppliers Weavers send their fabrics in rolls known as thaans-checked for quality and then supplied to fabricators No consignment is returned back to suppliers for quality issues Central warehouse in Delhi has bins stocking inventory for particular stores

20,000 of weavers are shareholders of subsidiary companies Weavers hold 51% in about 35 companies in different states Shares traded once in six months through Fabindia's own share trading system Company is looking at organising and aggregating the handloom weaving community into a corporatised structure Artisans Micro Finance William and John Bissell established "The Fabindia School" in 1992 in Bali, in Pali district of Rajasthan

Let's not think of an irregular weave or print as a defect... Handloom by definition means a glorious uncertainty when it comes to uniformity -William Bissell

Rs 8.6 billion from 200 stores Increase same store sales Wider assortment of products- premium series of products, organic products to fresh produce, dairy and baked goods Open separate organic and fresh produce products stores Mill woven fabric as a base

Organized Retail: Retail Stores (Shoppers Stop, Pantaloons, Globus, etc.)

Weaknesses:1. Product diversity lacking 2. Stock as per running trends and serve to fads-inconsistency towards churning out quality offerings in handicrafts

Strengths:1. Strong Pan-India presence and awareness 2. Man-power expertise

3. Competitive Pricing
4. Robust supply chains and short product development life cycles 5. High marketing communications spend

3. Authenticity of handcrafts-No
craftsmark present to validate the crafts as against the Fabindia offerings which have the same imprinted on them

$16 billion apparel industry Competition from other companies like Tata, Reliance, Pantaloons, ITC, Anokhi, Mother Earth, several small players Home Furnishing- Rs 18 billion industry with 25% annual growth SKumar's, and several foreign companies eyeing the home furnishing segment Organics market of 3 million potential customersattracting Companies like Godrej and Pantaloons Increased strain on resources- financial and operational Spiraling land rates in major cities Personnel hiring challenges

Comprehensive Location Analysis for new stores in future different from the current system Adopt franchising model for faster expansion Subtle marketing activities like Loyalty programs and customer referral programs Comprehensive catalog of products for consumers as all SKUs not available in all stores Take a leaf out of Whole Foods chain of stores in USA to address the employee hiring challenges Storyline for certain products Giving details pertaining to source, process and activity involved Make the customer realise the intrinsic value than the imposed value of other brands