Fashion jewellery brand Voylla enters franchise business


Fashion jewellery brand Voylla has entered the franchise business after opening 100 company-owned stores in December 2016. The company’s debut franchise store has opened in Ludhiana.

Voylla’s franchises will spread across the country in the coming financial year.
Vishwas Shringi, CEO, Voylla said, “The main aim of entering the franchise business is to expand our operations and business all over the country. These franchise stores will be self-sustained and will also provide good returns on investment to the franchise owners. We plan to open a hundred more franchise outlets in next five years.
Voylla retails its collections online through and on marketplaces like Flipkart, Amazon and Myntra.
The startup opened its first store in Delhi in December 2015. In October 2015, Voylla raised $15 million from the private equity firm Peepul capital. It raised two rounds of funds in 2012 and 2013 by Snow Leopard Technology Ventures.

Source: TOI

Paper Boat to sail deeper into dairy-based beverages, ethnic snacks this summer


Paper Boat thandai

After striking a different note for its ethnic drinks under the Paper Boat brand, Hector Beverages is now gearing up to scale up its presence in the dairy-based beverages segment, with thandai and spiced buttermilk.

The company had test-piloted thandai last year in Delhi-NCR. Thandai, a beverage closely associated with the festival of Holi in North India, is yet another attempt by the company to launch seasonal drinks to tap into “appointment drinking” consumption. In the past, it has launched sharbat during Ramzan and panakam during Ram Navami in the South.

“We saw very good response for thandai last year. So this year, we have significantly scaled it up. It will be available in modern trade outlets and other key retail outlets in Delhi, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh for the Holi season (March),” said Parvesh Debuka, Marketing Head, Hector Beverages. To cater to consumers beyond North India, it has also exclusively tied up with Amazon to sell thandai, especially in multi-pack formats.

“We aim to make thandai our top-selling beverage in February and March. We are trying to create a new category of “ready-to-drink thandai,” Debuka said.

The drink is being made at the company’s Mysuru plant, where the firm has developed capabilities to make dairy-based beverages. Hector Beverages’ attempts to grow its portfolio by adding dairy-based beverages are not just limited to thandai. It has been trying its hand with spiced buttermilk, neer more, in Tamil Nadu.

Debuka said the company will now look to expand the distribution of its spiced buttermilk offering in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh this summer.

Ethnic snacks

On the company’s foray into ethnic snacks last month, he said: “We have been pleasantly surprised with the consumer response to our ethnic snacks offering — chikki. We are selling chikki in select markets, such as Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We are now looking at how we can scale this up.”

The company is likely to expand its ethnic snacks segment, too, with products such as aam papad.

Meanwhile, this summer, the company will launch one-litre packs of its beverages such as aam ras and aam panna. Paper Boat has largely been selling its drinks in single-serve 200 ml packs, and launched 500 ml packs late last year.

“Multi-serve packs will help us strengthen presence in modern trade stores and the e-commerce channel,” Debuka added.

Source : TheHinduBusinessLine

Pepperfry to expand offline presence as online sales slow

The move will help Pepperfry increase its visibility as well as beat a slowdown in online sales, says co-founder and CEO Ambarish Murty

Pepperfry’s stores essentially serve as experience centres where prospective buyers can touch and feel a part of the assortment on Pepperfry as well as get home design consultation for free. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Pepperfry’s stores essentially serve as experience centres where prospective buyers can touch and feel a part of the assortment on Pepperfry as well as get home design consultation for free. Photo: Ramesh Pathania/Mint

Bengaluru:Online furniture store Pepperfry is gearing up to expand its offline presence by launching a number of brick-and-mortar outlets over the next 12 months, following a similar push by rival Urban Ladder, which plans to launch its own experience centres and is on course to widen its offline distribution channels.

The move will help Pepperfry increase its visibility as well as beat a slowdown in online sales, said co-founder and CEO Ambarish Murty.

Online retailers witnessed moderate growth last year as they brought down discounts and marketing spends, somewhat constrained by a slowdown in funding as well as some government directives that barred them from influencing prices of products or focusing on a handful of sellers for a majority of sales.

According to a January study by RedSeer Management Consulting Pvt. Ltd, online retailers clocked about $58 billion in gross sales last year as against about $51 billion a year earlier, an increase of 13.7%.

Moreover, sales fell from $14 billion in the March quarter to about $13 billion each in the June and September quarters, before swelling to about $18 billion in the December quarter. This is in sharp contrast to 2015, when sales grew 17-27% every quarter.

“We realized last year that the rate of growth for online customers was stagnating. A lot of that was driven by fundamental macroeconomic shifts, driven by an orientation that the companies had to improve their financial architecture. Hence, spends on top line were lower last year. At that time, it was our duty as a business to create multiple other interfaces to connect with the business,” said Murty.

Pepperfry, owned by Trendsutra Platform Services Pvt. Ltd, will invest about $6 million this year to increase its store count from 14 currently in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune to about 50 by December in several new cities including Ahmedabad, Kochi, Chandigarh and Lucknow, he said.

To be sure, Pepperfry, which opened its first offline store in Mumbai in 2014, does not sell directly from these stores. They essentially serve as experience centres where prospective buyers can touch and feel a part of the assortment on Pepperfry as well as get home design consultation for free.

“About 17% of the customers who have bought on Pepperfry in the last one month would have gone to a Pepperfry studio in the 60-day period prior to the purchase,” said Murty.

According to industry experts, adopting an omni-channel strategy—where businesses have both offline and online presence—is immensely important, especially for a category like furniture which is not standardized and has high average order value. Besides, in the Indian market, where online sales is still evolving, an offline presence is part of the brand-building exercise.

“Omni-channel is the way forward. Whatever apprehension was there with large furniture, which are high value, will go away with offline stores. Once consumers touch and feel and see, they get a certain level of comfort with the brand. Secondly, an offline presence will reinforce a company’s brand value. Otherwise, they will be viewed as a start-up. In India, everything with an online presence is being viewed as a start-up. Offline presence demystifies this start-up stamp on a company,” said Sreedhar Prasad, partner, e-commerce and start-ups at KPMG India.

Pepperfry’s nearest competitor, Urban Ladder, has launched a new brand identity and is on course to widen offline distribution channels beyond company-owned centres. It plans to launch at least three experience centres in Bengaluru, and is exploring partnerships with large format retail stores.

Urban Ladder also has its eye on local furniture stores, where it might take the assisted commerce route through kiosks displaying the Urban Ladder catalogue. It will also explore partnerships with paints and white goods appliances brands among others, which may involve cross-selling, Mint reported on 26 October.

To be sure, the likes of lingerie start-up Zivame, eyewear e-tailer Lenskart and babycare store Firstcry have already set up a large number of brick-and-mortar stores, while online fashion store Myntra is on course to open one in Bengaluru.

Source : Livemint 

Karan Johar confirms the third franchise of ‘Dulhania’ with Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt


Recently the trailer of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt starrer ‘Badrinath ki Dulhania’ was out and needless to mention, it garnered praises from audiences and all our excitement paid off well. This movie is the second installment of the 2014 hit movie ‘Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania‘ which saw the same lead pair and was an out and out entertainer. The trailer for the second installment of the franchise was launched on February 2, and at the trailer launch, producer Karan Johar confirmed that there will be a third installment of the ‘Dulhaniya’ series and like its prequels, it too will star the superhit pair of Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt and will be directed by Shashank Khaitan.

At the film’s trailer launch in Mumbai, in the presence of their mentor Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan’s chemistry was on point as always. Alia Bhatt looked lovely in a traditional red number and Varun Dhawan looked dapper sporting a kurta and Nehru jacket. This is the duo’s third movie together after their debut in Student of the Year and Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania. At the film’s trailer launch, director Shashank Khaitan spoke to and said that though he doesn’t have a script yet for the third film of the ‘Dulhania’ franchise, but it is surely going to happen.

Speaking about Alia as a bride, Varun Dhawan said, “I think Alia will make a good bahu as she is good with parents.” However, when Alia jokingly asked him if she will make for a good wife, Varun said, “I can’t say.”

Talking about his character, Varun said, “I’m very nervous. It feels like my first film. Badri is a very special character. I consumed a lot of alcohol during the film. This film has been more emotional than other films of mine.” Alia too talked about her character in the film, as she said, “Vaidehi (her character in the film) is not a shy girl at all. She’s domesticated, she’ll make for a good bahu, like Varun mentioned earlier, but she’s not shy at all – she’s very outspoken.” Of course, Alia had another important point to make as she added, “I’m the intelligent one in the film.”

On being asked why his character is named Badrinath, Varun revealed that he loved his on-screen name as it holds a significant place in his real life. Turns out, his best friend calls him ‘Badri’ as an abbreviation of ‘brother’.



Hong Kong Startup Game Changer For Sending Money Abroad – Forbes

A woman walks past a board listing foreign currency rates. (VASILY MAXIMOV/AFP/Getty Images) Traditional money transfer agents, banks and point-to-point local remittance providers have long gouged customers every time they ‘wired’ funds overseas. But the currency exchange and remittance business is undergoing disruption as fintech startups such as TransferWise’s popularity in […]

Source: Hong Kong Startup Game Changer For Sending Money Abroad – Forbes