Souchii began its retail journey on December 25, 2007 from a small store in Total Mall, Madiwala, Bangalore. The store initially became the milestone, which marked the success of the entrepreneurial journey of Pamela Anand, who had left her corporate job and a handsome salary behind to start a brand of her own. She felt that there was a dearth of fashion brands catering to the needs of the ethnic wear market for working-class women in South and East India and thus conceived the brand to come up with an apparel line sporting latest trends. Her hard work has resulted in the brand having over 150 counters in South and East India including 7 EBOs and shop-in-shops (SIS) in Reliance Trends stores pan India.
Journey & Challenges
The most prominent challenge for Pamela was to put together a competent team and turn the concept of Souchii into reality. She rented a small space, contacted tailors and started Souchii. Her business grew by word of mouth and in the space of six months, she launched her first store. So successful was the store that she ran out of stock due to bumper sales at the launch. With this success, she looked for expansion and opened a second store in the next six months.
“The first year of the brand was a tough one as the brand was growing. From the second year, our profit margin started to grow, and it was in the third year when we started to make a good amount of profit,” states Pamela Anand, Founder, Souchii.Opening SIS in Reliance Trends was another landmark for Souchii, as it was experimenting with retail formats. The brand was honoured with the IMAGES Most Admired Retailer of the Year (South India): Fashion & Lifestyle – Regional Operations for rapid Shop-in-Shop expansion in FY18.
Currently, Souchii has a clear strategy to open 10 stores per year. Pamela wants her customers to keep coming back and hence quality matters more than quantity to her.
“For me, brand trust was more important than anything else and we have managed to develop that with customers today paying for our products in advance. Our USP is growth by ‘word of mouth’. We do not believe in advertising and have grown to 150 counters only by word of mouth. As of now, we are planning expansion only in South India and to some extent in East India. In Bhubaneswar we have signed up with the two malls which are coming up by 2020, and in Kolkata, we are looking at properties to open stores,” she explains.
Souchii Money & Customer Loyalty
In its 10 years of existence, Souchii has established substantial loyalty. Data analytics suggest a recency close to 70 percent for Souchii, which is higher than the industry standard for similar fashion brands. Souchii is also known for one of the lowest staff attrition rates – an average less than 2 percent – thanks to its incentive and bonus policies. The brand has production houses in Bangalore and Jaipur, with whose help it has managed to capture 80 percent of the entire South Indian women’s ethnic wear market. As far as visual merchandising is concerned, Souchii stores are known for their ethnic looks and lighting to ensure customers enjoy the ambience and the products.
“Customer centricity is very important for us. We maintain a database of customer phone numbers when they visit us. We also give additional discounts and gift vouchers in form of ‘Souchii Money’ to customers who are regular buyers,” concludes Pamela.