Initially started with a brand image of young and perky, over the years Baggit has differentiated itself to retain the youthful strain and has also added a lot of style and design to its offerings giving it a wider audience appeal across genres. Design with functionality has always been at the core of our collections. Today, it is one of the most popular brands in the country, and has roped in Bollywood fashion icon Shraddha Kapoor as its brand ambassador.

Nina Lekhi

S&A interacted with the brand’s Founder, MD, Chief Design Curator Nina Lekhi recently. She informs us, “Our designs are our USP. Trendy designs, resilience and strength along with high functionality define our collections. Every collection caters to the fashion needs through an array of lifestyles.”

How Baggit has evolved over the years and how is it positioned today?
Baggit is now a 3-decade old homegrown brand. We’ve always kept in mind the requirements of our consumers along with a strong fashion quotient. Design with functionality has always been at the core of our collections.  Initially, Baggit started with a brand image of young and perky, but over the years it has differentiated itself to retain the youthful strain and has also added a lot of style and design to its offerings giving it a wider audience appeal across genres. From trade shows to fashion weeks and now our first TV campaign, we are on an exciting brand journey that still has so many milestones to achieve. We are today one of the most popular brands in the country, and have, now, launched our first TV campaign that has popular Bollywood fashion icon – Shraddha Kapoor as the brand ambassador, and also takes on the issue of #mansplaining. Fashion, we believe, can now be used to make a statement and we have chosen to take this conversation ahead, encouraging our audience to #PutItOnTheTable and make a statement.  

What elements best describe the brand’s DNA? How is it ensured that it is manifested in every product or collection?
We as a brand are experimentally unique. By that I mean, we endorse individuality, bold expressions, simple yet chic styles and foremostly freedom of expression. These are also recent social issues that have suddenly garnered major publicity. But we’ve always catered to these elements and have been wholeheartedly showcasing the same through our designs. Our designs are our USP. Trendy designs, resilience and strength along with high functionality define our collections. Every collection caters to the fashion needs through an array of lifestyles. And we are proud that we have successfully captured the essence of what a woman wants in a product to be able to present her personality through it.

Give us an overview of the brand’s product portfolio. What new diversification can we expect in the near future?
We’ve consistently experimented with designs that suit everyone’s taste. From chic and youthful to professional and crisp, we’ve successfully managed to manufacture accessories that cover all professions, palate and more importantly to be the primary answer to our valued consumers out there. Having said that, we are working on reaching out to a wider audience through newer avenues and keep adding to our customer base. A new collection is launched every month to keep the designs fresh and trendy. We’ve emphasized more on campaigns that are close to our hearts and also define women and their stand and sought to reach out to the teenage age group as they define fashion trends. We started with women’s handbags and have added so many more product variants to our portfolio under the same and also now house a robust men’s collection, wallets, belts, caps, multi-pockets like iPad, laptop and mobile covers and utility kits.

What retail and promotional strategy has the brand adopted to consolidate its position as well as to increase its footprint?
I still go on to the shop floor and interacts with the customers, playing the part to sell a bag and that helps me have feet on the ground and a finger on the pulse of the audience. Apart from all the information and research that different mediums and agencies provide us, I and the senior management team always give a lot of importance to the requirements of our customers. This has helped refine our design process. We also put equal emphasis on physical and online retail. Since online retail is huge in today’s business prospects, we’ve data extracted by a team of experts that help us in tracking crucial statistics. Other than that we keep a keen eye on discount and sale system in the market, season to season. Even though we don’t always give heavy discounts due to policy to maintain the premium aspect, we do keep reasonable prices to widen our consumer ratio. We have come up with campaigns in the past like #PlayTheLifeGame and our recent one #PutItOnTheTable with key messages that have resounded well with our customers.

As far as measures are concerned, we have created a strong foothold in the Indian market and on a timely basis amp up our in-house marketing and strategies. Per say, we’ve chalked down a 2-year expansion plan on the marketing front and we’re religiously coming up with newer ideas. Apart from that, we add a personal touch for our consumers to make them feel valued. For example, the addition of loyalty points, as a reward for all our loyal consumers, will be launched in this quarter. We ensure a genuine bond between our brand and our customer and we make sure our customers feel valued and appreciated.

Who is an ideal Baggit customer and where are they mainly concentrated?
Baggit has always strived to garner the attention of every potential customer out there, be it a working woman, college going teen or a homemaker. The younger lot is more tuned to the latest trends and plays a vital role in the changing fashion scenario every now and then. So we pay close attention to their needs but as said earlier, we’ve never made products to suit a particular lot of people. It fits everywhere, aesthetically. We have showcased our products across all metro cities in India and are planning to take over tier 2 and tier 3 cities since we want to reach out to as many people as possible and give them a good taste of premium brand at reasonable prices.

In what new regions of the Indian market can we expect more of the brand’s presence?
Baggit is present at almost 1000 doors – Exclusive Business Outlets, Large format stores and Trade Outlets put together. We are looking at an increased penetration in the Tier II and Tier III markets and also on online platforms, with omni channel being the focus.

What are some of the challenges you encounter in the Indian market?
The Indian market is huge. We’ve not only come across brands that sell extremely cheap products but also the ones that give away heavy discounts causing heavy competition. With so many campaigns, advanced tech gurus associating with brands and vast marketing gimmicks, Baggit has held the customer’s attention with authentic designs and genuine products. While other brands are growing extensively, so is Baggit. We have and are consistently coming up ideas to increase reach, spread awareness and provide consumers with standout premium products with varied ranges.We recently launched a meaningful campaign #PutItOnTheTable, focusing on gender equality and self expression.

What measures would you like to see in place to ensure brands like yours can thrive?
Over the years, we have seen a lot of changes in the market and have developed our own processes to spot possible trends and game changers and ride the trend or wade a crisis. The raw material costs are going up year on year along with the real estate costs. We try to work with the concerned authorities and partners to bring the costs down, wherever possible and give space to all the players to grow and try converting unorganized market to organized market.

How much growth do you expect in the segment during the next five years and where do you see Baggit in it?
Retail Industry will contribute largely in the nation’s GDP in the coming years. With the involvement of technology, especially the introduction of AI, the industry will grow manifold. The industry is going to cross levels of excellence and smart innovation and we’ll have to keep up with it. In the coming years, we are planning to expand vigorously on the online front. Digital platforms are essential for a business’ growth and we are devising a plan to merge physical and digital retail perfectly and in accordance.

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