Adesh Gupta

Liberty Shoes has been in the footwear business for ages, always looking to diversify its current product base. The group’s CEO Adesh Gupta says the company settled on making inroads into lifestyle. In an exclusive interview with S&A, the CEO explains, “After a lot of research, we finally zeroed down on perfumes because the fragrance segment currently occupies 5 per cent share of the total lifestyle market in India giving us a huge window for growth. The need for personal grooming has slowly increased and inched its way into the minds of milenials as a need more than a luxury.”

What motivated Liberty to enter the perfume market? 

We have been in the footwear business for ages; looking to diversify our current product base we settled on making inroads into lifestyle. After a lot of research, we finally zeroed down on perfumes because the fragrance segment currently occupies 5 per cent share of the total lifestyle market in India giving us a huge window for growth. The need for personal grooming has slowly increased and inched its way into the minds of millenials as a need more than a luxury. Taking impetus from the ever increasing demand for personal grooming and the demand for youth oriented and exotic fragrances is on the rise. Growing population, urbanization, higher spending capacity and product diversification by manufacturers are some of the other major factors that are stepping up the demand for perfumes worldwide. Since we have been in the footwear business for a long time we thought it’s time we offer final touches to one’s outfit and what better than launching a nice perfume range to complete someone’s look. The aim was always very clear, we would be targeting the Gen Z and millenials of the country and what better way than to enter into the fragrance industry! We aim to establish the brand as the most preferred and recognized luxury perfume brands by 2020.

What makes the range different from those in the competition?

It is a no lesser known fact that French perfumes are considered the finest in the world and thus Liberty Lifestyle chose only the best French perfumers to help  marry notes perfectly, keeping India’s weather conditions in mind, a global look and feel has been given to each bottle and are launched at a price fitting consumers’ budget. Inspired by its unconventional spirit to live free, the new line encapsulates the idea of breaking free from the shackles of the stereotypical thought process and inspiring people to adopt the Scent of Freedom. We have liaised with Firmenich, an eminent perfume house in France In India, we have tied-up with Arora from Sacheerome, to help us get the best quality perfumes.

Who are your target consumers? Where are mainly confined?

We are definitely targeting the millennial and GenZ. Our key target consumer is well-travelled, experienced yet rooted to Indian values, he is self-made and someone wants to lead a good and comfortable life, a millennial who leads life on his own terms yet appreciates the mix of old and new world. Therefore a lot of thought needs to go in the pricing and design of the perfumes, careful thought needs to go in on the price points. Similarly, design plays a crucial role, it is important that the bottle speaks of the scent contained inside it, that is why a lot of care needs to be put into creating the bottles to the perfume notes are created with an aim to appeal to young millennial and Gen Z.

Give us an overview of the product range and your retail strategy for the range.

At liberty lifestyle we wanted to create unique scents which were crafted especially for Indians, from opulent florals to off-beat ouds, we created a collection that is sure to get one noticed when you walk past someone, be it at work or at play. The new Eau de Perfume range consists of twelve fragrances, with names like Flirt, Eden, Bloom, Bliss, Dream, Dusk for women and OUDGold, Legend, Passion, Marine, Rebel, Impulse for men along with an aftershave named Marine. The entire range is priced between INR 1499 and INR 2499. Below are the notes for some of the perfumes: 

OUD Gold: A luxurious Arabian opulence, is now recreated in modern world. The perfume brings in the scent of exotic musk, with the richness of amber, velvet and gold, and the feeling of being transported in a world of grandeur and glamour. Priced at INR 2499.

Top Note: Rich, creamy and sweet ambery notes

Middle Note: Deep florals with sweet, spicy, notes

Base Note: Exotic musk with long lasting woody notes

Marine: Feel the fresh sea breeze caress your skin as you surf, yacht or just lie on the beach. The youthful, marine notes of the perfume bring in a feeling of bracing freshness of citrus and mint and exhilaration of violet and Cedarwood. Priced at INR 1499. 

Top Note: Fresh notes green citrus, lavender, rosemary, mint leaf

Middle Note: quatic with diverse floral notes of violet and iris

Base Note: Cedar wood, sandalwood, earthy exotic musk tune with fine amber

Passion: A sporty, masculine blend of strong, and deep desire and heartfelt, lifelong commitment. It is a fragrance that is at once spicy and sparkling, earthy and light, redolent of freshness, with a bit of the forest and sun mixed into this different blend. Priced at INR 2199.

Top Note: Sparkling grapefruit, Blend of Aromatic Spices, Marine Freshness.

Middle Note: Floral Jasmine, White Musk, a Heart of Earthy Patchouli and Guaic Wood

Base Note: Amber, Oakmoss, Balsam, Tonka

Eden: Welcome to a delicious the world of temptation, of fruity sweetness, of a world that smells like heaven. Treat yourself to a blend of orchard-fresh orange, tangerine, pear, mixed a little with apple and caramel, and the powdery freshness of vanilla and cedarwood. Priced at INR 2199

Top Note: Bergamot, lemon, orange, tangerine

Middle Note: Apple, peach, jasmine, rose, strawberry

Base Note: Caramel, cashmeran, vanilla, musk, cedarwood

Flirt: A fragrance that’s lively, teasing, coquettish and oriental with a heart of tenderness and beauty. It is for those who live for the lighter moments, who want to drink to the brim every willful moment of existence. So, dip into almond and coffee, mixed with tuberose, tonka bean, vanilla and musk. Priced at INR 2199

Top Note: Almond, Coffee, Orange Blossom

Middle Note: Jasmine, Tuberose, Rose

Base Note: Tonka Bean, Vanilla, Cacao, Musk

One must understand consumer behavior and buying patterns that help any brand get into the right distribution channels. For the perfume industry it is very important to have a multichannel approach and that is why having an online presence with e-commerce websites and have EBO and MBO outlets across the country is crucial for the overall strategy. Liberty Lifestyle perfumes are already available in select Liberty stores across the country and will soon be available at multi brand stores. In the online space, they are available on Nykaa, Purplle, Amazon, Flipkart and Infibeam. Most recently, we have opened two kioks at Logix Mall, Noida and Promenade Mall, Vasant Kunj and are looking to expand further through exclusive outlets.

Given that the market is dominated by established global players, what challenges do you see and what strategy do you have in place to overcome?

The Indian Market is vastly different in terms of spending power, demographics and cultural norms, as compared to the perfume market abroad. The perfume industry is a great revenue generating category and with the growing need for looking good, smelling good has become an important part of every millennial life. Taking impetus from this, most businesses are now venturing into the perfume industry because it has grown manifolds in the past few years. Our primary objective is to create new behaviour in the average Indian customer – Make perfume a necessity rather than an option, and grow our brand from there.

Some of the important point, on which we focused upon are:

Imagined in India, Crafted in France:  Keeping in mind the influence that the global players have in the country, creating scents that are at par with the global perfumes was very important and that is why we partnered with the most eminent perfume houses- Firmenich, in France and Sacheerome in India to help us create the right fragrances. Imagined in India and Crafted in France, all our scents were created keeping in mind the Indian wedding conditions.  Varied ingredients were integrated to create this new range. Blended spices, white flowers, ouds with coffee, gourmet notes and fruity tones to project the right mood of the brand and bring out the true Indian essence with a contemporary mix.

Design and Packaging: We at Liberty Lifestyle understand that design plays a crucial role, it is important that the bottle speaks of the scent contained inside it, that is why a lot of care needs to be put into creating the bottles to the perfume notes. A global look and feel has been given to each bottle, ensuring that it attracts the eye of the consumers.

Premium Affordable Luxury: Liberty Lifestyle perfumes give everything that any global perfume has without burning a hole in the pocket. The best perfumers in the industry were chosen to create the most iconic range of fine fragrances which cater to the millennial and are at par with the global perfume market.

Quality: Looking at building an ecosystem for a long term sustenance, is very important and that is why the brand is looking at technical partnerships for the final product. It plans to market the product sufficiently to ensure it reaches its consumers and to use R&D capabilities to ensure quality products are being delivered to consumers.

What is the growth projection for the range? 

The perfume industry is a great revenue generating category and with the growing need for looking good, smelling good has become an important part of every millennials life, taking impetus from this, most businesses are now venturing into the perfume industry because it has grown manifolds in the past few years. Perfumes are just the beginning for us and we are also looking at expanding our product portfolio by the end of the year. Liberty Lifestyle aims to sell 100000 bottles and establish the brand as the most preferred and recognized luxury perfume brands by 2020.

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