TONIQ RETAIL BRANDS: The Bro-Sis Duo who changed the face of Fashion Industry
The world of fashion and glitterati witnessed a renaissance when the power brother-sister duo Sohel Lalvani and Sonali Lalvani set foot into the arena with their very own, first of its kind fashion retail brand, ToniQ. Back in 2010, when Sohel Lalvani, fresh out of living off the high- street fashion abroad, came in close quarters with the Indian fashion scenario, it struck him as nothing less than lightning from the blue.
Well, perhaps not that melodramatic, but you get the idea. Having felt the pulse and the potential of this industry, he tapped into the experiences he had gained over the years in the fashion accessories industry. As he mentions, planning and thorough research into consumption patterns, what works and what doesn’t, clubbed with a flair for creativity and craftsmanship, is what got the company to the place it is today.
Aligning the ever-evolving consumer preferences and panning out four brands namely ToniQ, Pulse, Bro Code and Fida, Sohel Lalvani and Sonali Lalvani have forever changed the face of fashion accessories industry. Here are some of the excerpts from a very interactive session we had with the fashion Czar, Sohel Lalvani.
Chirpy Birdy: What is the story behind Toniq Retail Brands?
Sohel : ToniQ Retail Brands was formed with a vision to offer consumers more than just a product. We seek to offer the fashion savvy Indian consumers, an avenue where they can get fashion at par with global standards. Having established 4 individual brands that cater to a different target audience each, we seek to become the go-to brand for the fashion conscious Indian in the accessories segment.
Chirpy Birdy: How big is the accessories market and what is its forecast?
Sohel: The Indian retail market is expected to grow at CAGR of 13 percent to reach USD 1080 billion in 2020 with current market size of USD 585 billion. The market is largely dominated by unorganized players. Further, it is estimated that organized retail contributes only 16 percent to the bags, belts and wallets markets.
Chirpy Birdy: What are your products ranges for different categories of customers?
Sohel: Each of our four brands – Toniq Accessories, Fida Jewelry, Pulse, and The Bro Code – were formed keeping in view the different consumer segment that it caters to.
- Toniq Accessories offers global trends in Fashion jewellery such as necklaces, rings, hair accessories as well as Handbags to the fashion savvy modern Indian girl.
- Fida is our line of exquisite, handcrafted Indian ethnic jewelry.
- The Bro Code offers men’s accessories such as Ties, Cufflinks, Lapel Pins and much more to the fashion conscious 21 st century gentleman.
- Pulse is the entry market level accessories brand that aims to target younger women and those across tier two and three towns.
Chirpy Birdy: What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Sohel: As a company, what sets us apart is how we stay on top of our game by planning ahead. Thorough research of trends and an eye on the changing business scenario, combined with high business expertise, lets us stay ahead of the competition.
Through our 4 accessories brands, we cater to different segments of the market, allowing us to focus on each. Individually, each brand follows a separate strategy that suits its identity.
Chirpy Birdy: What were the challenges that you faced early on in the business and are there any now?
Sohel: For an industry which is largely dominated by unorganized players, the initial challenge was consumer conversion. Over time, with our quality products and trendy offerings, we have managed to garner a loyal base of consumers.
Challenges are the most exciting part of running any business. It lets us know how far ahead of the game we are. Recent economic changes have certainly had an impact on the fashion accessories segment, but we are working with renewed vigor to face this new challenge.
Chirpy Birdy: What are your future plans?
Sohel: We aim to establish each of our brands as the go-to accessories destination in India.
Along with growing point of sales, we also seek to add many more categories within our offerings.
Chirpy Birdy: What is keeping you motivated to continue this line of business?
Sohel: We began with a vision to create brands that are distinguished for the high fashion and value they offer to the customer. It is this vision along with the great customer support that we have today, that keeps us motivated to surge on.
Chirpy Birdy: We would love to know about your expansion plans for next 3 years
Sohel: We are looking at increasing our point of sales, within emerging MBO’s. We are also looking at newer markets. North East India, for instance has a huge potential for the fashion category, so do tier two and three towns in India. Our goal will be to expand to those cities as well. We will also be looking at identifying pop-ups at prominent malls across the country where we can showcase our offerings.
Now one must wonder what it takes to have that kind of jubilance in what one does. Well, taking a cue from Sohel Lalvani, the answer is a solid PASSION & PLANNING. We can only imagine the kind of push the young, brilliant entrepreneur must have exerted in the first few years to finally have the Indian consumers gleam at the kind of products they have forever wanted. Was the road easy? No way. But it was definitely worth it, for the founding duo came out with a trail of happy customers and flying colors at the other end.