The brand Raymond has an enviable and very rich legacy of over 90 years. It is amongst the very few iconic Indian brands with 100 per cent customer awareness and over 50 per cent brand preference. One of the biggest assets of Raymond is its retail arm of “The Raymond Shop” (TRS).
Currently, the brand has 717 stores in 393 towns across India, of these 657 are franchised stores. “We have with us over 400 franchises network which run these stores successfully across the country,” shares Mohit Dhanjal, Director – Retail, Raymond Limited. The Raymond Shop was conceptualized in 1958 with the first company store at Ballard Estate in Mumbai. Thereafter, the brand initiated with the franchise run – The Raymond Shop from the early 70s to spread its presence across the country. “The Raymond Shop helps deliver a brand identity from a close proximity to all our customers in a very engaging and experiential way,” informs Dhanjal.
The success and legacy of the brand can be attributed to the strong leadership of stakeholders and loyal business partners including 400 franchisees. “Amongst our franchisees, we have over 200 franchisees as part of our third generation franchisee who now have taken over the reins of the franchise outlets from their parents and are successfully running the store business,” informs Dhanjal. Its partnership with franchisees is driven by transparency and ethics in business dealings, trust and respect is foundation of Raymond. In fact heart of its franchise model is based on ‘entrepreneurship’ where franchisees’ entrepreneurial spirit is tapped for exponential growth through impeccable last mile service delivery.
Raymond’s well-structured retail operation team constantly monitors the store performance along with key trends and opportunities. It conducts a lot of training programs on various subjects pertinent to modern retail like product training, customer relationship management, staff development, visual merchandising, operations, etc. These training programs equip them to face the challenges of modern retail and enhances the customer experience which in turn translates into sales performance. It has a structured communication calendar which helps generate sustained footfalls in the store. Raymond has a robust feedback experience, which has resulted in co-creating lots of key initiatives.
The Raymond Shop, Poddar Court was started by Nandkishor Pansari, with MBO business around 45 years back. They opened their first store of the network in Poddar Court in August’87 in a 2000 sq. ft area on the ground floor and an annual turnover of less than 1 crore. Last financial year, they closed at more than Rs 29 crore. With the astounding success, Nandkishor is now working on aggressive plan for expanding his number of retail stores to whooping 33.
(This article was first published in the January issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)