A fruitful future of “VIP”, Radhika Piramal, Managing Director, VIP industries, joined her 50-year-old family business in 2010. Since she took over charge, the company has grown well, primarily due to their excellent products, visible ad campaigns and new stores located in the high streets and malls.
At present, VIP and Skybags are two of their largest brands, selling in range of soft-side and hard-side luggage, along with backpacks and duffel bags. “Business conversation was always part of our family life. New developments and sales interested me from a very young age,” says Piramal. Prior to this Radhika worked for DGP Securities Ltd, Bain & Company in New York. Encouraged by her father Dillip Piramal, Radhika has made VIP Industries as the current market leader in luggage and backpacks in India, beating international competition.
Having launched Skybags, bold and fun designs, Caprese ladies - handbag range and Carlton, premium luggage for the young business traveller, VIP today is one of the few Indian consumer brands that has continuously maintained its market leadership for the last 50 years “Our multinational competitors have been in India for 20 years, but India is the only country where they have not been able to dislodge the local incumbent. We are proud to be that company,” she says.
Radhika is of the view that, with Rs 1,300 crore as the annual revenue along with EBITDA margin of 10 per cent, the luggage industry is relatively small compared to other consumer goods, as VIP’s products last for years. Piramal claims, “We have a portfolio of brands for every consumer segment. Our premium offering is Carlton, aimed at the new face of business, perfect for entrepreneurs who need excellence and want to make an impact in every business meeting. VIP is our flagship brand which has the highest trust and recall amongst consumers. Skybags is the fastest growing brands, very popular amongst youth due to its attractive designs.” Meanwhile, Aristocrat and Alfa are value oriented brands and Caprese offers Italian styled handbags.
VIP’s core brand values have been quality and trust, so Radhika too has pleasantly maintained company’s status in a similar fashion, whilst building new values of great design and contemporary style and colours. With the incorporation of the latest technology and light-weight materials into all their products, she believes that VIP’s product range is world class and strives to continue building the legacy business to higher avenues in the near future.
(This article was first published in the June issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)