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This Tamil Nadu-based Raymond Franchisee has Big Plans with the Brand R. Padmanabhan is regarded as one of the largest retail players in Tamil Nadu who has observed a tremendous growth with The Raymond Shop business and his legacy retail family business

By Amit Singh

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Padmanabhan has rightly carried forward the legacy of the reputed Golden House Group founded by his father AM Ramalingam in Salem by expanding its horizons with the Raymond business. While continuing his father's fabric manufacturing and multi-brand textile retail businesses, Padmanabhan carved out an organized retail business with Raymond to prove his entrepreneurial mettle. Starting with his first store in 1996, he has grown the TRS business manifold with presence in cities including Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Vellore, Kanchipuram and Kallakurichi. Excerpts from the interaction...

You have all your TRS in Tier-2 and -3 cities. What is the response you have received for your Raymond business at these locations?

The response for our TRS business has been tremendous. We have observed that consumers in Tier-2 and -3 locations prefer custom tailoring over readymade garments. In fact, a majority of our revenues in our stores in Salem, Erode and Namakkal comes from custom tailoring; in rest of the stores, custom tailoring and apparels contributes equally. Further, custom tailoring offers higher margins as well as great customer loyalty to our business.

You already had an established textile manufacturing and retail business. Why did you partner with Raymond?

Most of the multi-brand retail textile shops in Tamil Nadu are family-run and are unorganized. While I learnt the dynamics of retail business with my association in the family business and my own textile retail shop, I soon understood that future growth in retail is only sustainable in an organized format. The main reason to partner with Raymond was it is highly structured business and is the leader in the men's fashion segment in India with deep connects among all age groups.

What are the strategies which worked for your growth? What is the support you received from Raymond?

Our focus on customer preferences, changing market trends, selection of seasonal product mix and zero tolerance on customer satisfaction has allowed us to grow over the years. Raymond has always been proactive in supporting us to improve margins and footfalls through marketing promotions in the catchment area based on detailed consumer profile analysis and marketing plan. To increase sales and revenues, Raymond offers fabrics and apparels as per latest fashion trends backed by its robust supply chain management. In addition, the brand offers extensive and timely training to staff on updated product knowledge and market trends, which goes a long distance in overall employee productivity and satisfaction.

What are your expansion plans?

We are planning to expand our TRS business in a big way. We are targeting to add two new stores every year in Tier- 3 and -4 locations in Tamil Nadu over the next five years.

(This article was first published in the December 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)

Amit Singh

Assistant Editor (Franchise)


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