Popular Australian lifestyle brand Pudu is now available in India, via its online shopping site: PuduLifeStyle.com. A few glimpses of the offering on display shows the immense potential the brand has in India in the forth-coming years.

Whilst explaining the immense popularity and thereby success of the iconic iPod, Steve Jobs once mentioned his and Apple’s core DNA, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication“; in other words, less is always more. Whilst browsing through the entire catalog of Pudu online, the same rang true. The apparel offering is classic, chic yet effortlessly simple.

Pudu got featured in July 2012 Go Air In-flight Magazine. The brainchild of  brothers Michael and Andrew Piers, Pudu is a success in Australia.

Michael, the co-founder and CEO, has been in the apparel and garment manufacturing business for over 10 years in Bangalore. Andrew, co-founder and creative head of brand, is an astute trend-spotter and his know-how comes from years in the international modelling world.

So, in a cluttered world, how does Pudu stand out – is the million dollar question. For myself, and for customers out there.
This is the question that will ideally, decide the success or failure of the brand in India.

Lets look at it in detail.

USP: 

Pudu is for the stylish man. Someone who desires to dress chic, yet, not trying too hard to stand out. Linen and cotton being the preferred choice. And a simple glance through the entire collection suggests – the entire collection is built around bright colors. Colors like Jaipur Pink, Screaming Green, Wisteria, Royal Purple, Jodhpur Blue, Nu Blue, Mango Yellow, Latte, Cucumber Green, Hunter Green, Hershey Brown, Strawberry and Faded Tangerine are daring, and they do set the brand apart. Colors that brighten your day, without much fuss. Take a look at some of the creative editorials from the collection.

OFFERING:

Casual clothing for men includes shirts in linen, organic cottons, canvas stretch and prints. The collection also includes pants, lounge pants, cargos and easy to wear shorts.

BRANDING & PROMOTIONS:

From branding perspective, the brand has put in a decent effort. Roped in one of the [most] stylish, vibrant, chic and youth icons in India; Nikhil Chinapa. I believe, he needs no introduction to the Youth of India (if you need an introduction, I believe you were living on Mars or something, right?) In one of the interviews that I read on the catalog, Nikhil appears candid as usual. Mentioning reasons why he chose to become the Brand Ambassador of Pudu.

From the marketing & promotions perspective, Pudu has the following on offer –

> A flagship store soon to be opened in Goa
> Launching new category for “Boys”
> Launching new collection for “Formal Wear”

SWOT Analysis: 

Strengths:
> Established private label in Australia. Thus, ‘western look’ which Indians aspire for, will be catered to.
> Established Store chains in Australia.
> Co-founders have excellent Retail background in India.
> Launch of online portal in India (and offering offline secondary) adds to strength since India lacks a good retail infrastructure compared to the West.
> Excellent opportunity to target the ‘youth’ of India via Nikhil, Festivals in Goa; and make the label a de-facto label in Goa.
> Pudu MADE TO MEASURE (M2M) – A feature that makes the brand stand apart in India.

Weaknesses:
> Indians have an obsessions for white skin & western labels having white skinned models on cover. Couldn’t find any on Pudu website.
> Indians are extremely price sensitive. All private labels in India (online) so far are struggling to make money at ‘unit level transactions’; expecting to break even in 4-5 years time; which require a lot of strategic level thinking and focus. How will Indians react to the price points on Pudu?
> The price points as of now onsite, is on the higher side. Will this act as a ‘negating factor’?
> No COD available as ‘Payment option’. In India, as of now, primarily all websites have a 70-30% for COD:Credit card payments for their daily transactions. Yes, its true, that a lot of CODs do get cancelled as well, during confirmations, and the usual industry rates are around 7-10% COD cancellations daily. But is it safe to have no COD at all for an eCommerce website operating in India? Only time shall tell.
> Site mentions: “Please allow 5 working days for all delivery”. Has to be better. Private labels from where I have shopped – Zovi.com, FreeCultr.com makes an effort to ship within 2-3 (max) days. 5 is a long haul.

Opportunities:
> Modern retail in India could be worth US$ 175-200 billion by 2016.
> A large young working population with median age of 24 years, nuclear families in urban areas, along with increasing workingwomen population and emerging opportunities in the services sector are going to be the key factors in the growth of the organized Retail sector in India. The growth pattern in organized retailing and in the consumption made by the Indian population will follow a rising graph helping the newer businessmen to enter the India Retail Industry (source).
> The current basket of eCommerce savvy buyers in India as of now is around 10-15 million of the total basket of around 100-110 million who have access to Net & referred to as “net ready” (but limiting themselves to surfing, checking mail, listening to music, watching videos without doing any actual buying/selling/shopping online). With the current continuing proliferation of the net in India to Tier2, 3 & 4 cities, this number is expected to around 50 million by end of forth-coming 5 years; with total 250 million with access to net in India (and thus, ‘ready for embracing eCommerce).
> The male:female% of buyers online in India is around 70:30%; which favors Pudu.

Threats:
> Indians are extremely price sensitive. Price, and NOT quality often plays a vital role in the success or failure of an online label in India.
> Discounts are a good way to gain traction, or scale up visits, but the main issue then lies in the fact – out of the 10 million eCommerce buyers in India, as of now, majority are ‘deal seekers’ and ‘bargain hunters’. Thus, there’s a very very thin line between – a “brand offering Sales 2 times a year” and a “brand that only thrives on SALES/Discounts”. The issue lies in the fact – you can scale 10,000 daily visits to a site to 50,000 in a couple of hours by providing a massive SALE, but the visits/interactions/newly registered members are usually not converted into repeat buyers. Thus, the correct balance needs to be found out.
> CPAs for first-time buyers in Indian eCommerce are horrifyingly high. Unless you’ve deep pockets and really focused to trench on high grounds for 4-5 years; forget about breaking even, even making ‘positive ROI on CPAs for first-time buyers after 3 months for unit-level transactions’ often becomes tough.
> FreeCultr – one of my favorites – young, vibrant brands online. Launched in late 2011, FreeCultr has growth steadily over the past few months, clocking over 6,000 transactions monthly; thus, establishing itself as one of the premier youth brands online. Some of the offerings on Pudu are in direct clash with FreeCultr; but lets see how both brands pan out in the foreseeable future.

Look forward in ordering something from Pudu; and lets see how the packaging looks like.
Overall, wishing Pudu all the best.

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About sghoshoxon

Born in India, educated in Moscow, worked in the UK; Subhasish speaks English, Russian, Hindi & Bengali. Marketing // Strategy // Consulting, Active Blogger, Social Media Evangelist, Apple fan; Thanks to all for reading my blog posts, with 'FewRandomRantings.Wordpress.com' reaching 74,000+ visits since inception. Follow me @nerdometer.

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