In a chat with License India, Sanjay Vakharia, Director - Marketing, Spykar talks about the the brand's licensing and merchandising program and ways to balance retail of the licensed merchandise and the original brand in a store What is your perception about the growth of the licensing and merchandising industry in India? The growth would be great and much quicker in comparison to the West. We should see a lot more development in the field by the next five to six years. I am very positive about it as it has tremendous potential. What are your future plans? Is there anything in the pipeline for the near future? We are looking forward to license the Spykar brand name for café where we will also house the items appropriate for impulsive buying like accessories. Now-a-days, people refer to Spykar as a complete lifestyle brand and not just an apparel brand. What should be the ideal proportion of the licensed merchandise and the original brand in a store? This is something which is not yet decided upon but it should not go beyond the 12-15 per cent composition. However, this cannot be referred to as an ideal proportion but it entirely depends on how well it works out. What can be the expected volume of the business generating from brand licensing and merchandising in the near future for the brand Spykar? The scope of business in terms of licensing and merchandising is expected to be very good. We have already leveraged on this business channel and have more plans to explore licensing to consolidate our brand presence in the market. Our present business volume is Rs 300 crore and we are expecting a turnover of Rs 150 crore in three years’ time from now from our licensed merchandise. What have been your major achievements/explorations so far? The product categories which we cater to, as of now, are luggage, baggage and eyewear. Soon, we would be introducing the product line for men intimate wear, which is expected to hit the shelves by July, 2010(pls check it as I have added it). Spykar eyewear now occupying the third largest position in this category is making its presence felt for the fourth season. The same is with our travelware category, showcasing its merchandise for the third season. Does your marketing strategy include licensing/merchandising as one of the potential options to promote your brand? Yes, it does find place in our marketing strategy as it provides a readymade platform, wherein not just the manufacturer but also the entrepreneur (or retailer????) can be made to play a key role. The option gives the licensor a freedom from investment and inventory movement.